Phillis Wheatley Quotes

In this post, we are going to see Phillis Wheatley Quotes from her poems. She was the world’s first African-American author who published the first poetry book.

Her full name is Phillis Wheatley Peters. Phillis was born in West Africa around 1753.

On July 11, 1761, a local chief brought him to Boston by a slave ship called The Phillies. He then sold Phillis to John Wheatley, New England’s wealthy merchant and tailor. John bought Phillis as a slave for his wife, Susanna.

John and Susanna named her Phillis Wheatley. There Susanna’s 18-year-old daughter Mary taught her reading and writing. His son Nathaniel also taught him.

Phillis Wheatley

Seeing Philips’ interest in studies, John Wheatley gave him an unprecedented education. She joined Greek and Latin classes at the age of 12 and also studied the Bible.

She wrote her first poem “To the University of Cambridge, in New England” at the age of 14. Seeing Phillis’s literary ability, John Wheatley’s family freed him from household labor and got him further studies.

In 1773, Phillis went to London with her master’s son to find a publication for her poems. There a publication agreed to publish her Poems. On September 1, 1773, some poems written on different Subjects, Religious and Moral were published.

In a very short time, Phillis became famous for her poems in England and the American colonies. Even George Washington, Founding Father of the United States and  African-American poet Jupiter Hammon also praised Phillis’s poems.

Phillis Wheatley's church, Old South Meeting House
Phillis Wheatley’s church, Old South Meeting House (Wikipedia)

A few years later Jupiter Hammon praised Phillis’s work in a poem of his own. After becoming quite famous, John Wheatley freed Phillis from his slavery.

After that, she married a poor grocer named John Peters and spent the rest of her life with him.

Her life was spent in poverty. Because she was not getting any publisher for her poems. In the last years of her life, she worked as a maid in a boarding house.

Phillis Wheatley died at the young age of 31 in Boston on December 5, 1784.

Phillis Wheatley Quotes :

Phillis Wheatley Quotes
In every human Breast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of Freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance. – Phillis Wheatley Quotes

The world is a severe schoolmaster, for its frowns are less dangerous than its smiles and flatteries, and it is a difficult task to keep in the path of wisdom. – Phillis Wheatley

Imagination! who can sing thy force? Or who describe the swiftness of thy course? – Phillis Wheatley

For nobler themes demand a nobler strain and purer language on the ethereal plain. – Phillis Wheatley

Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand that there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too. – Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley Quotes
In full perfection, all thy works are wrought, and thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought. – Phillis Wheatley Quotes

Through thickest gloom look back, immortal shade, On that confusion which thy death has made. – Phillis Wheatley

When first thy pencil did those beauties give, and breathing figures learned from thee to live, how did those prospects give my soul delight, a new creation rushing on my sight? – Phillis Wheatley

Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung, whence flow these wishes for the common good, by feeling hearts alone best understood. – Phillis Wheatley

Imagination! who can sing thy force? Or who describe the swiftness of thy course? – Phillis Wheatley