One of the earliest writings of Jupiter Hammon, the first African-American poet to be published, has been found. Born into slavery in Long Island, New York, he was allowed to explore his master’s library. Hammon went on to publish his first work, “An Evening Thought,” in 1760.
Julie McCown, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington, was researching several libraries for a particular poem and found success at Manuscripts and Archives at Yale University Library in Connecticut. The poem, published in 1786, is telling of Hammon’s evolved thoughts on slavery in America, according to Cedrick May, a UTA professor.