Phillis Wheatley's writing desk
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This folding mahogany card table may have served Phillis Wheatley as a writing desk as she composed poetry, at least some of which went into her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book of poetry by a Black American. Kidnapped and brought from Africa as a child on the slave ship Phillis and purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, she learned to read English, Greek, and Latin. In 1773 Phillis Wheatley traveled to England, where her poems were published that year. She quickly became a celebrated literary figure. She secured her freedom upon her return to Boston, but died in obscurity in 1784.