History Podcasts

John Wheatley

John Wheatley

John Wheatley, the eldest child of Thomas Wheatley, a labourer, and his wife, Johanna Ryan, was born in Bonmahon, Ireland, on 19th May 1869. John had nine brothers and sisters and in 1876 the family moved to Braehead in Lanarkshire. At fourteen, John became a miner like his father.

Wheatley attended St Bridget's Catholic Parish School in Baillieston, where the local church and its priests, were a powerful influence upon him. According to Ian S. Wood: "All his life Catholic beliefs would be a point of reference for his political thinking and activism".

In 1893 Wheatley left the mine and became a publican and later he joined his brother to run a grocery shop in Shettleston, a mining village on the outskirts of Glasgow. The business failed in 1901 but Wheatley, who had been attended evening classes for many years, found work as a reporter for the Glasgow Catholic Observer, a newspaper with an impressive circulation among Catholics of Irish descent in west and central Scotland.

Wheatley was greatly influenced by the teaching and support of his parish priest, Peter Terken. Wheatley read widely including Catholic Socialism, a book written by Francesco Saverio Nitti. In 1906 Wheatley was converted to socialism and formed the Catholic Socialist Society in Glasgow. The following year he joined the Independent Labour Party.

In 1907 Wheatley start a printing business, Hoxton and Walsh. It handled regular Catholic church and Labour Party contracts. He also began publishing political pamphlets. Wheatley wrote a large number of these including How the Miners are Robbed? (1907), The Catholic Workingman (1909) and Miners, Mines and Misery (1909). Wheatley was elected to the Lanarkshire County Council and the Glasgow Corporation. Wheatley's great interest was working class housing and he proposed a scheme for the building municipal cottages instead of tenements in Glasgow.

Wheatley began working closely with other socialists in Glasgow including David Kirkwood, Emanuel Shinwell, James Maxton, William Gallacher, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Jimmie Stewart, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.

Like many socialists Wheatley was opposed to Britain's involvement in the First World War and in August 1914 Wheatley was one of just two of Labour's nineteen Glasgow councillors to oppose Britain's declaration of war on Germany. He helped to create the Glasgow branch of the Union of Democratic Control, which campaigned for a negotiated peace. In 1915 he took a major role in the Glasgow Rent Strike. The following year he played an important role in the fight against conscription.

David Kirkwood argued in his autobiography, My Life of Revolt (1935): "I had never heard a speaker state the case for Socialism with such simplicity and power. I recognized in him a true leader of men. We became friendly, and began the habit, which we maintained for years, of walking together in the country on Saturday afternoons."

In 1920 Labour Party representation on Glasgow Corporation increased to forty-four. Wheatley was now the leading political figure in Glasgow and in the 1922 General Election was one of the ten Labour candidates elected to represent the city in the House of Commons. Others elected included David Kirkwood, Emanuel Shinwell, James Maxton, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Jimmie Stewart, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.

Wheatley was a passionate politician and in June 1923 he was suspended from the House of Commons for calling the Conservative government's proposed cut in grants to child-welfare centres as murder. Ramsay MacDonald disapproved of Wheatley's style, but respected his administrative ability. When MacDonald became Prime Minister in January 1924, he appointed Wheatley as his Minister of Health.

C. F. G. Masterman later recalled: "The house has found a new favourite in Mr. Wheatley, the former revolutionary member for Glasgow, now Minister of Health. He has been the one conspicuous success in the new Parliament. A short, squat, middle-aged man, with a chubby face beaming behind large spectacles. He possesses a perfect Parliamentary manner; a pleasant voice, confidence without arrogance, a quick power of repartee, a capacity of convincing statement, and above all a saving grace of humour."

After one debate in February, Ramsay MacDonald told George V that "Mr. Wheatley's speech was a masterpiece. Quiet and fluent in its delivery, clear in its exposition of facts, logical and precise in its marshalling of arguments, vigorous in defence, humorous and decisive in attack." Wheatley's Housing Act which became law in August 1924, was one of the few achievements of the first Labour Government. The legislation involved developing a partnership between political parties, local authorities and specially appointed committees of building employees and employers. The plan was to build 190,000 new council houses at modest rents in 1925, and that this figure would gradually increase until it reached 450,000 in 1934.

As Ian S. Wood has pointed out: "Wheatley's Housing (Financial Provisions) Act was the only major legislative achievement of the 1924 Labour government. Until its subsidy provisions were repealed by the National Government in 1934, a substantial proportion of all rented local authority housing in Britain was built under its terms and sixty years later there were still people in Scotland who spoke of Wheatley houses. The act was a complex one, bringing together trade unions, building firms, and local authorities in a scheme to tackle a housing shortage which was guaranteed central government funding provided that building standards set by the act were adhered to. The act did little for actual slum clearance but it hugely enhanced Wheatley's reputation despite the loss of a companion measure, the Building Materials Bill, which would have given central government a wide range of controls over supplies of building materials to local councils operating the Housing Act."

On 9th May 1924 H. Wells led a delegation to ask for birth control reforms. The delegation asked for two things: that institutions under Ministry of Health control should give contraceptive advice to those who asked for it; and that doctors at welfare centres should be allowed to offer advice in certain medical cases. As a Roman Catholic Wheatley held strong views on birth control and refused to support this campaign.

Wheatley retained his seat in the 1924 General Election but the Labour Party did badly and the Conservatives formed the next government. Wheatley criticised MacDonald's move to the right and as a result was not appointed to the Labour Government formed after the 1929 General Election.

As Philip Snowden pointed out why Ramsay MacDonald did not ask him to join the government: "During the time we had been in Opposition (1925-29), Wheatley had dissociated himself from his former Cabinet colleagues, and had gone to the back benches into the company of the Clydesiders. In the country, too, he had made speeches attacking his late colleagues. MacDonald was strongly opposed to offering him a post in the new Government. Wheatley had deserted us and insulted us, and MacDonald thought the country would be shocked if he were included in the Cabinet, and it would be taken as evidence of rebel influence." However, Arthur Henderson, disagreed with MacDonald. So did Snowden, who argued: "Arthur Henderson took the view, and I was inclined to agree with him, that it might be better to have him inside than outside. I took this view from my experience of him as a Minister. he was a man who, when free from the responsibility of office, would make extreme speeches; but as a Minister I had always found him to be reasonable and practical."

