Sojourner Truth

An Abolitionist Before, During, and After the Civil War

Brief Biography

Originally born Isabella Baumfree in c. 1797, Belle, as she was nicknamed, was one of around 12 children born to James and Elizabeth.

In 1817, Mr. Dumont, her owner, swayed her to marry a slave he owned named Thomas. With him she produced a son, Peter, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia.

In 1826 she escaped with her youngest daughter, Sophia. She went to court to get her son back, for he had been illegally sold to an owner in Alabama, and eventually won the court case.

On June 1, 1843, Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth.

In 1844, Sojourner joined a group dedicated to abolishing slavery, and met the likes of William Lloyd Garrison, David Ruggles, and Frederick Douglas.

In 1846 she wrote a memoir titled The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, with a preface by William Lloyd Garrison.

In October 1851, she gave her famous speech, "Ain't I a Woman?".

In 1867, she created a program to help ex-slaves start new lives. She asked Congress for help but they declined.

On November 26, 1883, Truth died at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Strategies/Tactics/Tools She Used:

Speeches - Sojourner spoke out about a wide range of things such as Capitol Punishment, Women's Rights, Race Relations, Temperance, and many others.

Writing - One of the biggest ways she got her point across was through her memoir. Although she was unable to write or read, a friend, whom the book is dedicated, helped her compose it.

Images of Sojourner Truth

Obstacles Faced

Sojourner Truth faced many obstacles in her lifetime. Here are some of them:

She had to leave some of her children with their father in order to escape from slavery.

In order to get her son back, she had to go to court against her former owner.

She still fought for equality even after the Emancipation Proclamation.

She was turned down by Congress on an idea that could have been extremely beneficial.

Outcome of Efforts

Here are the outcomes of her prolonged efforts:

She got her point across successfully, even though she was turned down sometimes.

Was honored to meet with Abraham Lincoln.

Established a name for herself as an activist for multiple causes.

Big image