Born in 1753 in Senegal, West Africa but sold into slavery at eight years old, Phillis Wheatley became the most famous female poet of the eighteenth century.
At age thirteen years old and while still in slavery, Phillis Wheatley’s poems were being circulated throughout England.
In 1770, her first poem was published in London entitled Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral.
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In 1772, she was freed by her so-called master, Mrs. S. Wheatley, and went to England. On both sides of the Atlantic, her poems won widespread admiration.
In 1776, she wrote a poem entitled “To His Excellency General Washington.”