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Monday, April 22, 2013

Phillis Wheatley, Poet

Phillis Wheatley by Jamison T.

When one thinks of poems one might think of love, pain, tragedies, and occasionally laughter, but Phillis Wheatley showed that poems can be used to advocate for a cause.
 Phillis Wheatley had a life that differed from the majority of most black slaves during that time period.  Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753-5. Wheatley was sold in 1761, and was bought by Susan and Jon Wheatley, who named her after the ship she came from. Wheatley lost connection with her family in Africa after being captured. The only thing she remembers of her mother was her mother pouring water before sunrise, it was a traditional West African ritual.  Wheatley was educated by one of the Wheatley daughters.  The Wheatley's treated Phillis Wheatley as one of their own.
 Phillis Wheatley spoke Latin and Greek. Wheatley used her poetry to help the colonist during the American Revolutionary War because she was a very strong supporter of freedom in the colonies. She wrote a poem that was very political. Wheatley also wrote poems in a colonist's point of view. In March, 1776 Wheatley read a poem to General George Washington. She thought slavery was one of the reason's there is conflict in America. In 1768 she wrote a poem for King George III, To the King's Most Majesty, because he terminated the Stamp Act. Phillis Wheatley made many poems and plays that showed her support for the American Revolutionary War.
 Phillis Wheatley married a free African-American grocer named John Peters. They had two children who passed away as infants. He left Wheatley when she was pregnant with their third child. Wheatley passed away because of childbirth complications at the age of thirty-one years old. The child passed away only hours after Wheatley's death.  Although Wheatley did not die wealthy, she is still remembered for her inspiring writing.



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