"To the Right and Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth ..."
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This poem is dedicated to the Earl of Dartmouth (1731-1801), the secretary of state for the colonies from 1772 to 1775. The poem was published in Phillis Wheatley's book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, and is considered by some critics to be her "most outspoken piece of Black protest" (William H. Robinson, Phillis Wheatley in the Black American Beginnings, Broadsides Critics Series Number 5., Detroit Broadside Press, 1975, p. 40).