Wheatley refused to support all the measures proposed by MacDonald's government and led the fight against the National Insurance Act that Margaret Bondfield tried to persuade Parliament to pass. However, Wheatley had lost his influence in the Independent Labour Party and at its conference in January 1930 he was strongly criticized for his attacks on the government.

John Wheatley, who had suffered from high blood-pressure since 1924, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 12th May 1930. His burial at Glasgow's Dalbeth cemetery was the biggest political funeral the city had seen since that of John Maclean.

It was the duty of Catholics to oppose the revolutionary confiscatory anti-religious methods of the early, modern continental socialists. But the methods and aims of the legal evolutionary socialism of Great Britain do not merit opposition. Socialism in Great Britain means substitution of the public - the municipality or the State-ownership for private ownership.

When I first met John Wheatley, he was in trouble. He had declared himself a Socialist and founded the Catholic Socialist Society. This was too much for his co-religionists and their spiritual leaders. There was little they could do. They decided to do the little. They could not burn the heretic, so they made an effigy of him, which they carried through the streets and burnt amid much pious rejoicing at John Wheatley's front gate. He had been warned of the danger of being in the house, for an Irishman under the influence of religious mania, like one under the influence of alcoholic drink, is reckless. To the consternation of the inquisitors, John Wheatley stood with his wife at his open door, smiling at the fanaticism as if it had been fun. The following Sunday morning he appeared at Mass as usual, and the trouble died down.

Now he was a Socialist candidate for the Parish Council, one of the humblest and most useful phases of public service. The rumour ran that the fanatics were going to give him a rough time. Some of us resolved to attend the meeting, ready to hand out fair exchange for anything that was coming. Nothing came. The meeting was orderly and attentive.

I had never heard a speaker state the case for Socialism with such simplicity and power. We became friendly, and began the habit, which we maintained for years, of walking together in the country on Saturday afternoons.

The house has found a new favourite in Mr. He possesses a perfect Parliamentary manner; a pleasant voice, confidence without arrogance, a quick power of repartee, a capacity of convincing statement, and above all a saving grace of humour.

Wheatley's Housing (Financial Provisions) Act was the only major legislative achievement of the 1924 Labour government. The act did little for actual slum clearance but it hugely enhanced Wheatley's reputation despite the loss of a companion measure, the Building Materials Bill, which would have given central government a wide range of controls over supplies of building materials to local councils operating the Housing Act.

There still are people, I suppose, who question the need for a political working-class organisation, people who believe that alliances of employers and employed will solve industrial and political problems. I do not agree with those people.

Conditions bring forth men and movements, and no Labour Movement would have been possible unless conditions had been favourable to its birth. It is equally true that the conditions which called it into being have not changed. The collar on the neck has been eased in places where it hurt most, but the collar remains.

It is a fair assumption that had the Liberal or Conservative Party been willing and able to give the working-class economic security that security would have been given long ago. Each has had lengthy periods of power with majorities capable of carrying any measures it chose, and each has lamentably failed even to bring a decent standard of life to the major portion of the population.

There always will, I suppose, be ground for argument as to whether the Labour Party's programme can bring security to the working-class, but there is no room for argument as to its willingness. Our economic theories may fail, but any party or movement created for no other purpose than the abolition of social injustice is at least entitled to be given credit for the honesty of its intentions. No student of history will dispute the fact that this, and this only, was the reason which animated the minds of those men who first conceived the idea of a great independent political Labour Party. A great deal of the early struggle was doubtless merely undirected revolt against social injustice, and without any preconceived idea as to causes and still less to remedies. History shows one long series of revolts, each apparently quite unconnected with the other, but each, nevertheless, an expression of the same demand for human freedom.

During the time we had been in Opposition (1925-29), Wheatley had dissociated himself from his former Cabinet colleagues, and had gone to the back benches into the company of the Clydesiders. Wheatley had deserted us and insulted us, and MacDonald thought the country would be shocked if he were included in the Cabinet, and it would be taken as evidence of rebel influence. Arthur Henderson took the view, and I was inclined to agree with him, that it might be better to have him inside than outside. he was a man who, when free from the responsibility of office, would make extreme speeches; but as a Minister I had always found him to be reasonable and practical.

The next time he came into more than usual prominence in the House was on the night of the Scottish Estimates. On that occasion he and three Scottish colleagues were suspended for deliberately flouting the authority of the chair. Mr. Maxton had called Sir Frederick Banbury a murderer, and in spite of requests from Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, his own leader, he refused to withdraw. Whilst the commotion was at its height it appeared that Mr. Maxton was wavering, when Mr. Wheatley jumped to his feet, repeated the charge, and told Mr. MacDonald quite plainly that he need not ask him to withdraw. Both Mr. Maxton and Mr. Wheatley were promptly suspended, and the Press let itself loose on the wild men from the Clyde. In point of fact, the men from the Clyde were not so wild. The protest was made deliberately against the fact that that year, as always, the House had treated the Scottish Estimates as of no importance. The four M.P.s went off to Scotland, where they were received as national heroes and martyrs. Huge demonstrations were held in every town in Scotland, and the question of Home Rule for Scotland became for about the first time a live issue in Scottish politics. I can remember the attitude of the older men in the Labour Party during this episode. All of them were quite convinced that these scenes in the House and the revolutionary talk in the country would kill the party, and I can remember one of them who is now in the Cabinet telling me that it would cost the party fifty seats. Curiously enough, Mr. Wheatley's firm belief was that the party would gain seats as a result. His argument was that for the first time in British politics the working-classes could really feel that here was a party that was not prepared to sit quietly in their places and allow the bad old conditions to prevail without some protest. The General Election came in less than six months. and it was then found that, in spite of the scenes, or perhaps because of them, Labour had actually won over fifty seats. Perhaps it is more than a coincidence that the Conservative member, Captain Elliot, who was in charge of the Scottish Estimates, was defeated in what had hitherto been considered a safe Conservative seat. Be that as it may, Mr. Wheatley's actions in the House had stamped him as a man who could not be ignored in politics, and because of that, as I said at the outset, those of us who knew him best were not surprised when he was chosen as a member of the first Labour Cabinet.

