Wheatley, Phillis (1753-1784) Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
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Poems written by the "Negro Servant" of John Wheatley of Boston. Printed at London by A. Bell and sold in Boston by Cox and Berry. First edition copy. The first book of poetry by an African American. Bound in nineteenth century vellum, with heraldic bookplate with the name "Stainforth." With frontispiece engraved portrait of Wheatley writing. Dedication to Countess of Huntington on 12 June 1773. Phillis Wheatley was brought from Africa at the age of seven or eight, taught to read and write (in the family), and eventually began to write poetry, as her master describes in the prefatory material. Contains 39 poems, none of which are over 225 lines. Three pages of contents at the end. Pages have gilt edges.
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