Baumfree was born in Ulster County, New York in the year 1797. She was
born a slave and emancipated on July 4, 1828 when the state of New
York banned slavery. Her owner, John Dumont refused to free her when
the law was passed so Truth and her infant daughter ran away and were
taken in by the Van Wagener family.
another child, a son who at 5 years old had been sold into slavery on
a plantation in Alabama. Truth took the case to court and won her
son's recovery in a suit setting a precedent that was unique for that
learned to read or write but became intensely and deeply involved in
religion. Sojourner could quote extensively from the bible and she
became a very forceful and moving speaker.
her freedom, Sojourner became an evangelist and adopted the name she
is known by. She became a traveling preacher in 1843 and spoke out
against slavery and for women's suffrage.
the Abolitionist Cause in 1844 and traveled through Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kansas telling her story.
She always opened her speeches with the statement, "Children, I
talks to God and God Talks to me." Her story was published
in a book by Olive Garrison titled, The Narrative of Sojourner
Truth." Harriet Beecher Stowe, (Uncle Tom's Cabin),
prefaced her book after the Civil War.
appointed counselor to the Freedmen's Bureau by Abraham Lincoln.
She continued to fight for equal rights for the freed blacks and
once forced a streetcar company in Washington D.C. to allow Blacks to
ride. and then sued them when she was injured while riding.
She moved to
Battle Creek, Michigan in 1850 where she led a somewhat quieter life.
In 1870 she began promoting a plan to set aside undeveloped lands in
the west as farms for Blacks.
died in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 26, 1883.