James Maxton and I talked of the necessity for carrying on the work that Wheatley had left to our hand but in our hearts we knew that it could not be done. We were the men with whom Wheatley might have built civilization in Britain, but without him - we could only hope to fight on, whatever the consequence might be.

On Maxton's frail shoulders had fallen the sole burden of leadership, and I saw much of him at that time. I have never associated with a kinder, more impeccably honesty, loyal and courageous man; but he is without ambition, has no patience for detail, and a queer philosophy adapted to his inherent laziness which makes him an impossible leader for any movement. His politics are socialist, but his habits of thought and temperament are completely anarchist.


John Wheatley - History

Location: In Grassy Gap six miles northwest of Wise half-mile south of Big Laurel.

Owners: Arthur Wheatley Frank Kilgore Campbell Gardner.

Description: Story and half hewn log house. Lean-to kitchen at back. Faced southwest. Clapboard roof. Porch in front. Chimney at north end. Window in the south end.

History: Arthur (Arter) Wheatley was son of William Wheatley and a brother of John (Jackie) Wheatley who settled on Grassy Branch two miles east of Grassy Gap. He was born in Scott Co., VA and married a daughter
of Samuel Salyer. Came to Rocky Fork about 1830 and settled in Grassy Gap. His daughter, Clarinda, married Frank Kilgore and inherited the home place. After the marriage of his daughter, Clarinda, Arter Wheatley moved to near Rock Switch and settled on what is now known as Wheatley Branch. The Kilgores built a new house just south of the original settlement on Poor House Branch, in 1874, and have since resided there.

Source of Information: Frank Kilgore, Clarinda Kilgore

Location: Four miles northwest of Wise, one mile west of US 23 two hundred yards south of State Road 626 on Rocky Fork of Guest River.

Owners: John (Jackie) Wheatley

Description: Small mill of the undershot wheel type operated by water power and served surrounding settlers.

History: About 1830, John (Jackie) Wheatley came from Scott Co. and bought several hundred acres of land lying on the main Rocky Fork and Greasy Branch, a tributary. There was no mill in this section, the settlers depending on hand mills and mortars to prepare their meal for bread. Wheatley built the first mill in this section on Rocky Fork. Four miles northwest of Wise. A small stream entered the river near his mill, spreading over a bottom, which hindered the settlers in reaching the mill. Wheatley dug a deep ditch about five hundred yards through the bottom to form a channel for the stream and afford a dry road for his customers.
About 1850 John Wheatley gave (or sold this tract) to his son-in-law, James Hamilton, who was killed at Prince's Flats during the Civil War. Hamilton continued to operate the mill until his death, and his widow,
Mary Hamilton, had it operated until she exchanged farms with Felix G. Creech, about 1880, when it was abandoned.
Felix Creech sold this boundary to the Virginia Coal and Iron Company at the close of the 19th century and since that time the tract has been occupied by tenants.
In 1912, James Taylor Adams had a post office established at this place, and Big Laurel office was first operated on the exact spot where the old John Wheatley mill was operated.
There is no sign left of the old mill. Only the oldest people remember when it was in operation.

Source of Information: Patton Kilgore and public records.

Location: Four miles northwest of Wise, three hundred yards off US 23 on state road No. 626.

Owners: John Wheatley bought of Commonwealth. Sold to his son-in-law, James Hamilton. Hamilton's widow sold to Felix Creech and Creech sold to the Virginia Coal & Iron Company.

Description: The original house stood about a hundred yards west of the present structure, and was one- story, hewn log building. Two rooms. Facing the north. Clapboard roof.

History: John Wheatley came from Scott Co., VA. He sold or gave this tract of about 1000 acres to his son-in-law, James Hamilton. Hamilton was killed by Samuel Tyree Salyers at Norton in 1863 during the
Civil War. A few years later, Mary Hamilton, the widow, sold or exchanged this land for property on Indian Creek, and Felix G. Creech became the owner. Creech built the present house about 1875. It faces the road, stream and north. Porch on front. Hewn logs, two stories. Only two windows, in main building,
one up stairs and one down. The kitchen is also of hewn logs and is only one story. It is separated from the main building by a hallway. Brick for chimneys at easy end of house, and south end of kitchen. Brick for
chimneys was burned right on the ground.


February 17, 1927 Birth, Tucson (Ariz.).

1947 Obtained BS in Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder (Colo.).

1952 Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (Pa.).

1952 – 1966 Instructor to Professor of Physics (1952-1966) and Member, Center for Advanced Study (1965-1966), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana (Ill.).

1954 – 1955 Guggenheim Fellow, University of Leiden.

1966 – 1981 Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

1975 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1980 – 1981 Guggenheim Fellow, University of Leiden.

1981 – 1986 Researcher (1981-1985) and UCLA-Los Alamos Joint Fellow (1985-1986), Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1985 – 1986 Professor of Physics and President's Chair, University of California, Los Angeles.


Horses with a History

If you’re looking for a more successful, proven, long-term team roping horse program than the one put together decades ago by David Gill, Joe Murray, and Jim Wheatley—good luck with that. The “Horses with a History” way of breeding, breaking, and training talented team roping mounts is tried, true, and trusted by ropers at every level of the game. And on top of great horses, these three National Finals Rodeo ropers’ gold-standard reputations have stood quite the test of time.

Gill, Murray, and Wheatley all come from foundation ranching and cowboy families in California. The Gills started raising horses—heavy on the Driftwood and Hancock bloodlines�k in the 1940s. The family is now four generations deep in cattlemen, and has been running cattle in the country around Madera, Exeter, Porterville, and Gustine since the 1900s.

“My dad (Will Gill Jr.) bought an own son of Driftwood,” said David Gill, 69, who roped at the 1985 NFR with Jim Petersen. �sy Keeper was a 7/8 brother to (Dale Smith’s ProRodeo Hall of Fame rope horse) Poker Chip. Along the way, our cousins owned Pelican, a Quarter Horse they used to match race all the time that could beat the Thoroughbreds. Pelican was a Joe Hancock-bred horse. We ended up with Pelican, and started crossing him with our Easy Keepers. That’s what got our program going.”

