On September 1, 1773, Phillis Wheatley made history when she published her book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, a collection of poems she had written. What made this moment historic? Several factors-Phillis Wheatley was a woman. She lived in the colonies (they wouldn’t be the United States for almost another three years). She was African-American. And she was a slave.
The Wheatley family treated her with love and kindness, taught her to read and write English, and encouraged her artistic talents. After mastering English, she went on to learn Greek and Latin. In 1773, she and the Wheatley’s son traveled to London, where her first book was published. A few years later, following the death of both Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley, she was freed.
Today’s copywork is selected excerpts from one of the poems published in her book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. It is from the poem “Goliath of Gath” and beautifully retells the familiar Bible story of David and Goliath.
Timeline Roundup 1773
Phillis Wheatley wasn’t the only one making history in 1773. Take a look at what else was happening around the world and use the following projects to bring the year to life!
On January 12, 1773, Charleston, South Carolina, became the home of the first U.S. public museum. Ask your kids to design a museum of their own. What would they include in it? What would it look like? Where would they build it?
On January 17, 1773, Captain James Cook became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle. Just thinking about that gives me the shivers! Let’s celebrate with this winter sports scramble.
William Henry Harrison was born February 9, 1773. Try this Presidential copywork including an excerpt from one of President Harrison’s speech.
On March 12, 1773, Jeanne Baptiste Pointe de Sable founded the settlement now known as Chicago. Test your knowledge of Chicago’s history with this timeline quiz.
Check out this fun children’s resource all about the Boston Tea Party which happened December 16, 1773!