Timeline of Sojourner Truth


1797- Isabella Baumfree (Sojorner Truth) born into slavery on the Hardenbergh estate, Swartekill, Ulster County, New York

1806 - Sold at auction for $100 by John Neely, near Kingston, NY

1808 - Sold for $105 by Martinus Schryver of Kingston, NY, staying there about 18 months.

1810 - Sold for $175 by John Dumont, New Paltz, NY,

1815 - Marries Thomas, a fellow slave.  Has five children.

Late 1826 - Isabella escapes to freedom with infant daughter, Sophia -- she had to leave the other children behind because they were not legally freed in the emancipation order until they had served as bound servants until their twenties.

July 4, 1827 - New York state emancipates slaves born after 1799.

1827-28 - Successfully sues a white man for illegally selling her son Peter out of state.

1829 - Moves to New York City with her son Peter.

1843 - At age 46, Isabella adopts the name Sojourner Truth, leaves New York and travels to Springfield, Mass.

1847 - Works as housekeeper for George Benson, brother-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison, in Northampton.

1850 - Sojourner dictates her autobiography, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth.  It is published by William Lloyd Garrison.  She speaks at the first national Women's Rights Convention, in Worcester, MA.  She is the only black present..

1851 - Delivers the famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech in Akron, OH.

1852 - in August, attends abolitionist meeting in Salem, Ohio, where she confronts Frederick Douglass, asking "Is God gone?"

1853 - in October, speaks at suffragist "mob convention" at Broadway Tabernacle, New York city -- visits Harriet Beecher Stowe in Andover, Mass.

1864 -  Visits President Abraham Lincoln at the White House.  Sojourner said, "I must say, and I am proud to say, that I never was treated by anyone with more kindness and politeness than were shown to me by that great and good man, Abraham Lincoln."

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 house. Travels to Rochester, New York, and Washington, DC to help freed slaves -- visits suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

1878 - 81-year-old Sojourner is a delegate to the Women's Rights Convention in Rochester, NY. 

November 26, 1883 -- Sojourner Truth dies at her College Street home in Battle Creek, Michigan