Phillis Wheatley – National Women’s History Museum

Edited by Debra Michals, PhD | 2015

Despite spending much of her life enslaved, Phillis Wheatley was the first African American and second woman (after Anne Bradstreet) to publish a book of poems.

Born around 1753 in Gambia, Africa, Wheatley was captured by slave traders and brought to America in 1761. Upon arrival, she was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first name Phillis was derived from the ship that brought her to America, “the Phillis.” FOR MORE

MLA – Michals, Debra.  “Phillis Wheatley.”  National Women’s History Museum.  National Women’s History Museum, 2015.  Date accessed.
Chicago – Michals, Debra.  “Phillis Wheatley.”  National Women’s History Museum.  2015. 


Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia

Phillis Wheatley

Although the date and place of her birth are not documented, scholars believe that Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753 in West Africa, most likely in present-day Gambia or Senegal.[7] She was sold by a local chief to a visiting trader, who took her to Boston in the British Colony of Massachusetts, on July 11, 1761,[8] on a slave ship called The Phillis.[9] It was owned by Timothy Fitch and captained by Peter Gwinn.[9]


Photo Credit: Phillis Wheatley Historical Society

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