Sojourner much older than her, his nameSojourner much older than her, his name

Sojourner TruthThrough her conventions and speeches, Sojourner Truth has impacted women’s rights and the abolishment of slavery.  Throughout her life she gave multiple speeches.  Sojourner Truth stood up for the rights of women, the injustice of slavery, and race issues.  She held many strong opinions and she was not afraid to share them with others.  She attended events and gave speeches where she was able to share her opinions with others.In New York, Sojourner Truth was born.  She was born with the name of Isabella Baumfree.  Her date of birth was not recorded, this was nothing new for children that were born into slavery.  The whole Baumfree family was owned by a man that went by the name of, Colonel Hardenbergh.  After Colonel Hardenbergh died the Baumfree family was then owned by his son, Charles.  Charles separated the Baumfree family, he sold Sojourner Truth to a man along with some sheep.  Charles sold Truth for only one hundred dollars to a man named John Neely.  She remembered John Neely as harsh and violent, she wanted to get away from him.  Years later, she had a daughter, named Diana, with a slave from a nearby farm, his name was Robert.  Robert’s owner forbade the relationship, leaving Truth to raise their daughter alone.  They never saw each other again, which was very hard on her.  Later on in life Sojourner Truth was forced into marrying a man much older than her, his name was Thomas.  She had a son and two daughters with him.  In total she had four children, Diana, Sophia, Peter, and Elizabeth.An outstanding reason for Sojourner Truth’s fight to end slavery was because she wanted better for her children.  She did not want them to grow up having to do what others told them to do.  She wanted to keep their family united and not split up, unfortunately, like her family was as a child.  Sadly, her dreams did not come true, she had three of her four children sold from her.  Truth once said, “I have borne five children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me!”  When she lost some of her children due to slavery she felt as though no one was there for her and that she needed to do something about getting slavery to come to an end.In June of 1843 she officially becomes Sojourner Truth.  She changed her name from Isabella Baumfree to Sojourner Truth.  She was a deeply religious woman who believed that she was on a holy mission against slavery.  She chose the name Sojourner Truth which means “traveler.”  When Isabella became Sojourner Truth, she began traveling along the east coast in hopes of change for all people who were treated unjustly.  She preached in the streets about rights for women and for African Americans.  She often told people: “The Spirit calls me, and I must go” and left to begin traveling to preach about the abolition of slavery and for the rights for all women, not matter what race they were.  By the year of 1846, she becomes an abolitionist, this means that she devotes her life to ending slavery.  She begins to share her stories and give lectures of what it was like to be a slave.  “Sojourner Truth was renowned in her time for her speaking and singing ability. Although she could neither read nor write, she had people read to her, especially the Bible, and from this she developed her unique voice about how the world worked and how it could be improved” (Sojourner Truth Memorial).  Several years later, in 1851, she gives her famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”  “She was best-known for her speech on racial inequalities, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention” (  This speech was meant to encourage woman that they deserved better.  In her speech she says that women are capable of doing anything and everything that men can do. One of the most famous lines of her speech is, “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place”  (Shmoop).  This quote shows that Truth thinks that women are not weak and they are capable of doing great things, this contradicted what most men thought about women at this time.  Sojourner Truth was a black rights activist, as well.  She did many things to stand up for the rights of African Americans, for example: she helped recruit black troops for the American Civil War, she shared her opinions with President Abraham Lincoln, she secured land grants for former slaves, she worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau in Washington, D.C., and she creates a new program to help ex-slaves.  During the American Civil War, Truth helps black troops enlist in the war.  She helped them to feel important, like they had a real purpose in our country.  She was even able to help her grandson enroll into the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.  She met with our country’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.  During their meeting they discussed her beliefs and her opinions of this issue.  Lincoln was very kind to Truth, he gave her a Bible that he found very valuable to him.  When we gave her this Bible it broke down gender lines and social class barriers.  Sojourner Truth helped give land grants to former slaves.  She believed that these former slaves would appreciate their own land after a life belonging to wealthy landowners.  Truth wanted to make the former slaves feel like they have something of their own after the long fight for freedom.  After years and years of trying to persuade congress to agree with her cause, they denied her request.  This hurt Sojourner Truth but it was not enough for her to stop trying to help African Americans at this time.  After this, in 1846, Truth worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau to improve the lives of former slaves that suffer from poverty.  At this time, she is asked to go to Washington D.C. to meet with President Lincoln once again.  While working with the Freedmen’s Bureau, Truth provided ex-slaves by protesting against segregation.  She especially protested against the old laws that kept blacks from riding in the streetcars.  Sojourner Truth wanted freedom for all African Americans, although, she did not want these people to use their freedom irresponsibly.  Truth wanted them to truly value and respect their freedom given to them.After many years of improving the lives of women and slaves, Sojourner Truth died on November 26, 1883.  She died in her home after suffering from infectious sores on her legs.  “She was treated at the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg”(Sojourner Truth Timeline).  Unfortunately, her treatment did not work and she died at the age of 86.  Although she is not here today, her legacy still lives on from her accomplishments for women and for the lives of African Americans.  In 1999, a 12-foot statue was dedicated to Sojourner Truth and all the accomplishments she achieved in her life.  Her statue is located in Florence, Massachusetts.  People come from all over the country to visit the statue of this very inspiring woman.  In 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department designed a new 10 dollar bill where the face of Sojourner Truth is featured on the back.Through her conventions and speeches, Sojourner Truth has impacted women’s rights and the abolishment of slavery.  She accomplished many things throughout her life for the former slaves and for the rights of women.  “Truth was a powerful and impassioned speaker whose legacy of feminism and racial equality still resonates today” ( Staff).  Her greatest accomplishments include: her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, being able to speak to Abraham Lincoln about the changes she hopes to see, and working for the Freedmen’s Bureau.