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Phillis Wheatley's Poems on various subjects, religious and moral

engraved image of Phillis Wheatley sitting at writing desk

The poems of Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) are read and studied by students and scholars in a variety of disciplines (American literature, African-American Studies, African Studies, and Women’s Studies), but the first edition has not previously been freely accessible in a digital facsimile without a fee or subscription. Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773) is the first book published by an African-American author, and the frontispiece portrait of Wheatley is the only surviving work by the African-American slave artist Scipio Moorhead (born ca. 1750). Thomas Cooper Library’s copy, acquired with support from the College of Arts & Sciences and from library endowments, is the first copy recorded in WorldCat for any library in South Carolina.

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