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Phillis Wheatley arrives in London...

Item # 702029

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June 22, 1773

THE LONDON CHRONICLE, England, June 22, 1773

* Phillis Wheatley's London arrival
* Famous Woman servant turned poet

Certainly the most notable report is found on the back page, which contains: "Last Thursday the celebrated negro girl Phillis, the Poet, whose extraordinary talents have lately been taken notice of in the News Papers, arrived in London from Boston in New England. She had a letter of recommendation from a merchant at Boston to a bookseller in London, and is shortly to be introduced to several of the literati."
Wheatley was an American author considered the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. Born in West Africa, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America, where she was bought by the Wheatley family of Boston. After she learned to read and write, they encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
On this historic 1773 trip to London with the Wheatleys' son, seeking publication of her work, Wheatley met prominent people who became her patrons. The publication in London of her "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" brought her fame both in England and the American colonies.
It is quite rare to find period mention of Phillis Wheatley in newspapers.
Page 2 has over half a column taken up with an: "Extract of a Letter from New York dated the 13th of May, 1773" which is a great account of fascinating case of Sarah Wilson, a.k.a. Princess Susanna C. Matilda. See the web for her story, whom the author calls: "...one of the most amazing people of the 18th century...".
Included at the conclusion of the article is the "Advertisement" from Bush Creeks, Maryland, Oct. 11. 1771 looking for the runaway servant maid Sara Wilson.
Eight pages, 8 1/2 by 11 1/4 inches, very nice condition.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's