slavery

A Portrait of Domestic Slavery in the United States, by Jesse Torrey (1817)

At the age of 17 years, convinced of the inestimable benefits of reading useful books, I anxiously desired that they might, if possible, be extended to the great mass of the human family; and endeavored to discover some effective plan for this purpose. . . . Hence the suggestion occurred that governments, or associations of... more

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley (1773)

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is the first published volume of poetry by an African-American author. This fact in itself would make the book significant, but Phillis Wheatley’s Poems has a complicated and fascinating history of its own. Readers of the 1773 first edition would have been familiar with biographical details of Wheatley’s... more