Essay Example on Isabella Baumfree biography









I was born in 1797 in Swartekill New York as Isabella Baumfree I am not aware of my true date of birth as it was not recorded as many slaves were not I was born into slavery I was one of twelve children to James and Elizabeth Baumfree My family was owned by Colonel Hardenbergh and we lived at his estate in Esopus New York To say slavery didn't exist in the north is purely a lie Eventually the Colonel passed away and we were all passed down to Charles his son With this my family was separated I was nine at the time and Charles sold me at an auction for one hundred dollars My master became John Neely He was indeed a hostile and violent man However I did not stay with him forever during the next two years I was sold two more times I ended up with a man named John Dumont who lived in West Park New York These couple of years during my childhood were the ones in which I learned english Several years later in 1815 I met a man named Robert who lived on a farm near by I fell in love with him and we ended up having my first daughter together Diana His owner was outraged and prohibited a further relationship because it would benefit my owner with the addition of slaves from our union and not himself I never saw Robert again A couple years later John Dumont convinced me to marry one of his older slaves 

Thomas We had three children together one son named Peter and two more daughters named Elizabeth and Sophia Less than ten years later on July 4 1827 the state of New York emancipated all slaves However I had escaped earlier in 1826 with my daughter Sophia John Dumont had promised me emancipation and he fell short on that promise so I took matters into my own hands In doing so I ended up having to leave my other two children behind Later I learned that my son had been illegally sold to a man in Alabama so I took it to court and I was able to get him back He was only five at the time I became the first black woman to challenge a white man in the court and have it end in success I moved to New York City in 1829 with Peter I had converted to Christianity and ended up being a housekeeper for a Christian evangelist names Elijah Pierson After working here I began working for Robert Matthews as a housekeeper Matthews was accused of killing Pierson my former boss and a couple named the Folgers tried to accuse me of doing it instead Luckily they didn t succeed and after Matthews was let free I sued the Folgers for slander and won in 1835 I was so very fond of my son Peter and we were able to stay together until 1839 However he then decided to take a job on a whaling ship I tried to keep in contact with him and we were able to exchange a couple of letters 

But when his whaling ship returned a few years later he was not on it and I never saw him again In 1843 I left behind the name Isabella Baumfree and became Sojourner Truth After the loss of Peter I dedicated my life to Methodism and abolishing slavery I became an avid member of the abolitionist movement I joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry where we all lived together in a self sufficient community and supported different reforms like women's rights pacifism and abolition Here I met other leading abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass After the Association broke up I continued supporting such movements I spoke at the first National Woman's Rights Convention in 1950 and began touring and speaking to masses of people on slavery and human rights In 1951 I gave my infamous Ain t I a Woman speech at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention Many people considered my ideals and opinions radical as I wanted political equality for all women and criticized the abolitionist movement for not seeking rights for black women as well as men During the Civil War I worked by helping black troops for the Union Army I helped the National Freedman's Relief Association I even had the pleasure of meeting Abraham Lincoln and talking to him about my opinions In the late stages of my life I worked on securing land grants from the government for former slaves I believed that this ownership of land would allow for African Americans to be self sufficient I never stopped fighting for women's rights universal suffrage or prison reform I died on November 26 1833 at my home in Battle Creek Michigan

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