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Sojourner Truth Facts

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Sojourner Truth was an African-American woman who was born into slavery in New York.

She was bought and sold by several slave masters during her lifetime, some treated her very badly. Sojourner Truth managed to escape from slavery. She later reflected upon her escape quoting 'I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.'

Sojourner Truth Fact File: Discover interesting facts about this inspiration African-American woman in our timeline of events below. Find out about the battles she had to face including how she met Robert, the man she fell in love with who was beaten to his death for sneaking off to meet her, and how she later became the first African-American woman to successfully take her master to court in order to get her son back.

Sojourner Truth Fact 1: She was born around 1797 in Swartehill, New York in the United States.

Sojourner Truth Fact 2: She had many siblings, it's thought that she had around 9-11 brothers and sisters. She was born into slavery and her master was called Colonel Hardenbergh.

Sojourner Truth Fact 3: Her parents were called James and Elizabeth Baumfree. Colonel Hardenbergh purchased the couple from another slave trader and took them to his estate in Swartekill in Esopus, New York. Sojourner Truth was known as 'Belle', she was raised speaking only Dutch.

Sojourner Truth Fact 4: Her master, Colonel Hardenbergh, died when she was nine years old. John Neely purchased her at an auction along with a flock of sheep at the price of $100.

Sojourner Truth Fact 5: Her new slave owner, John Neely, was a cruel, despicable man who treated her very badly, giving her regular beatings and treating her appallingly.

Sojourner Truth Fact 6: She was sold in 1808 by John Neely to a tavern keeper called Martinus Schryver for the sum of $105. He owned her for approximately 18 months before selling her once again to John Dumont in 1810.

Sojourner Truth Fact 7: John Dumont treated Sojourner Truth with more kindness than some of her previous masters, however, his wife, Elizabeth Waring, was not so kind which made life harder for her. Elizabeth was John Dumont's second wife, his first wife was Elizabeth's sister and she had died some years earlier.

Sojourner Truth Fact 8: She fell in love with a slave from a nearby farm. His name was Robert and he was owned by Charles Catton, Jr.; a cruel slave owner who would not permit their relationship as he didn't own Sojourner Truth and therefore, he would not own their children should they have any.

Sojourner Truth Fact 9: Robert, the man whom Sojourner Truth had fallen in love with, was caught sneaking off to see her in secret. His master, Charles Catton, Jr. was so angry that he beat him so badly, he later died from the injuries he'd endured. This horrific incident understandably impacted greatly upon Sojourner Truth who could never forget what had happened.

Sojourner Truth Fact 10: She married a slave called Thomas, he was older than she was and together they had three children called Peter, Elizabeth and Sophia who were born during the 1820s.

Sojourner Truth Fact 11: She bore two other children before she married Thomas. It's believed that either Robert, the slave she'd fallen in love with, or her master John Durmont, could have fathered the children. The first born was called James and he died during childhood. The second child was Diana and she was born in 1815.

Sojourner Truth Fact 12: John Durmont promised to grant Sojourner Truth freedom from slavery, however, he backed out of his promise, claiming that she was less productive due to a hand injury.

Sojourner Truth Fact 13: She was obviously very upset and angry that her freedom had been promised then taken away from her. She continued to spin wool for him before some time later, escaping to her freedom.

Sojourner Truth Fact 14: When she escaped, she took just one child with her, her young daughter Sophia. The other children could not go with her because the emancipation order did not grant them freedom until their twenties.

Sojourner Truth Fact 15: The following quote is by Sojourner Truth and reflects upon her escape from slavery:
'I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.'

Sojourner Truth Fact 16: Isaac and Marian Van Wagenen allowed Sojourner Truth and her daughter, Sophia, to stay with them for approximately one year, by which time a law had been passed which granted freedom to slaves. The law is known as the New York State Emancipation Act.

Sojourner Truth Fact 17: John Durmont sold Sojourner Truth's 5 year of son illegally to in Alabama. Isaac and Marian Van Wagenen helped Sojourner Truth to win him back. This meant taking John Durmont to court. She became the first African-American woman to win a case of its kind in the United States.

Sojourner Truth Fact 18: She became an abolitionist. She started preaching about ending slavery in the United States and told those that knew her that the spirit had called her and she must go. She turned to religion, becoming a Methodist and went off to travel in order to share her experiences and knowledge of slavery with others.

Sojourner Truth Fact 19: She presented a speech in 1851 which later became famously known as the 'Ain't I a Woman' speech. She gave the speech at a Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Historical records show that during the speech, Sojourner Truth quoted, 'Ain't I a Women' four times, hence the name by which the speech is now recognized.

Sojourner Truth Fact 20: She passed away on November 26, 1883 in Michigan at her home in Battle Creek. She was known as a heroine as her life and strength had inspired many people. Over 3,000 people attended her funeral in order to pay their last respects.

Short Facts about Sojourner Truth for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Sojourner Truth with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.

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