1948 The legendary Pelican winning another race in Arizona for Gill Cattle Company. 

The gargantuan Will Gill & Sons horse and cattle operation included David’s dad (one of the sons from the name of the outfit Will Gill Sr. was David’s grandfather), Will Jr., who won the Oakdale 10 Steer Roping and about everything else there was to win back in the day. Will Jr.’s brothers included David’s Uncle Ernest, who was the 1945 world champion team roper, and Uncle Ralph. A lot of the late, great, old-school cowboys, including 1951 World Champion Team Roper Olan Sims and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Clay Carr—who won world all-around titles in 1930 and �, steer roping gold buckles in 1930 and �, and the world saddle bronc riding championship in 1930—lived and worked on the Gill Ranch, and rode Gill horses.

The first Horses with a History Sale happened in 2001. The sale has since been held every other October—in 2017 at the Gill family’s historic Adobe Ranch in Madera—with the next one slated for the fall of 2019. David’s Madera-based immediate family also includes his wife, Creatia, and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roper son, Landon.

1976 Jim Wheatley turns one on his great mare Grey Box for John Bill Rodriguez at the 1976 NFR.

“What got us going with the sale is Joe and Jim both started buying and riding horses from us, and built their programs off of our program,” David said. “Joe bought (stud) Blue Light Ike from us, and we raised Frostys Tops (who was a Pelican grandson), which was Gilbert Reynolds’ sorrel stud Jim trained and won so much on. One of the reasons we had that first sale was that I was wanting to cut back from the 40 mares I had at the time. It was a performance and production sale, and also a reduction sale for me.”

So many greats have won a ton on horses from the Gill-Murray-Wheatley horse herds. There was a horse they called Cadillac, who was a half-brother to Frostys Tops, that Tee Woolman and Jake Barnes rode regularly when competing on the West Coast during their primes.

In fact, Jake rode Cadillac on the last three steers at the Finals in 1985, the year he and Clay O𠆛rien Cooper won their first of seven world team roping titles. Hall of Fame team ropers Jimmy Rodriguez and John Miller won world championships riding horses from these same bloodlines. Derrick Begay’s good sorrel horse, Swagger, who won the Head Horse of the BFI award one year, is a grandson of Frostys Tops.

1985 David Gill heeling a steer for Jim Petersen at the 1985 NFR. 

Murray, 68, and Wheatley, 72, have been buddies since they were basically boys. Murray’s mom, Dorothy, was a sister to World Champion Team Ropers Vern and Vic Castro, who won the world roping together in 1942—Vern struck for a second gold buckle in 1955. Vic gave Joe and Jim a job at which they rode side by side from sunup to sunset for several years.

“Jim and I worked for my Uncle Vic, cowboying at his ranch in Oakdale,” said Murray, who still lives there in the original Cowboy Capital of the World with his wife, Cathy, and has two sons, Troy and Lane, who also rope. Murray headed at three straight NFRs𠅏or Gary Gist in 1976, Rickey Green in 1977, and Gary Hemsted in 1978. “Jim and I took care of several thousand head of cattle a season. There was a time then that I was heading for Jim’s brother, John, at the amateur rodeos, too. So I go way back with the Wheatleys. I didn’t meet David until about 1976. He water-skied when he was young.”

Yes, Gill was an all-around daredevil in his youth.

“I cowboyed all my life, and worked in the feedlot most of the time,” David said. 𠇋ut I didn’t care much about roping until I was about 25. I was more into racing go carts, dirt bikes, and drag boats. Then some of the guys at the feedlot talked me into going to a little, old nickel jackpot with them, I won a little money, and the rest is history.

𠇊 cowboy who was a really good hand and working here at the ranch, Tom Harsh, helped me a lot with my roping, as did guys like Ron Goodrich, John Miller, and Tom Flenniken. Tom was teaching school in Chowchilla, and would come over and turn me steers every evening. He taught me how to win, and got me over the top.”

Wheatley’s a six-time NFR header, as is son Wade. Jim roped at the Finals from 1973-76 with John Bill Rodriguez, who’s Jimmy’s brother and in 1978 and � with the late Stan Melshaw.

1987 Joe Murray spins a steer on Blue Light Ike for Sam Williams, who was riding a son of Blue Light Ike.

“My dad (John Wheatley Sr., who roped with one arm—reins in his teeth�ter losing the other one to a hunting accident in his youth) started raising horses in 1954,” said Wheatley, who lives in Hughson, California, and with wife Terry also has a daughter, Katie. “He started out with one mare, Rubia Linda, and just about all the horses we raise go back to her. One year at the NFR in the seventies, there were three horses out of her—ridden by me, Jim Rodriguez, and John Deaton.

“We had our own line of horses, and then I started crossing them with some of David’s bloodlines. We’re raising the kind of horses we like to ride—good looking, athletic horses with good dispositions that you can ride to gather your cows, brand the calves on, then take them to the roping or rodeo and compete on at the highest level.

“The horses Wade and I rode at the Finals were horses we raised (Wade’s renowned palomino horse, Woody, was out of a Frostys Tops mare and his good sorrel horse Biscuit was by Frostys Tops). When I was riding Frostys Tops, Tee rode him at the Finals. I’ve had 14 horses I’ve raised and/or trained ridden at the Finals by guys like Tee, Jake, Bobby Hurley, and Walt Rodman.”

Murray’s World Champion Team Roper uncles rode Driftwood horses throughout their legendary careers, and that strong influence has been handed down like a family heirloom.

“The horses David, Jim, and I are raising all go back to proven bloodlines from way back,” Joe said. “These horses have had a lot of success for many, many years, and it makes me proud that they’re still the kind of horses you can go win on today. They really are Horses with a History, they’re very trainable, and they’re made to be good at their job.

“We were all old friends and NFR team ropers raising like-kinded horses for ourselves and our kids. When we got to where we had more than we needed for our families, we decided to get together to offer them to the public. Our goal is to raise a higher-level rodeo and jackpot-type horse that you can use on the ranch during the week, like they did 60 years ago. We’ve stuck with what we started with, because we’ve had quite a bit of luck with these horses over the years. They’re bigger boned and better footed than the average horse. They’re built to rope on.”

