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Phillis Wheatley gained her freedom on October 18, 1775. Wheatley was born in West Africa in about 1753 and transported to North America when she was seven or eight years of age. She was purchased by the Wheatley family in Boston and learned to read and write while in Boston. With the encouragement of the Wheatleys and others, Phillis traveled to London in 1773 and secured support for the publication of this book. Shortly after the publication of this book, Wheatley’s freedom from slavery was recognized by others.