Phillis Wheatley, Revolutionary Poet
April 23, 2014
Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was born in West Africa and sold as a slave to the Boston family of John Wheatley in 1761. Phillis was treated kindly by the Wheatleys who recognized her intellectual potential and educated her in the classics, highly unusual for a slave in the 18th century. She gained celebrity and earned freedom as one of early America’s foremost poets, only to die in poverty at age 31. Click here to learn more about Phillis Wheatley and read some of her poems.
At 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 23rd in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library, Historian John Stauffer will tell the story of Phillis Wheatley’s life and describe the revolutionary nature of her poetry which envisioned a nation that lived up to its founding ideals. This program is co-sponsored by the Belmont Historical Society, Belmont Against Racism, and the Belmont Human Rights Commission as part of this year’s “One Book One Belmont” program built around Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution. John Stauffer is Professor of English, American Studies, and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of 11 books including two national bestsellers: GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln (2008) and State of Jones (2009), co-authored with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins.
Recognizing Belmont’s Historic Homes:
Historic House Plaque Program
May 14, 2014
This final meeting of the 2013-2014 year will be the Belmont Historical Society’s annual meeting that includes the election of Officers and Directors for the coming year. In addition, the winners of the David R. Johnson Preservation Awards for 2014 will be announced.
The featured presentation will be given by Joe Cornish who will describe the Society’s newly-launched Historic House Plaque Program. Joe will explain the process of how property owners may obtain plaques along with tips for researching the history of historic properties in town. Joe is a past president of the Belmont Historical Society, serves on the society’s board as the Wellington Station Master, and is co-chair of the Belmont Historic District Commission. Joe is also the president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and has been employed by Historic New England since 1998 where he oversees the organization’s preservation easement program.