Letter to Reverend Samson Occum

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Letter to Reverend Samson Occum/Letter to John Adams. 254-255. 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.
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Letter to Reverend Samson Occum/Letter to John Adams 254-255 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. work
  • 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, work
  • 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. work
  • 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. work
  • 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.
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