Museum of American Revolution acquires newspaper printing of letter penned by Phillis Wheatley

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An original newspaper printing of a letter written by American poet Phillis Wheatley is now on display at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Published in 1774 on the front page of the Connecticut Journal, Wheatley penned the letter to her friend, minister and Mohegan Native American, Samson Occom.

Adrienne Whaley, director of education and community engagement at the Museum of the American Revolution, says this newspaper printing provides a rare glimpse into the struggle for human equality during the American Revolution.

"Her words as a woman who gets her freedom in this moment are hugely important for forcing people to contend with what this contraction is and what it means," she said.

Whaley says so often the experience of that time was seen as binary or a one-dimensional thirst for freedom for all.

But she adds that Wheatley forced people to grapple with deeper, more complex issues in that moment.

"She's using her voice to advocate for positive change in this revolutionary moment. And for people to walk away, both seeing that and the complexity of the revolutionary era, we think that's hugely important," said Whaley.

The museum acquired the original newspaper printing for purchase from a private collector. It's on display until at least July 4.

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