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Early EvangelicalismA Reader$
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Jonathan M. Yeager

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916955

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199916955.001.0001

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A Selection of Poems

A Selection of Poems

(p.276) 43 A Selection of Poems
Early Evangelicalism

Phillis Wheatley

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a selection of Phillis Wheatley's poems. Wheatley was kidnapped from an unknown location in Africa, and then forced on board a slave ship and sold to the Boston merchant John Wheatley and his wife, Susannah, in 1761. The Wheatleys treated Phillis like a daughter, as opposed to a slave or even a servant. Phillis quickly learned to read and write, displaying an affinity for classical literature and poetry. She embraced Christianity and the revivalist preaching of George Whitefield, and was introduced to American and British evangelicals such as Samuel Hopkins, John Moorhead, Samson Occom, Obour Tanner, and the Countess of Huntingdon. Her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in 1773. This collection of poems include “On Virtue”; “To the KING's Most Excellent Majesty, 1768”; “On Being Brought from Africa to America”; “On the Death of the Rev. Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, 1770”; and “A Farewell to AMERICA. To Mrs. S.W.”.

Keywords:   poems, Phillis Wheatley, Africa, John Wheatley, poetry, Christianity, George Whitefield, evangelicals

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