TEACHER NOTEBOOK
SOJOURNER TRUTH TIMELINE
c. 1797 Isabella born into slavery on the Hardenbergh estate, Swartekill,
Ulster County, New York
c. 1806 bought at auction for $100 by John Neely, near Kingston, NY
c. 1808 bought for $105 by Martinus Schryver of Kingston, NY, staying there
about 18 months
1810 bought for 70 pounds (c.$175) by John Dumont, New Paltz, NY, --she bore
five children, Diana, Peter, Elizabeth, Sophia and a child who died in infancy
late 1826 Isabella walks to freedom with infant daughter,Sophia -- she had to
leave the other children behind because they were not legally freed in the
emancipation order
July 4, 1827 New York state emancipates slaves born after 1799
1827-28 wins landmark law suit to recover son Peter who had been illegally
sold into slavery in Alabama
1829 moves to New York City with her son Peter
1832-35 meets Robert Matthews, known as the Prophet Matthias, joins the
Matthias Kingdom communal colony in New York City -- Kingdom dissolved after
Prophet Matthias is arrested and tried for murder -- Isabella wins slander suit
1836-42 Isabella in New York City -- after son Peter ships out on whaling ship,
Zone of Nantucket; she receives a total of five letters from him -- ship returns to
port with no sign of Peter and Isabella never hears from him again
1843 at age 46, Isabella adopts the name Sojourner Truth, leaves New York
and travels to Springfield, Mass. -- grandson James Caldwell born
1844-46 joins the utopian Northampton Association in Northampton, Mass.,
where she meets many anti-slavery reformers including William Lloyd Garrison,
Frederick Douglass and Olive Gilbert, an abolitionist-feminist who later wrote the
Narrative of Sojourner Truth
1850 Isabella Van Wagenen, "sometimes called Sojourner Truth," purchases
home for $300 mortgage -- Narrative published by Olive Gilbert with preface by
William Lloyd Garrison
1851 travels to Rochester, NY, where she stays with Underground Railroad
leader, Amy Post -- in May, attends women's rights convention in Akron, Ohio,
where she delivers the speech later known as "Ain't I a Woman?"
1856 comes to Battle Creek, Michigan, to address Friends of Human Progress
convention, at the invitation of Michigan Quaker, Henry Willis
1857 sells Northampton property and buys house and lot in Harmonia, six
miles west of Battle Creek, Michigan
1863 ill for "many weeks," stays with the Merritt family in Battle Creek -- in
November, takes Thanksgiving dinner supplies, donated by Battle Creek citizens,
to the black soldiers stationed at Camp Ward in Detroit
1864 in June, Sojourner and thirteen-year-old grandson Sammy Banks, leave
Battle Creek for New York and New Jersey -- arrive in Washington, DC in the fall
1864 in October, visits President Abraham Lincoln at the White House
1865 assigned to work at Freedman's Hospital in Washington -- rides the
Washington, DC, streetcars to force their desegregation
1867 moves from Harmonia into Battle Creek, converting Merritt "barn" on
College Street into her home
1871 Nanette Gardner of Detroit records in Truth's Book of Life that she was the
first woman to vote in a Michigan state election -- in September, leaves for
Kansas with grandson Sammy Banks to promote idea of free land there for exslaves
1875 following an operation, Sammy Banks dies and is buried at Oak Hill
Cemetery -- third edition of the Narrative, including the Book of Life, published by
Frances Titus of Battle Creek
1876 improved in health after being treated by "Dr. Orville Guiteau, veterinarian,"
Truth leaves for Chicago, intending to visit Philadelphia Centennial with Frances
Titus -- again forced to return home because of illness
1877 Frances Titus returns home after traveling with Sojourner around Michigan
1878-79 Sojourner and Titus travel through New York and other eastern states
for six months during the fall and winter -- visit Kansas and Wisconsin during the
summer, to campaign for free land for former slaves
1880-82 makes limited appearances around Michigan, speaking for temperance
and against capital punishment
1883 in July, ill with ulcers on her legs, she is treated by Dr. John Harvey
Kellogg of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, who is said to have grafted some of his
own skin onto Sojourner's leg
1883 November 26 -- Sojourner Truth dies at her College Street home in
Battle Creek, Michigan -- funeral two days later, followed by burial in Oak Hill
Cemetery next to her grandson, Sammy Banks.
TIMELINE WORKSHEET
Student Name____________________________________
Use the timeline to answer these questions.
1. When did Isabella change her name to Sojourner Truth?
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2. How many years did Sojourner Truth live in New York?
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3. When did Sojourner Truth move to Battle Creek?
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4. How many years did Sojourner Truth live in Battle Creek?
_____________________________________________
5. Did Sojourner live longer in New York or in Battle Creek?
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6. When did Isabella escape from slavery?
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7. During what year did Sojourner Truth visit Abraham Lincoln?
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8. How many times was Isabella sold into slavery?
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9. Approximately when was Isabella born?
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10. When did Sojourner Truth die?
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11. Approximately how many years did Sojourner Truth live?
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