Letter to Reverend Samson Occum, by Phillis Wheatley • First African-American poet to be published. • Unusual life: kidnapped at 7 in West Africa; sold to prosperous Wheatley family at Boston slave auction. • Within 16 months, the precocious child had mastered English and could read the Bible. • Went on to learn Latin and Greek.
Startling Success Story. 254. • Wheatley family encouraged her. • Started writing poetry as teenager. • Newspapers began publishing her poems—most on moral and religious subjects—became famous in colonies and England.
Visited London 1773 to publish her book of poetry. • Toast of society; met Ben Franklin, nobles and dignitaries. • Life as a Free Black Woman. 254. • Gained freedom, married free black man. • Life together a losing battle against poverty—being free but black almost as bad as being a slave. • Tried to publish second book; Boston had lost interest—war-torn and financially strapped.
Letter to John Adams, by Abigail Adams, 254. • Wife of second US president, John Adams. • Mother of sixth, John Quincy Adams. • Equally well-known for outspoken opinions—wrote thousands of personal letters. • Intelligent and Competent. • Daughter of wealthy minister
Read extensively in father’s well-stocked library. Managed farm and family business affairs as husband became more involved in colonial politics; struggle for independence. An Early Feminist? Support for women’s education Acutely aware of men’s “absolute power.” Thinking advanced for her time—favored abolitition of slavery also.
Conventional view of woman’s • Subordinate role in society. • 255. Diction—writer’s choice of words. • Vocab (words) and syntax (arrangement of words.) • Formal or informal • Common or technical • Abstract or concrete. • Formal diction: How many are the solitary hours I spend, ruminating upon the past, and anticipating the future…
Tone or attitude toward subject • Often communicated through diction. • Reading Strategy: Reading primary sources, 255. • Primary sources: materials written or made by people who took part in or witnessed events portrayed. • Unique insights
Consider: • Who was the writer? • What is the form of document: letter, diary, speech? • When and where was it written? • Who is the audience?
Letter to the Reverend Samson Occum, 256-257. • The Reverend Samson Occum was Mohegan Indian who became a minister after converting to Christianity. • He had criticized some of his fellow ministers for owning slaves in a letter to Wheatley. • Read, vocab and notes, pages 256-261.
256. Analyze Visuals. • This image shows a slave auction in New Amsterdam. (New York). • What does this tell you about slavery in colonial America? • Slavery was a popular trade. • Many colonists were attending—many must have owned slaves.
2/10/09Eng 3 Homework • Grammar book: • Verbals 59-60. Gerund Phrases. Notes. • Verbals Infinitive Phrases, 61-62. Notes. • WB: Prepositional Phrases 34-36. • Appositives 37-39 • Verbals: Participial Phrases, 40-41. • Spelling #20. Sentences and 3 x each. Practice Test 2/11/09 Wed. • Final Test 2/13/09, Friday. • Test - The Crisis. • Table of Contents page and one 200-word entry due 2/13/09. • Be reading. Due 2/27/09, Friday. • http://www.mshogue.com/ce9/Ind_novel/logs.htm#title
Authority. • Wheatley thinks God has the ultimate authority over people. • She believes God put the desire for freedom in every human heart and will deliver that freedom when ready. • She hopes God will make those who support freedom while oppressing slaves realize the error of their thinking, 14-15.
A. Diction, 256. • Wheatley’s diction is formal. Shje uses difficult, long words, such as “obliging kind epistle,” (line 1), and glorious dispensation, line 6. • Her language is elevated and abstract. • White people may have started to think differently about black people after reading her writing.
B. Primary sources. • This letter is a primary source, written by someone of the times. She deals with the public issues of the natural right African americans have to freedom, line 3 and the contradiction in people fighting for freedom while supporting the oppression of black people, lines 17-19.
Letter to John Adams, byAbigail Adams, 258. • Abigail wrote to her husband to “remember the ladies” in the new laws for the new country. • “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands.” • John’s response was to laugh and remark, “You are so saucy.” • This is the next letter she sent him.
258. Visuals. • These are pastel portraits of Abigail and John Adams, done in 1766, about two years after their marriage. • How would young couples of today be different?
She begins her letter by expressing value of her husband’s work • to found the nation over his family’s needs. • She describes chaos and lack of leadership in Boston. • She urges the new government to declare sovereignty and points out that men’s power over women contradicts their goal to liberate the nation.
C. Primary Sources. • Adams is concerned with both public and private issues. • She tells her husband she misses him. • She also writes about the public issues of her husband’s duties. • The public duties and public issues of the time take precedence over their personal lives.
She believes if the country falls, • The life of any individual will not matter. • D. Diction. Political words: • Tgovernment • Stability; colony; Congress; maxims of state; king; people. • Adams’ diction shows her sophisticated thinking. She is comfortable discussing issues of public policy.
E. Primary sources, 260. • Colonial men want to be freed from Great Britain, but they continue to keep their wives and daughters enslaved. • F. Diction. Relationships between husbands and wives were formal during colonial times.
Questions, 261. • 1. Wheatley praises Occum for supporting the “natural rights” of African Americans. • 2. She says greed is the cause of slavery. • 3. Adams says if the country perishes, saving individuals won’t matter. • 4. She complains the colony lacks security. Volunteers will help, but they need Congress’ authority. • 5. Slaveholding ministers are hypocrites. • She trusts in God to stop slavery and its absolute power.