Return to End of Slavery
To order an image, navigate to the full
display and click "request this image"
on the blue toolbar.
Phillis Wheatley wrote this elegy on the death of Rev. John Moorhead in December 1773. Rev. Moorhead was installed in 1730 as the first minister of what is now known as the Arlington Street Church in Boston, originally a Presbyterian church, gathered in 1729 by Irish immigrants. Jeremy Belknap, the founder of the Massachusetts Historical Society, was the third minister of the church, 1787-1798. Rev. Moorhead also sat on the panel of men who verified that Phillis had indeed authored the book Poems on Various Subjects. Scipio Moorhead, who drew the frontispiece of Phillis's Poems on Various Subjects, was the slave of Rev. Moorhead. Phillis published a poetic tribute to the artist in her book, "To S.M. A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works."