University buys Phyllis Wheatley first edition

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A first edition book by 18th-century writer Phillis Wheatley, who published her first poem when she was 13, was acquired by the University of South Carolina.

There are roughly 100 first editions of Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," Patrick Scott, director of rare books and special collections at the university's Thomas Cooper Library, said Thursday.

Wheatley, who was born in 1753 in Africa, was kidnapped by slave traders and sold on the auction block when she was 7 to a prosperous white Boston family. She learned English in about a year and a half.

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