American Poetry in the 1800s

Poems in the 1800s were important because of all the slavery that was involved during this time. Depending on their owners, slaves might have leisure time, and some slaves choose to spend it by writing. Some slaves might have written poetry about their hard work, and other slaves might have kept journals.

Slave Poets and Poems

Here are some examples of slave poets and their poems:

George Moses Horton - Liberty and Slavery - This was George Moses Horton's first printed poem and it was published to a Massachusetts newspaper called the Lancaster Gazette on April 8, 1829.

Phillis Wheatley - On Messrs Hussy and Coffin - This poem was written by Phillis Wheatley when she was 12 years old and it was published when she was the same age.

Benjamin Banneker - A Mathematical Problem in Verse - Benjamin Banneker was an amazing African American slave because he became many things that most slaves did not. He became an astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, author, and farmer.