Born Isabella Baumfree in 1797, she escaped slavery with her daughter in 1826. Until 1806 she lived with her parents as a slave in New York, but when the slave-owner died the family was separated and Sojourner was purchased and sold three times before she ended up in West Park, New York under the ownership of John Dumont.
She was a fierce woman who protected her family. Dumont illegally sold her young son to the south and after she escaped with her infant daughter to where she was legally free, she took the matter to court and was able to save her boy.
She moved to New York City a few years later with her children and worked as a domestic servant to make ends meet. At one point she was implicated in a murder when the cult leader she worked for was also implicated. She successfully brought a slander case against those who accused her and won.
She took of the plight of abolitionism and became Sojourner Truth in 1843 after converting to Methodism.She is most famous for her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” and was as respected as other famous abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. What I love about Sojourner is that she also fought for equality among the sexes (of all colors) and openly chastised the other abolitionists for not considering the rights of black women as well as the men. She was also particularly interested in having the government provide land to freed slaves so they would not be bound to lifetimes of indentured servitude, but she was never able to attain this. She commiserated with other passionate reformers, including Susan B. Anthony and spend her life after slavery trying to improve the lives of others.
She passed in 1883 and while she was able to see the full emancipation of the slaves in her lifetime, she was not long-lived enough to also see women’s suffrage come into existence. Ever passionate, fearless and forward-thinking, Sojourner Truth was truly a magnificent women who made an indelible mark upon history.
Thanks for stopping by!