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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London: Printed for A. Bell, bookseller, Aldgate; and sold by Messrs. Cox and Berry, King-street, Boston, 1773)

Phillis Wheatley from Senegambia

Tukulor, Wolof, Fulani, Serer, Mandingo, and Sarakole were among the Senegambians transported to the United States, in particular to the Virginia-Maryland region and Louisiana. Phillis Wheatley (ca. 1753-1784) is believed to have been a Fulani. She came from Gambia or Senegal. Like most Fulani, she probably was raised a Muslim, and could have been exposed to the written word in her family. She was kidnapped, and sold in Boston at the age of eight. She quickly learned English, studied Latin, and at twenty, she published, in London, a collection of verse, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. She became the first published African-American author.

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