Murray mentioned a few more four-footed success stories out of this line of horses, including Spencer Mitchell riding one at the 2012 NFR. David raised Doyle Gellerman’s good bay horse Badger. Cody Cowden’s superstar bay horse Shot was by Murray’s stud Blue Light Ike (who Murray bought from Gill as a baby colt, and is out of a Frostys Tops mare who was a double-bred Lucky Blanton) and out of a Frostys Tops daughter.

And this success story is not limited to team roping horses. Both of reigning World Champion Barrel Racer Nellie Williams Miller’s NFR horses, Blue Duck and Sister, are out of a mare her dad, Sam Williams, calls Reba, who’s a daughter of Murray’s Blue Light Ike. Sister showed her true grit yet again in July by winning Cheyenne in a hail storm. Levi Rudd also won the steer wrestling at the 2018 Daddy of 𠆞m All riding a horse out of Murray’s stud that was sold at the 2017 Horses with a History Sale, and is now owned by hazer Jeff Green.

Barrie Beach Smith has had a lot of success over the years at the barrel futurities riding Gill-branded horses, as has her World Champion Heeler husband, Brad Smith. Barrie and Brad’s son, Sterling Smith, has made the NFR riding Gill-bred horses in the tie-down roping.

“It’s all about getting good horses into good hands,” Gill said. “You can breed and break them right, but if you put the best horse in the world into the wrong hands, they’ll be just another hay-burning plug. It’s all about who does what with horses to give them the best chance to succeed. I’m not saying our horses are better than everybody else’s horses, but we do try to do right by them, and do what’s best for them. Bringing horses along slowly is a big key. Patience and taking the time to let them progress at their own pace is very important.

2001 Jim Wheatley branding on his great stud Trapper Bar Drop. 

“We all ranch on these horses, which puts such a strong foundation on them. We use them, and we cowboy on them before we take them to the arena. Ninety percent of rodeo horses today are just arena broke. But giving them a job besides just running steers or barrels is better for their minds. Our horses enjoy getting out there on the ranch, and so do we.”

Gill starts his 2-year-olds, then turns them out until they’re 3. Then he and son Landon ranch on them awhile before they ever see the inside of an arena.

“I like a well-muscled horse with good bone and good feet, with a nice, big hip,” Gill said. “We’ve tried to class up our horses over the years, because everybody wants to ride a good looking horse now. The old Pelicans were ugly. We like our horses to have a lot of cow, ample speed, and intensity, and the mind to handle it. When you’re talking specifically about team roping horses, we want a horse that scores and finishes, and can take the pressure.

“It’s important to me to have a horse that’s really willing, and enjoyable to train. Those horses learn fast, and you don’t have to slug it out with them. Horses who like their jobs are a lot more likely to fit the next guy who rides them, too. I sell a lot of horses to businessmen who rope at World Series ropings. Those guys can win so much money. Horses I’ve raised and trained have won the Perry Di Loreto (now the Reno Million John Paboojian won it one year on a horse David raised and Jim trained) and the BFI (Rocky Carpenter won it with Tom Flenniken Jr. in 1990), and $100,000 at the World Series Finale in Vegas.”

As is the case with the Gills and the Wheatleys, the Murray family is all hands on deck with their horse program. Joe halter breaks all the babies himself, and from there, everyone saddles up. They stand three studs�h with his own story on how he ties back to this bloodline—including Four Gill, Espuela Tom, and Azultis. Like Murray’s old Blue Light Ike horse, Espuela Tom is out of a double-bred Lucky Blanton mare. Azultis, which means “little blue,” is out of a half-sister to Sam Williams’s mare Reba, who, again, has blessed Nellie so richly in the barrel racing arena. Four Gill was raised by the Haythorn Land and Cattle Company in Arthur, Nebraska, and when the Haythorns sold out, the Murrays made the trek to Arthur, because Four Gill was the only full brother to Blue Light Ike who was still a stallion.

This Horses with a History program—which offers horses ranging 𠇏rom weanlings to finished jackpot and rodeo horses you can go win money on” at the biennial sale—is based on a bond of trust and respect. And though their herds get a little smaller as these living-legend cowboys get a little older�vid’s down to 10 mares and three studs, Joe has 22 mares in addition to his three studs, and Jim’s cut his herd back to five mares—that bond goes for both the humans and the horses. Quality has never been sacrificed for quantity, and𠅋ottom line—these are good horses in good hands.


Struggles in Later Life

Wheatley had traveled to London to promote her poems and received medical treatment for a health ailment that she had been battling. After her return to Boston, Wheatley&aposs life changed significantly. While ultimately freed from slavery, she was devastated by the deaths of several Wheatley family members, including Susanna (d. 1774) and John (d. 1778).

In 1778, Wheatley married a free African American from Boston, John Peters, with whom she had three children, all of whom died in infancy. Their marriage proved to be a struggle, with the couple battling constant poverty. Ultimately, Wheatley was forced to find work as a maid in a boarding house and lived in squalid, horrifying conditions. 

Wheatley did continue to write, but the growing tensions with the British and, ultimately, the Revolutionary War, weakened enthusiasm for her poems. While she contacted various publishers, she was unsuccessful in finding support for a second volume of poetry.


John Wheatleigh

John Wheatleigh, Esq. of Tingsboro, Somerset, 1) May 31, 1547, m Dorothy Willoughby of Derbyshire, youngest daughter of Arctic explorer, Hugh Willoughby.

She probably died before 1609, for no mention is made of her in his will. He was one of the 164 gentlemen and sailors who accompanied Sir Francis Drake on his free booting expedition to Spanish America and around the world, home via Cape of Good Hope, arriving at Plymouth November 1580.

"Will of John "Wheatleigh Esq.. of Tingsboro, filed at Carew, P. C. C. and dated May 7, 1609, is as follows:

The chain of gold dsposed of my father. John Wheatley V will, shall succeed to our heirs. 'I'n my four younger sons, Israel, Samuel, Philip and Andrew during their lives each ꍐ by the year, out of the rents of Lindenboro and Glenolden.

To my daughters Elizabeth, Mary and Margery 򣠀, to be raised out of the rents of my manors, Sidglen and Maiden Newton. To my daughter Mary, her mother's wedding ring.

To my brother, Frank Wheatleigh, the remission of a tenement in Maiden Newton. To my brother, Samuel Wheatleigh, the continuation for life of the living at Tingsboro. To my cousin, Edmund AVingate, my books on law and mathematics.

