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U.S.History Essay

1282 words - 6 pages

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth was born in 1797 in Hurley, New York. The exact date of her birth is still unknown, but it is believed to have been during the fall. Truth was born into slavery and was given the name Isabella Baumfree. Sojourner parents were slaves as well. Isabella was first owned by a Dutch named Charles, who was happened to be a decent slave owner. Slave trading was very prominent, she was traded and then sold several times within her life. Proceeding his death, she was separated from her mother and auctioned to another set of plantation owners, the Neelys.Sojourner ran away from slavery before the Emancipation Act could be established or published and then she changed ...view middle of the document...

The state of New York, which had begun to negotiate the abolition of slavery in 1799, emancipated all slaves on July 4, 1827. The shift did not come soon enough for Truth. After John Dumont reneged on a promise to emancipate Truth in late 1826, she escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, Sophia. Her other daughter and son stayed behind. Shortly after her escape, Truth learned that her son Peter, then 5 years old, had been illegally sold to a man in Alabama. She took the issue to court and eventually secured Peter's return from the South. The case was one of the first in which a black woman successfully challenged a white man in a United States court.
Sojourner Truth's early years of freedom were marked by several strange hardships. Having converted to Christianity, Truth she moved with her son Peter to New York City in 1829, where she worked as a housekeeper for Christian evangelist Elijah Pierson. She then moved on to the home of Robert Matthews, also known as Matthias Kingdom or Prophet Matthias, for whom she also worked as a domestic. Matthews had a growing reputation as a con man and a cult leader. Shortly after Truth changed households, Elijah Pierson died. Robert Matthews and Truth were immediately accused of poisoning Pierson in order to benefit from his personal fortune. Both were acquitted, and Robert Matthews, who had become a favorite subject of the penny press, moved west.
After her successful rescue of her son, Peter, from slavery in Alabama, the boy stayed with his mother until 1839. At that time, Peter took a job on a whaling ship called the Zone of Nantucket. Truth received three letters from her son between 1840 and 1841. When the ship returned to port in 1842, however, Peter was not on board. Truth never heard from him again.
Her mission was to educate all people on the subject of slavery, and become a very powerful speaker. She became an influential speaker for women’s rights, as well for the abolishment of slavery all over the country. In her speeches, she spoke of the living conditions many slaves were forced to endure, crowded together into cabins with no privacy, overworked, fed scraps in many cases, and clothed raggedy scraps. She became focus for being the first black women to speak out against slavery. She developed her characteristics of courage and dependability from her mother, Mau Mau Bett, at an early age. . This name bring great meanings, she intended on telling the truth to all people about slavery. Sojourner wanted a religious name and she felt like that name fitted her well due to her purpose. Everywhere she spoke she made a lasting impression. She was overwhelmed and physically strong and over six feet tall and she had a powerful, booming voice.
Sojourner Truth became...

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