RELIGIOUS AND MORAL.
By PHILLIS WHEATELY,
NEGRO SERVANT to MR. JOHN WHEATLEY,
of BOSTON, in NEW-ENGLAND.
The Countess of Huntington.
WALPOLE, N. H.
PRINTED FOR THOMAS & THOMAS, BY DAVID NEWHALL,
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THE following POEMS were written origin-
ally for the amusement of the Author, as they were
the products of her leisure moments. She had no
intention ever to have published them; nor would
they now have made their appearance, but at the
importunity of many of her best and most generous
friends; to whom she considers herself, as under the
As her attempts in poetry are now sent into the
world, it is hoped the critic will not severely censure
their defects; and we presume they have too much
merit to be cast aside with contempt, as worthless
and trifling effusions.
As to the disadvantages she has laboured under,
with regard to learning, nothing needs to be offered,
as her master's letter in the following page will
sufficiently shew the difficulties in this respect which
she had to encounter.
With all their imperfections, the poems are now
humbly submitted to the perusal of the public.
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The following is a copy of a Letter sent by the Au-
thor's Master to the publisher.
PHILLIS was brought from
America, in the year 1761, between seven and
eight years of age. Without any assistance from
school education, and by only what she was taught
in the family, she, in sixteen months time from
her arrival, attained the English language, to
which she was an utter stranger before, to such a
degree, as to read any, the most difficult parts of
the Sacred Writings, to the great astonishment
of all who heard her.
As to her writing, her own curiosity led her to
it; and this she learnt in so short a time, that in
the year 1765, she wrote a letter to the Rev. Mr.
OCCOM, the Indian minister, while in England.
She has a great inclination to learn the Lat-
in tongue, and has made some progress in it.
This relation is given by her master who bought
her, and with whom she now lives.
Boston, Nov. 14, 1772.
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TO THE PUBLIC.
AS it has been repeatedly suggested to the pub-
lisher, by some persons, who have seen the man-
uscript, that numbers would be ready to suspect
they were not really the writings of PHILLIS, he
has procured the following attestation, from the most
respectable characters in Boston, that none might
have the least ground for disputing their Original.
We whose Names are under-written, do as-
sure the World, that the POEMS specified in the
following page,* were (as we verily believe)
written by PHILLIS, a young Negro girl, who
was but a few Years since, brought an uncultivat-
ed Barbarian from Africa, and has ever since
been, and now is, under the disadvantage of
serving as a Slave in a family in this town. She
has been examined by some of the best judges,
and is thought qualified to write them.
His Excellency THOMAS HUTCHINSON,
The Hon. ANDREW OLIVER, Lieutenant-Gov-
* The Words "following page," allude to the Contents of the
Manuscript copy, which are written at the back of the above at-