Nathaniel my son and heir executor. John Skinner, clerk.

John Wheatleigh, Esq. of Tingsboro, Somerset, 1) May 31, 1547, m Dorothy Willoughby of Derbyshire, youngest daughter of Arctic explorer, Hugh Willoughby.

She probably died before 1609, for no mention is made of her in his will. He was one of the 164 gentlemen and sailors who accompanied Sir Francis Drake on his free booting expedition to Spanish America and around the world, home via Cape of Good Hope, arriving at Plymouth November 1580.

"Will of John "Wheatleigh Esq.. of Tingsboro, filed at Carew, P. C. C. and dated May 7, 1609, is as follows:

The chain of gold dsposed of my father. John Wheatley V will, shall succeed to our heirs. 'I'n my four younger sons, Israel, Samuel, Philip and Andrew during their lives each ꍐ by the year, out of the rents of Lindenboro and Glenolden.

To my daughters Elizabeth, Mary and Margery 򣠀, to be raised out of the rents of my manors, Sidglen and Maiden Newton. To my daughter Mary, her mother's wedding ring.

To my brother, Frank Wheatleigh, the remission of a tenement in Maiden Newton. To my brother, Samuel Wheatleigh, the continuation for life of the living at Tingsboro. To my cousin, Edmund AVingate, my books on law and mathematics.

Nathaniel my son and heir executor. John Skinner, clerk.

Sources 1.Hannibal P. (Hannibal Parish) Wheatley. Genealogy of the Wheatley or Wheatleigh family. A history of the family in England and America .. online. (page 1 of 11)


Descendants of John Wheatley and Elizabeth Wright

Note: the names of persons born after 1900 are not shown.

John Wheatley (1758-1840) m. Elizabeth Wright (1764-1828)

  • 1 Mary Wheatley (1785-?)
  • 2 Mary Wheatley (1786-?)
  • 3 Frances Wheatley (1788-?)
  • 4 William Wheatley (1792-?)
  • 5 Alfred Wheatley (1794-?) m. Martha (c.1805-?)
    • 5.1 Joseph Wheatley (c.1831-1903)
    • 5.2 Elizabeth Wheatley (c.1833-?)
    • 6.1 Rachael Ann Wheatley (1825-?) m. William T. Forsyth (c.1823-?)
      • 6.1.1 William Forsyth (c.1852-?) m. Frances Dandas Priestley (1852-?)
      • 6.1.2 John Wheatley Forsyth (?-1859)
      • 6.1.3 James Forsyth (c.1857-?)
      • 6.1.4 Francis Forsyth (c.1858-?)
      • 6.1.5 Mame (c.1860-?) m. Edwin Musser Herr (c.1860-c.1932)
      • 6.1.6 Katherine Forsyth (c.1862-1893) m. Edwin Musser Herr (c.1860-c.1932)
      • 6.1.7 Bessie (c.1864-c.1872)
      • 6.2.1 William Edwin Wheatley (1859-1859)
      • 6.2.2 John Wright Wheatley (1861-1931) m. Mary Helen Vandevander (?-?)
        • 6.2.2.1 Ricarda Elizabeth Wheatley (1887-?) m. George Allen Bacchus (?-?)
          • 6.2.2.1.1 private
            • 6.2.2.1.1.1 private
            • 6.2.2.1.1.2 private
            • 6.2.2.2.1 private
              • 6.2.2.2.1.1 private
                • 6.2.2.2.1.1.1 private
                • 6.2.2.2.1.1.2 private
                • 6.2.2.2.1.2.1 private
                • 6.2.2.2.2.1 private
                • 6.2.4.1 Richard Bishop (1897-1898)
                • 6.2.7.1 Frances Harriet Williams (1899-1962) m. Robert Cedric Binkley (1897-1940)
                  • 6.2.7.1.1 private
                  • 6.2.7.1.2 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.2.1 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.2.2 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.2.3 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.2.4 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.3.1 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.3.2 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.3.3 private
                    • 6.2.7.1.3.4 private
                    • 6.2.7.3.1 private
                    • 6.2.7.5.1 private
                    • 6.2.7.5.2 private
                    • 6.2.7.5.3 private
                    • 6.2.9.1 private
                    • 6.4.1 Callie D. Wheatley (?-1903) m. Cliff Smith (?-?)
                    • 6.4.2 John Wheatley (?-?) m. Emma Prince (?-?)
                    • 6.4.3 George Wheatley (?-?) m. Mag Gallaway (?-?)
                      • 6.4.3.1 May Wheatley (?-?)
                      • 6.4.4.1 John Huntington Wheatley (?-?)
                      • 6.4.4.2 Charles Wheatley (?-?)
                      • 6.5.1 Flora Maxwell Wheatley (1872-?) m. George Williams Bacot (1862-?)
                        • 6.5.1.1 Louise Bacot (?-1930)
                        • 6.5.1.2 Flora Bacot (?-?) m. Willard Foster (?-?)
                          • 6.5.1.2.1 private
                          • 6.5.1.2.2 private
                          • 6.5.3.1 private
                          • 6.5.3.2 private
                          • 6.6.1 Jessie Coursen (?-?)
                          • 6.7.1 Walter Wheatley (?-?)
                          • 6.7.2 Alice Wheatley (?-?)
                          • 6.7.3 Elizabeth Kendrick Wheatley (?-1936) m. Charlesworth Hunter (?-?)
                          • 8.1 Catherine Wheatley (1833-?)
                          • 8.2 Mary Harriet Wheatley (1842-?) m. Abraham Stewart (?-?)

                          Wisdom Higher Than a Fool Can Reach: The Amazing Life of Poetess Phillis Wheatley

                          Phillis Wheatley was an amazing and intriguing woman who became a famous and noteworthy poetess in the latter eighteenth century. And what is most intriguing is that in an age of slavery and discrimination she was black. Here, Christopher Benedict tells her story…

                          The frontispiece to Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects.

                          On Being Brought from Africa to America

                          “Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,

                          Taught my benighted soul to understand

                          That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too,

                          Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.

                          Some view our sable race with scornful eye,

                          ‘Their colour is a diabolical die.’

