Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth
Biography: Slave to Activist
 Born Isabella Baumfree in 1797
 Spent her early life as an abused slave
 She was set free and recovered her young son in slavery
 In 1829 she left NYC and changer her name to Sojourner
 Felt her mission from God was to display the truth of
slavery and women’s rights
 She preached and debated to
accept the brotherhood of man
and the message of God’s
1850-traveled to the Midwest
and began attracting larger
Dictated to Olive Gilbert who
wrote her biography
Settled in Michigan and
continued to appear before
suffrage gatherings
1875-retired to home in
Michigan where she lived until
her death in 1883
Background-Slavery Abolition Movement
 Movement gained momentum in the 1830’s during the Second
Great Awakening. The American Anti-Slave Society was
founded in 1833.
 Slavery was immoral and needed to be abolished, as well as all
slaves emancipated.
 Led in part by fugitive slaves such as Frederick Douglas and
William Wells Brown, northern men such as William Lloyd
Garrison, and thousands of women aided, including Sojourner
 These all contributed to sectionalism and secession of the
South, which would lead to the Civil War.
Background- Women’s Rights Movement during
the 1800’s
 Because of Industrialization, women had more time on their
hands. Roles had changed in family, and by the 1800’s they
were ready to branch out.
 Women were looking for the same rights as men, such as the
right to vote.
 Major turning point in 1848 when a women’s rights
movement convention was organized in Seneca Falls, NY in
 Groups such as the NWSA and AWSA would be developed
after the Civil War and would be led by prominent figures
such as Susan B. Anthony.
Contributions to Slavery Issue
 Tried to convince
government to supply free
land and transportation for
newly freed slaves
Testified the demeaning
nature of slavery
Spoke for allowing slaves
into the military and
freeing them
Campaigned for
government to give free
land in the West to slaves
Helped to create better
lives for slave refugees
Contributions to Women’s Rights
 Joined the “Progressive
Friends” who promoted
women’s suffrage and
 By winning law suits she
inspired other women to
protect their rights
 Spoke about the issue of
women’s rights while
traveling and inspired
 Northampton Association
of Education and Industry
 “If the first woman
God ever made was
strong enough to turn
the world upside
down all alone, these
together ought to be
able to turn it back
and get it right side
up again”
Strategy in Success
 Used biblical allusions to
support her arguments and
to promote faith and
Carried petitions when she
traveled, which supporters
Exceptional speaker; bold
and dramatic
Lobbied the Federal
Used basic logic and
sometimes humor in her
Other Methods for Success
 Used her life as a slave to
add support to her
Used examples of being
mistreated as a women and
emphasized the
ridiculousness of society
Befriended other
Learned to manipulate
establishment institutions
Inspired others through
both actions and words
Immediate Influence
 Helped former slaves find
jobs, homes, and safety
 Contributed to the decision
of enlisting slaves into the
 Free land and
transportation in the West
for newly freed slaves
 Inspired everyone around
her to take part in the cause
and further spread the
ideas of human rights
 “If women want any rights
more than they's got, why
don't they just take them,
and not be talking about
 “Religion without
humanity is very poor
human stuff.”
Effects of Contributions
 Inspired other speakers
and activists like Martin
Luther King Jr.
Laid foundation for success
of the 19th amendment
Established a unique and
effective method of civil
disobedience and
spreading the cause
Empowered African
American Women
Helped to initiate the
modern women’s
Works Cited
 "AAP Brief History of Movement." American Abolitionist Project. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
 "Abolitionist Movement." Home Page AutoCWW2. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"Internet History Sourcebooks." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"Library Menu." Sojourner Home Page. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"The Narrative of Sojourner Truth." Digital.library Server at Penn Libraries. Web. 22
Mar. 2012.
"Sojourner Truth." - Biography Central. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"Sojourner Truth Biography." A&E Networks Television. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"Sojourner Truth Biography." Lakewood Public Library (Lakewood, Ohio). Web. 22
Mar. 2012.
"Sojourner's Biography." Sojourner Home Page. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
"Women's Rights Before the Civil War." Loyola University New Orleans. Web. 22
Mar. 2012.