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Slave Poet's Letter Breaks Records

Slave Poet's Letter Breaks Records

by Jeanne Schinto

"It was national news, featured in the New York Times and other media, when a freshly discovered autograph letter by Phillis Wheatley, a slave in colonial Boston who is considered to be the originator of the African-American literary tradition, was sold at Swann Galleries in New York City on November 22, 2005, for $253,000 (including buyer's premium). Until then, only 19 other letters by Wheatley (circa 1753-1784) were known. All are in institutional collections in the United States and Great Britain, and all have been published in the various modern editions of her work.

"The newly found letter, besides being unpublished, was further noteworthy in the marketplace because it brought the highest price ever paid at public auction for one written by an African-American. Perhaps even more significant is that it appears to have broken another record. Swann autograph specialist Jeremy Markowitz said that he and several leading autograph dealers believe it to be a record for a letter written by a woman. "

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Slave Poet's Letter Breaks Records
Re: Slave Poet's Letter Breaks Records

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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