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Sojourner Truth

Massachusetts, New York

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born Isabella Baumfree into a slave family in upstate New York. She was sold several times and endured many hardships as a slave. In 1828, New York granted emancipation to all slaves born before 1799, but Isabella learned that her master did not intend to set her free. In 1843, Isabella was inspired by a spiritual revelation to change her name to Sojourner Truth and travel through Long Island and Connecticut preaching "God's Truth". This included her most famous speech "Ain't I a woman?" She fought not only for the abolition of slavery, but also for women's rights. Her speeches opened many's eyes to the horrors of slavery and she worked tirelessly at her cause until her death in 1883.