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Phillis Wheatley

"In every human Beast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of Freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance."

Phillis Wheatley was America's first published black author. Along with being a great American poet, Phillis Wheatley was patriot and symbol for abolitionists. In 1761, at the age of 7, Phillis was bought as a slave by the Wheatley family of Boston. The Wheatley children, Mary and Nathaniel, took it upon themselves to teach Phillis how to read and write. Phillis discovered the joy of putting words together in poems. She became a celebrity, reading her poems in public. Phillis's poems were about learning and virtue. She also wrote poems about patriotism, battles, and the greatness of America. One poem was about George Washington, then the leader of the Patriot Army. She even got to read the poem to him in person. Phillis was given her freedom in 1778, when the Wheatleys all passed away or left the colonies.