Wheatley's ode to Washington was published in The Pennsylvania Magazine in April 1776 by novelist and political philosopher Thomas Paine. The poem's principal topic is "freedom's cause," or the colonies' war for independence from England, which General Washington was appointed to lead. In addition to praising Washington as a military hero, Wheatley expresses hope that he will become America's first president.
In the summer of 1776, shortly after it appeared, Wheatley's poem was read by Benjamin Franklin, then serving as American ambassador to France. Impressed by its poetic quality, Franklin asked his son to translate it from English into French. William Franklin did so within weeks of receiving his father's request, and the young man sent his translation back to him via rue Saint-Jacques in Paris. It was here that Benjamin Franklin learned for the first time about the existence of an African-American poet.
He is now regarded as one of America's first poets.
The fundamental focus of this poem is "freedom's cause," or the battle of the colonies for independence from England, which General Washington was appointed to lead. However, the poem also addresses other issues including faith in God and America's future after the war.
Washington's full name is George Washington. He was born on February 11, 1732, in Tuscarora, Virginia (now North Carolina). He was the first child of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington. The Washingtons were a wealthy family who had emigrated from England to Virginia many years before. George Washington attended school in his county until he was fourteen years old when his father died. Then he went to live with his uncle Lawrence Washington, who had large farms near Fredericksburg, Virginia. There he learned the business of farming and hunting in addition to learning politics from experienced men who came to teach in the local court.
When Britain declared war on America in 1775, twenty-three-year-old George Washington was elected president of the Continental Congress. He led the colonies through their struggle for freedom from England until 1783, when the United States became independent. During this time, he made many important decisions about how the country should be run including choosing officials such as judges and ambassadors. He also wrote many letters discussing political affairs while serving as president of the congress.
The author expresses his hope that America will be "for ever free" and credits the hero of New York City for helping him write "this sonnet."
The sonnet is a fourteen-line poetic form that often includes two quatrains followed by a final couplet. It is generally considered one of Shakespeare's shorter poems. Sonnets are usually addressed to someone specific, often a young woman, and often discuss love. They were popular with poets in the early modern era because of their delicate nature, which made them appropriate for delivery by mail.
Shakespeare wrote numerous sonnets, including some for others who asked him to do so. One of these is written on the back of an engraved plate sold by William Shakespeares sister to raise money for the family after her husband's death. The sonnet was probably written for John Young, who married another widow with children to help support herself and her family. The poet praises Young's wife for being a virtuous and wise woman who has helped him write better verses than he would have been able to create on his own.