Isabella Baufree (Sojourner Truth's real name) was born in a Dutch county called Ulster County in New York, one of thirteen children. She was born to slave parents, so in effect, she was a slave as well. She was sold to her first master at eleven years old, speaking only Dutch, but she quickly learned English in the company of her cruel master. Her third master, John Dumont, had Isabella marry Thomas, another of his slaves, and even though it was a kind of forced marriage, they had five children.
Dumont also promised Isabella freedom a year before the emancipation in New York in 1828. But Dumont went back on his word, and Isabella ran away from his control with her infant.
Isabella then lived in New York City, working as a religious commune domestic. Then, in 1843, she received a spiritual vision and changed her name to Sojourner Truth. She traveled through Connecticut and Long Island, New York, lecturing on God as a savior.
Finally, Sojourner settled in Northampton, Massachusetts. There, she joined the Northampton Association for Education and Industry, working with Olive Gilbert, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglas for abolition of slavery.
In 1850, Sojourner published The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, and a year later, in Akron, Ohio, she spoke on women's rights at a convention. After the Civil War, Sojourner worked towards aiding newly-freed southern slaves and even petitioned Congress to give some land in the "new West" to the former slaves. However, that petition failed.
Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan, in November 1883.
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