Phillis Wheatley wrote this poem on the death of the Rev. Samuel Cooper (1725-1783). The poem was printed in 1784, not long before her own death. Cooper was the pastor of the Brattle Square Church (the fourth Church) in Boston, and was active in the cause of the Revolution. Under threat of arrest by the British authorities, he fled Boston on 8 April 1775, but returned after the British evacuation (17 March 1776). Rev. Cooper was one of the men who verified Phillis's authorship of her Poems on Various Subjects.