Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at a young age and purchased by the Wheatley family in Boston. Phillis Wheatley was taught to read and write, studied Greek and Latin and developed a love of writing poetry. Mr. Wheatley took her to London where she met the Lord Mayor and was the first African-American to have her poetry published, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in 1773. Her talents led to her fame and she met and corresponded with many well-known authors and political figures, including George Washington.
On being brought from Africa to America, by Phillis Wheatley
Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there՚s a God, that there՚s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic dye.ˮ
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin՚d, and join th՚ angelic train.
This Phillis Wheatley mug is part of our Author and African American Series profiling outstanding men and women who have helped shape our country in important and positive ways.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
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