This Day in History
Her Name Was Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth Dies
November 26, 1883

Sojourner Truth, born Isabella Baumfree, had been born in New York at a time when slavery was still legal. The state Emancipation Act of 1827 freed her, and it was then she adopted the name by which she is known and celebrated. A self-styled prophetess and itinerant preacher, she was accepted by leading abolitionists like Lucretia Mott, the Grimke sisters, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. After the Civil War she continued to be active in the struggle for Negro rights, guaranteed in the Constitution, but ignored or flouted by North and South alike; in the process she became the first black to win a slander suit against a white citizen and was instrumental in desegregating public transportation in the nation’s capital.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.