Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first published African American poet and first African-American woman whose writings were published. Born in Gambia, Senegal, she was made a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and helped encourage her poetry.
The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on , Religious and Moral brought her fame, with figures such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also visited England for five weeks accompanying her 'Brother' Nathaniel and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success.