The New International Encyclopædia/Wheatley, Phillis
|←Wheatley, Henry Benjamin||The New International Encyclopædia
|Edition of 1905. See also Phillis Wheatley on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
WHEATLEY, Phillis (c.1753-84) . An American negro poet, born in Africa. She was brought to the United States in 1761 and purchased by John Wheatley, of Boston. He had her well educated, and she soon showed remarkable intellectual quickness. When still a girl, she wrote many verses, and in 1773, a year before, she visited England, her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England, were published in London with the indorsement of several distinguished men. She was made much of by the Countess of Huntingdon's set, and in America drew forth a complimentary letter from Washington. Of real poetic ability she was totally destitute. In 1775 the family to which she belonged was broken up, and three years later she made an unfortunate marriage with a colored man named John Peters. There were at least four posthumous editions of her poems, and her letters were printed in 1864.