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Chapter 8 - 10

AFROAMER 271 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8 - 10: Phillis Wheatley, Pennsylvania Abolition Society, The Newport Daily News

Afro-American Studies
Course Code
Black Anthony
8 - 10

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AFROAM 271 - Stamped from the Beginning - Ch. 8-10
Black Exhibits
Phillis Wheatley
daughter of tailor and financier John Wheatley
Purchased by John and his wife Susanna as a reminder of their dead daughter
Never looked as a slave due to her home schooling according to granddaughter
of Cotton Mather
Wrote her first poem at 11 years old about the death of a 17 year old daughter of
12 yo : read Latin, Greek, English literature, and Bible fluently
December 1767: published first poem in Newport Mercury about the escape of a
Wrote a poem to describe her longing to go to all-white all-male Harvard
marveled at her assimilation, though Africans were unenlightened and America
was the light
Phillis Wheatley became popular with her poems about the tension between
American colonies and Britain which is why powerful men assembled in Boston
to authenticate her poems
Wheatley proves black capability and humanity to assimilationists in Boston
1700’s was filled with assimilationist ideas seeking to remove the “barbarian” and to
civilize in “superior” ways of Europeans
John Montagu worked hard to prove that black people were capable of white culture and
Montagu sent Francis Williams, first of freed Jamaican slaves, went to
Cambridge University and equaled whites intellectually
Williams opens grammar school for slaveholder children between 1738 and 1740
and wrote Latin des to colonial governors of Jamaica
David Hume, Scottish philosopher, updated popular critique of climate theory and upheld
segregationist theory in “Of Natural Characters
Black are inferior to whites
Considered Williams’s accomplishments slender like a parrot who speaks words
However, Hume opposed slavery but was still segregationist
Most Americans of this time believed literate and educated blacks were “extraordinary
Supposedly defied laws of nature or nurture
The majority were inferior and the extraordinary were above standard of
Doomed the idea of black excellence
University of Pennsylvania professor and American physician Benjamin Rush
Anonymously issued abolitionist pamphlet in Feb 1773 using Phillis Wheatley’s
work to push abolitionist cause in America
Praised “singular genius” of Wheatley without naming her
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