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Philllis Wheatley Discussion Question

In "To His Excellency General Washington," Wheatley refers to America as "Columbia"--a feminized personification of the "land Columbus found." As the Norton anthology points out, Wheatley's use of the term marks its first-known appearance in print. Why might Wheatley have been interested in coining this description of America? How does she describe "Columbia" in her poem? What does the ideal of "Columbia" seem to signify for her?