SOJOURNER TRUTH, lecturer, born in Ulster
county, New York, about 1775; died in Battle Creek, Michigan, 26 November, 1883.
Her parents were owned by Colonel Charles Ardinburgh, of Ulster county, and she
was sold at the age of ten to John J. Dumont. Though she was emancipated by the
act of New York which set at liberty in 1817 all slaves over the age of forty,
she does not appear to have obtained her freedom until 1827, when she escaped
and went to New York city. Subsequently she lived in Northampton, Massachusetts,
and in 1851 began to lecture in western New York, accompanied by George
Thompson, of England, and other Abolitionists, making her headquarters in
Rochester, New York. Subsequently she traveled in various parts of the United
States, lecturing on politics, temperance, and women's rights, and for the
welfare of her race. She could neither read nor write, but, being nearly six
feet in height and possessing a deep and powerful voice, she proved an effective
She carried with her a book that she called "The Book of Life."
containing the autographs of many distinguished persons that were identified
with the anti-slavery movement. Her name was Isabella, but she called herself
"Sojourner," claiming to have heard this name whispered to her
from the Lord. She added the appellation of "Truth" to signify
that she should preach nothing but truth to all men. She spent much time in
Washington, D. C., during the civil war, and passed her last years in Battle
Creek, Michigan, where a small monument was erected near her grave, by
See "Narrative of Sojourner Truth, drawn from her ' Book of Life, '
with Memorial Chapter," by Mrs. Francis W. Titus (Battle Creek, 1884).
June 15, 1855
FREDERICK DOUGLASS' PAPER
Rochester, New York
But let us return to the meetings. We saw Sojourner Truth there;
she made several ineffectual attempts to speak, but while we were there she did
not get an opportunity. We were anxious to hear her, more, however, from
curiosity than anything else, for it is the first time we have had the pleasure
of “laying our eyes on her,” and we had a “woman's curiosity” to hear
what she had to say, as we have so often heard that she has such a store of
“mother wit.” She certainly did very well with her book, for the
abolitionists bought it like fun, and that is the application of the
anti-slavery doctrine that we need so much; let us have the pecuniary
encouragement in which we show ourselves competent. A little pecuniary
assistance is of more practical importance to us than ten thousand resolutions.
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Who was Sojourner Truth? ... Tax-deductible gifts may be made payable to:
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Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). Ain'tIA Woman? Delivered
at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio, 1851 ...
Articles: Truth, Sojourner
... Writer Sojourner Truth Freed from slavery in 1828, Sojourner Truth became
black woman to crusade for abolition. Truth embraced the women s rights ...
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