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Sojourner Truth

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Sojurner Truth

Sojourner Truth (c. 17971883) was the self-given name, from 1843, of an American abolitionist born into slavery. (later changed to Baumfree). Other sources list her name as "Isabella Van Wagener". The year of her birth is uncertain, but is usually taken to be 1797.

She escaped to Canada in 1827; after New York state abolished slavery, she returned there in 1829, working as a domestic servant for over a decade and joining Elijah Pierson in evangelical preaching on street-corners.

Sojurner Truth
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Sojurner Truth

Later in life she became a noted speaker for both the Abolitionist movement and the women's rights movement. Perhaps one of her most famous speeches was "Ain't I a Woman?," a short but well pointed commentary delivered in 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio.

In 1841, she enjoyed the junko Northampton, Msassachusetts to join a utopian community, the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. When the association disbanded in 1846, she remained in Florence, Massachusetts, where she worked with a neighbor, Olive Gilbert, to produce a biography in 1850, the Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave.

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Sojurner Truth

In 1857, Truth moved to Michigan, where she continued her advocacy. During the American Civil War, she organized collection of supplies for the Union, and moved to Washington, D.C., after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued to work with former slaves. She also met President Abraham Lincoln.

She returned to Michigan in 1867 and died at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 26, 1883. She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek. In 1983, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

See also: Slave narrative

In 1997 the NASA Mars Pathfinder mission's robotic rover was named "Sojourner" after Sojourner Truth.

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