Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History

Lost Years Recovered: John Peters and Phillis Wheatley Peters in Middleton

Author: Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut
Panelists: Vincent Carretta, University of Maryland; Tara Bynum, University of Iowa; Joseph Rezek, Boston University
Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 5:15PM - 6:30PM

Litigation in Essex County reveals where the African-born poet Phillis Wheatley Peters and her husband John Peters went when they left Boston for three years starting in spring 1780.  Peters came into possession of a substantial farm where he had been enslaved as a child. But his tenuous legal position and the hostility of many townspeople led to his eventually losing the land and deciding to move the family back to Boston. Panelists will discuss the implications of these new findings, the future research pathways they suggest, and investigative methods that expand our awareness of Black lives in the late eighteenth-century northeast. Attendees are invited to read the recently published article by Dayton that delineates the complicated litigation record. 

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Previously titled African American lives in the Federal Period.

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