                          Remember, Christians, Negroes black as Cain,

                          May be refin’d and join th’ angelic train”

                          This eight line poem was written in 1768 by a young woman of fourteen named Phillis Wheatley. That it, and some 145 others she composed, would alternately subject her to the chaotic complexities of renown and acclaim, the attention of British nobility and America’s Founding Fathers, a tribunal before Boston’s most esteemed magistrates, ministers, and men of letters, not to mention the dismissive scorn of later, more enlightened and less subordinate generations can be best understood by taking the very nature of her blurred identity into consideration.

                          Her forename was gleaned from Timothy Finch’s schooner the Phillis, which deposited the seven year-old “slender, frail female child” on the Boston wharf at Beach Street on July 11, 1761 after plundering Guinea’s Isles de Los, Sierra Leone, and Senegal (where she is believed to have lived) of its inhabitants for use as human merchandise in America’s slave trade. The assignation of Phillis’ last name would result from her having been purchased, sickly and nearly naked but for a bit of soiled carpet, by Susanna Wheatley “for a trifle” (fewer than £10) to serve as housemaid.

                          The home, owned by affluent tailor and merchant John Wheatley, was located near Massachusetts’ original State House and within easy earshot, in years soon to come, of the Stamp Act riots and later the Boston Massacre, claiming the life of the Revolution’s first known black martyr Crispus Attucks, which Phillis would document in verse with On the Affray in King Street, on the Evening of the 5th of March, 1770.

                          Phillis achieved literacy through a combination of Susanna’s encouragement, the tutelage of the Wheatley’s teenaged children Nathaniel and Mary, and Phillis’ own natural desire for extracting sustenance from their English, Latin, Greek, and biblical lessons with an insatiable hunger for knowledge.

                          Such an impression did Phillis make on John Wheatley that he attested to her phenomenal scholarly advancement, noting that, “she, in sixteen months’ time from her arrival, attained the English language, to which she was an utter stranger before” and “as to her writing, her own curiosity led to it.”

                          In 1765, she had already committed to paper her first poem, To the University of Cambridge in New England, and had another, On Messrs Hussey and Coffin, submitted by Susanna to the Newport Mercury, published only two years later, the first by a black woman in America.

                          Susanna, who by this time had excused Phillis from her previously appointed chores to perfect her chosen craft, would facilitate the collection of her early works into a proposed book containing 28 titles through advertisements that ran through the February to April 1772 editions of the Boston Censor, a Tory newspaper. Owing to the popular misapprehension that a simple slave girl could have been in no way responsible for these supposedly original creations, few offers for the requested 300 subscriptions to fund the project came forth.

                          “I cease to wonder, and no more attempt

                          Thine height t’ explore, or fathom thy profound

                          But, O my soul, sink not into despair,

                          Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand

                          Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head”

                          It is impossible to imagine the emotional state of Phillis, not yet twenty years old, only a little more than half of which had been spent as a kidnapped stranger in a strange land and even fewer familiar with its linguistic peculiarities, being asked to appear before a committee of eighteen of the colony’s most prestigious citizens to verify the authenticity of her writings and, in essence, become a spokesperson (quite literally) of her entire race.

                          In October 1772, at the urging of John Wheatley, Phillis was interrogated at length (most likely at Boston’s Town Hall) by an assemblage which included among its celebrated quilled pens and powdered wigs, those of Governor Thomas Hutchinson, Lieutenant-Governor Andrew Oliver, John Hancock, James Bowdoin, Joseph Green, and the Reverends Charles Chauncy, Samuel Cooper, and Samuel Mather (son of Cotton Mather, who played a fringe role in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials).

                          Though there is no surviving transcript with which to flesh out the details of how they arrived at their conclusion, the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all present, to the degree that when Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was finally published the following year, Phillis’ book was printed with the following testimonial, bearing the signatures of all eighteen of her questioners:

                          We whose Names are under-written, do assure the World, that the Poems specified in the following Page, were (as we verily believe) written by Phillis, a young Negro Girl, who was but a few Years since, brought an uncultivated Barbarian from Africa, and has ever since been, and now is, under the Disadvantage of serving as a Slave in a Family in this Town. She has been examined by some of the best Judges, and is thought qualified to write them.

                          With skepticism rampant throughout the colonies, Susanna had gotten a copy of the manuscript in the hands of London publisher Archibald Bell by employing as a courier the captain of her husband John’s England-bound commercial trade ship. Phillis had already established a readership across the Atlantic thanks to the success of the widespread 1770 publication of On the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, her requiem for the recently deceased evangelical preacher, beloved both in the United Kingdom and its colonies. She would soon be accepted and treated as a celebrity, rubbing shoulders with royalty, having accolades and gifts heaped upon her by icons even in their own time and whose books today line our shelves and whose portraits adorn our currency.

                          An Hymn to the Evening

                          “Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr’s wing,

                          Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.

                          Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes,

                          And through the air, their mingled music floats.”

                          So that she could personally supervise the publication of her book, Susanna sent Phillis, chaperoned by the Wheatley’s son Nathaniel, to London whereupon she was squired about town to see the sights, including a tour of the Tower of London with Granville Sharp, one of the first English abolitionists.

                          She was received by the Earl of Dartmouth, who gave her the five guineas necessary to purchase the collected works of Alexander Pope, and was presented with a folio edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost by one-day Lord Mayor Brook Watson.

                          Even Benjamin Franklin, who was in London grieving the case for peaceful independence on behalf of the American colonies before the classes of the British citizenry, from the highest to most humble, deviated from his schedule of oratory and article writing to spend time with Phillis. She thought highly enough of him that she intended to dedicate her next book to the bespectacled diplomat.

                          A momentous meeting with King George III, for whom she had written To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty in 1766 following his repeal of the Stamp Act, unfortunately did not occur as Susanna Wheatley’s health suffered a sudden decline, necessitating the immediate return of Phillis and Nathaniel. Susanna improved physically (for the time being) and, though Phillis would continue to live with them, she and John emancipated her shortly after her abrupt homecoming. A shipment of her books arrived at the New Haven customs office from London which she solicited by subscription, even imploring local publishers not to use them as a template from which to print and distribute copies of their own and, thus, undercutting her independent endeavor.

