What Are Some Facts About the History of Sojourner Truth?


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Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1883) was an African-American advocate for abolitionism, freedmen and the early women's rights movement. She was also a deeply religious figure, becoming a member of an evangelical community and spending time in street-corner preaching. Born with the name "Isabella," she took the name "Sojourner Truth" in 1843.

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Sojourner Truth was born into slavery around 1797. She lived the earliest part of her life in Ulster County, New York, under the eye of a Dutch master. Truth herself had a Dutch accent. During her teenage years into early adulthood she was a household servant in New Paltz, New York. It was here that she fell in love with another slave, with whom she had five children. It was not long before three of these children found themselves separated from their mother and sold into slavery.

After her escape from slavery in 1827, Isabella became an active advocate for slaves and women. She worked to aid black soldiers during the Civil War, met with Abraham Lincoln and proposed the possibility of a special state in the West where the African American population could settle and live in freedom. She eventually moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. Sojouner Truth died in 1883.

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