Sojourner Truth Facts

Sojourner Truth Facts
Sojourner Truth was an African-American women's rights activist and abolitionist and the first black woman to win a court case against a white man. She was born Isabella Baumfree in approximately 1797 to slaves James and Elizabeth Baumfree, in Swartekill, New York. She may have had as many as 11 brothers and sisters. The Baumfrees were owned by Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh, and lived at his estate 95 miles north of NYC. In 1806 the family was separated and Sojourner, known as Belle, was sold. Sojourner had five children before New York before she escaped and gained her freedom. She gained notoriety when she took a white man to court to gain her 5 year old son's freedom.
Interesting Sojourner Truth Facts:
Sojourner was sold when she was nine years old to John Neely, a violent farmer who was said to have beaten her every day. He purchased her for a herd of sheep for $100.
Sojourner only spoke Dutch when she was sold to John Neely. He forced her to learn English by beating her when she didn't.
Sojourner was sold a few more times before her final owner John Dumont bought her.
While a slave to John Dumont Sojourner feel in love with a slave from a neighbor's farm named Robert. They had a child together but her owner refused to allow them to marry.
Sojourner married a slave named Thomas and had four more children with him.
In 1825 John Dumont promised to free Sojourner in one year, but NY was ending slavery in two years and he would have had no choice at that time. When he failed to follow through on his promise Sojourner escaped.
Neighbors helped Sojourner gain her freedom legally from John Dumont a year early by purchasing her for $20. She stayed with them until 1827 when emancipation was declared on July 4th, 1827.
John Dumont proceeded to sell one of Sojourner's sons, Peter, to a slave owner in Alabama. It was illegal to sell a slave across state lines in NY and Sojourner took the case to court. She won.
Following her court win Sojourner began to work to end slavery in all of the United States. She traveled around the country telling people what slavery was truly like.
Sojourner gained an audience when she gave speeches because she was an excellent speaker and her stories were moving.
Sojourner also worked for women's rights, and was instrumental in the fight to end slavery.
Isabella Baumfree changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843.
Sojourner Truth met President Abraham Lincoln and was able to share her life story with him.
Sojourner Truth helped to recruit African-American soldiers to fight for the Union in the American Civil war.
On November 26th, 1883, Sojourner Truth died at the age of 86, at Battle Creek Michigan.
New Paltz State University in NY named its library Sojourner truth Library.
Michigan's interstate highway 194 is named after Sojourner Truth.
Sojourner Truth has been given many honors and was the first Africa-American woman to be honoured in the U.S. Capitol with a bust.
NASA named the Mars rover after Sojourner Truth - they called it 'Sojourner'.


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