                          As heady as 1773 was for Phillis, the following year would prove just as sobering, bringing as it did the British occupation of Boston, the death of Susanna, and the resulting grief-stricken flight of John to points unknown. Phillis left for a time as well, living with the Wheatley’s daughter Mary and her husband in Providence until just before the Redcoats had been driven out of Boston.

                          A handwritten letter was sent by Phillis in October 1775 to Continental Army headquarters in Cambridge, MA addressed to the subject of her poem His Excellency General Washington, a copy of which was enclosed, “though I am not insensible of its inaccuracies”.

                          Four months later arrived a personal reply wherein George Washington apologized for “the seeming but not real neglect” of his delayed response while self-deprecatingly worrying over “however undeserving I may be of such encomium and panegyric”. His effusive praise is augmented by an invitation for Phillis to call upon him, adding that “I shall be so happy to see a person so favored by the Muses”.

                          She did, weeks later, journey to from Boston to Cambridge where the General and his officers lavished their attentions upon her and Washington pledged to reprint her poem, a promise he made good on when it appeared in the March 1776 Virginia Gazette. Thomas Paine followed suit, publishing her ode to General Washington in the April edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette.

                          An Hymn to the Morning

                          “Ye shady groves, your verdant gloom display

                          To shield your poet from the burning day,

                          Calliope awake the sacred lyre,

                          While thy sisters fan the pleasing fire.”

                          Voltaire lent his endorsement to Phillis Wheatley’s work and she was sent a package from John Paul Jones, just prior to his embarking for Paris aboard the warship Ranger, containing praise of her writing along with hand selected copies of his own.

                          Francois, the Marquis de Barbe-Marbois, whose request for statistical information on the American colonies inspired Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, had read Phillis’ verses, “in which there is imagination, poetry, and zeal”.

                          Jefferson, a slaveholding Francophile who would later be lionized by no less than Frederick Douglass, bristled at this praise being accorded the talents of an indentured servant (a black one, anyway-and heaven forbid, a woman - as he pointedly excused from the conversation former European slaves and prisoners Epictetus, Terence, and Phaedrus) who could never qualify as the white man’s cerebral equal.

                          Misery is often the parent of the most affecting touches in poetry. Religion, indeed, has produced a Phillis Whatley (his spelling), but it could not produce a poet.

                          She is thereby reduced to a functional automaton capable of reading and, perhaps, comprehending Milton and Pope, the Athenians and Romans, but, creatively, of no better than their soulless mimicry.

                          Blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances,” supposed Jefferson’s vile but not unoriginal claim, “are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.

                          It is noteworthy, illustrates Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard professor and author of The Trials of Phillis Wheatley, that “Wheatley’s freedom enslaved her to a life of hardship.” Fame brought no fortune to Phillis, who married John Peters, a free black man whom Gates describes as a “small-time grocer and sometime lawyer”, in 1778. Their years together were ones of financial and personal strife compounded by the deaths of two infants and the failures of Peters’ business ventures, landing him in debtor’s prison and stranding Phillis at home with another unwell child.

                          Although a handful of New England newspapers did publish some of her last poems, she was unable to gather subscriptions sufficient to cover the printing costs of her second book and, to add to her humiliation, was forced to take work as a scullery maid.

                          Phillis Wheatley, only thirty years old, died on December 5, 1784 and was followed a little over three hours later by her infant son. Her own widowed husband was the first to soil her literary legacy by selling the only copy of her manuscript, which to this day has never been found.

                          Her reputation was called severely into question by black radicals during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s, when Wheatley was denigrated as “an early Boston Aunt Jemima”, “a colonial handkerchief head”, and reflective of “the nigger component of the Black Experience”.

                          The spark of this controversy ignited a contemporary reevaluation of her life, beliefs, and writings. Although her prestige is still open to debate and her physical remains are in an unmarked grave somewhere in Boston, Phillis Wheatley was selected in 1993 for inclusion in the Boston Women’s Memorial on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall along with Abigail Adams and Lucy Stone, whose bronze sculptures thoughtfully consider one another from a triangular formation.


                          Phillis Wheatley (1754-1784)


                          Enslaved in Senegal [in a region that is now in Gambia] at age eight and brought to America on a schooner called the Phillis (for which she was apparently named), was purchased by Susannah and John Wheatley, who soon recognized her intellect and facility with language. Susannah Wheatley taught Phillis to read not only English but some Latin. While yet in her teens, Phillis Wheatley became the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry, and the third woman in the American colonies to do so. That book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, became controversial twice.

                          Wheatley was alive to defend herself during the first controversy in 1772, when she was summoned before an august group of white Bostonians to prove that she had actually composed her poetry, since common thought of the day denied the possibility of intellectual or aesthetic gifts in Africans. The second time Wheatley and her poetry became controversial was during the 1960s, when her blithe and sometimes glorified treatment of slavery was identified as a hindrance to historical truth and to the Civil Rights Movement. One poem in particular brought Wheatley into a shadowy view: “On Being Brought from Africa to America.” In the poem, she speaks of the “pagan land” of her birth and her “benighted soul” which was saved when was enslaved. Echoing common folklore of the day which held that Africans were the seed of Cain, Wheatley’s poem says, “Remember, Christians, Negroes black as Cain / May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.”

                          Although she remains a controversial figure among African American writers, the significance of her place in American history is uncontested. Phillis Wheatley met or received correspondence from the most famous leaders of the American Revolution, including John Paul Jones, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. (Thomas Jefferson was aware but dismissive of Wheatley’s work.) She remains the matriarch of African American literature, and was certainly the most famous African American woman of her day.

                          Wheatley was emancipated after the publication of her first book of poetry. She married John Peters, a free black grocer who ultimately abandoned her. They had three children, but all three died in infancy, the last just a few hours after Wheatley’s own death at age 31.

                          Wheatley had completed and tried to publish a second book of poetry by the time she died, but failed to find enough subscribers. Although her work would later be resurrected by abolitionists of the Nineteenth Century, Phillis Wheatley died in a poor dwelling, having fallen from the heights of fame as a poet to the depths of poverty, employed as a seamstress and a common servant.


                          Catalogue description WHEATLEY, Dora: Murder of John WHEATLEY (son)

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                          WHEATLEY, Dora: Murder of John WHEATLEY (son)

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                          Watch the video: Meet The Faculty: Episode 7: Professor Jon Wheatley (December 2021).