Captured and brought from Africa to the US in 1761, Wheatley became a house slave for John Wheatley and his wife Susana, who, recognizing Wheatley's intelligence and wit, educated her in English and Latin and encouraged her talent, allowing her to study. As a teen, she began writing poetry modeled on Alexander Pope, and her work was published in the collection Poems on Various Subjects. She is considered the first important African-American writer in the US. Why was she named Phillis?
Back in the day
England's King James II may have been deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but he was not without supporters. These supporters, the Jacobites, spent the next six decades unsuccessfully fighting to restore him—and, later, his descendants—to the throne. Their final major attempt, the Forty-five Rebellion, began auspiciously for the House of Stuart, with a victory at Prestonpans, Scotland. The battle was won in mere minutes. How many casualties did the government troops suffer in that time?
Born on a day like today
McAdam was a Scottish engineer who invented a process called "macadamization." After noting the poor condition of the highways near his estate, he recommended that roads be raised above the adjacent ground for good drainage and then covered, first with large stones then with small stones, and bound with fine gravel. It was perhaps the greatest advance in road construction since Roman times and became known as "tarmac," short for "tarmacadam." What was the first macadam road in North America?