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Name:    Wheatley, Phyllis
Category:  African-American Experience, Cultural Life
Born/Started:    1753
Died/Ended:    1784
Description:    Born in Senegal, West Africa and brought to America as a slave, Phyllis Wheatly became an internationally-acclaimed poet. Her owners raised the girl more as a daughter than a slave and gave her the name Phyllis. Phyllis soon mastered the English language by speaking, reading and writing fluently. She published her first poem in 1770 and it attracted a great deal of local attention. By age 20 she was recognized as a prodigy in both America and Europe. Voltaire praised her for her "very good English verse." In 1773, she visited England where her book, Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral, was published. She died 11 years later in 1784.



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