Phillis Wheatley, as illustrated by Scipio Moorhead in the Frontispiece to her book Poems on Various Subjects #2 Wheatley was named after the slave ship that brought her to U.S. She was sold to John Wheatley, a wealthy Boston merchant and tailor, who bought her as a servant for his wife Susanna. In 1773, Phillis Wheatley accomplished something that no other woman of her status had done. 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. From 1779-1782 she has three children, although two died in infancy and the other as a toddler. Wheatley is freed. 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 … A month after the death of John Wheatley, Phillis Wheatley married John Peters, a free Black man of Boston. 1778: Wheatley marries John Peters. 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. Although she was an enslaved person, Phillis Wheatley Peters was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. - The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784) and her Sovereign God Small, frightened and skinny, she looked too frail to do much work. Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American to publish a book. Wheatley marries black grocer John Peters. 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). Phillis Wheatley was an inspiring example to nineteenth-century African American writers such as Ann Plato, Frances … 1784: Wheatley's husband imprisoned for debt. Marriage and Children . During her early adulthood Phillis became more ... John Wheatley dies, and her teacher Mary Lathrop dies. The poem was published as a broadside on October 11, … She was born in Senegambia (now Senegal) in west Africa. History is not clear about John Peters' story. 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. In accordance with John Wheatley's will, Phillis is freed upon her master's death. 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