Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American to publish a book. In 1773, Phillis Wheatley accomplished something that no other woman of her status had done. 1784: Wheatley's husband imprisoned for debt. The Wheatleys’ choice might have been due to the fact that, with her missing front teeth, she looks like she was seven years old, almost the same age as the last of their children, Sarah, at the time of her death. Wheatley is freed. Although she was an enslaved person, Phillis Wheatley Peters was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. In 1782 she moves back from Wilmington, Mass. As a child Phillis was taken into captivity and shipped to Boston where she was sold into slavery at the age of eight to John and Susanna Wheatley who named her Phillis … The poem was published as a broadside on October 11, … Wheatley suffered from asthma (a legacy of the Middle Passage) and the death of three children, before dying in poverty and obscurity, aged 31, in 1784. When her book of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, appeared, she became the first American slave, the first person of African descent, and only the third colonial American woman to have her work published. A month after the death of John Wheatley, Phillis Wheatley married John Peters, a free Black man of Boston. Wheatley marries black grocer John Peters. Phillis Wheatley was an inspiring example to nineteenth-century African American writers such as Ann Plato, Frances … Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784) and her Sovereign God Small, frightened and skinny, she looked too frail to do much work. From 1779-1782 she has three children, although two died in infancy and the other as a toddler. History is not clear about John Peters' story. Mary Wheatley, the daughter of the family, died that same year. She was born in Senegambia (now Senegal) in west Africa. - The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. Phillis Wheatley's elegy for Whitefield changed her life, transforming her from a young enslaved woman with a small readership among friends of the Wheatley family to an author with an international readership. Marriage and Children . In accordance with John Wheatley's will, Phillis is freed upon her master's death. Wheatley’s precociousness became apparent quickly, and the entire Wheatley family taught young Phillis to read and write (though she continued her household duties as well). 1778: Wheatley marries John Peters. A list of poems by Phillis Wheatley Born around 1753, Phillis Wheatley was the first black poet in America to publish a book. to Boston, Mass. During her early adulthood Phillis became more ... 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