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Sojourner Truth There are two things I would like to point out before starting. Some of the information given will be argued by different sources because.

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Presentation on theme: "Sojourner Truth There are two things I would like to point out before starting. Some of the information given will be argued by different sources because."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sojourner Truth There are two things I would like to point out before starting. Some of the information given will be argued by different sources because the lives of slaves were typically unimportant and not kept track of by their masters. Another note I would like to make is the picture shown here is typical of how Sojourner always looked. She wore a white bonnet, white shawl, and a dark dress. Sojourner was also known for her build. She was a 6’ tall, strong woman.

2 Her Early Life as a Slave
Sojourner Truth was born Isabella to her parents, James and Betsey, around 1797. Her parents were slaves to Dutch-speaking Mr. Hardenbergh. James, or Bett, was called Bomefree, Dutch for “tree” because of his large stature. Betsey was known as “Mau Mau” by Bella. Bella was next to last child in 7 to 12 children, but she only knew her youngest brother, Peter. Mau Mau often told Bella stories about how other children were harshly taken away. She also told Bella about God. Around age 9, Bella’s first master died, separating the family. Her parents were freed because they were too old to be sold. However, they soon died because they could not adequately take care of themselves. Isabella could be Bomefree. There is argument over first master’s name. Mau Mau’s stories about God established Bella’s life-long faith.Peter was sold to different family.

3 Bella was only sold after a tired auctioneer offered to sell a flock of sheep with her.
Her new master was John Neely. He only spoke English, and thought Bella was being stubborn by not doing what she was told. Before her father’s death, Bella told him about her severe beatings, and he asked a man to buy her. Bella was sold next to a Dutch-speaking tavern owner, Schryver. By listening to the customers, Bella began to pick up English. Schryver sold Bella for a large sum to her next owner, John Dumont.

4 Bella’s Life at the Dumont’s
Mr. Dumont was very happy with his purchase of Bella. He claimed she was worth more than a man. During this time, Bella fell in love with Robert, a slave from a neighboring estate. Their love was forbidden, and Robert was severely beaten when he tried to see Bella. Mr. Dumont made Bella marry and have children with Thomas, another one of his slaves. Bella agreed and had five children: Diana, Elizabeth, Hannah, Peter, and Sophia. Hannah did not live past infancy. Worth more than a man b/c she would do man’s job during day in fields and woman’s work at night.

5 Around 1825, New York issued a law that would free older slaves by the year As thanks for her hard work, Mr. Dumont said he would free her one year before this time. In the year, Bella cut her hand in the fields, but continued her hard labor. On her day of promised freedom, Mr. Dumont said he would keep her another year because he lost work while her hand was injured.

6 Bella’s Road to Freedom
Bella became angry with her master for not fulfilling his promise. She decided to escape with her baby, Sophia. Somehow she ended up at the Van Wagner’s home. The Van Wagner’s accepted her because they were Quakers. Mr. Dumont arrived and demanded his slave, but Mr. Van Wagner “bought” Bella and her baby. Bella continued to visit her children at the Dumont’s. Sophia was youngest and could not yet survive without her mother. Explain she either prayed and was led to house, or she knew they were abolitionists. Didn’t really buy, just wanted Bella’s freedom.

7 Against everyone’s expectations, Bella won the trial.
It was illegal during this time to sell slaves to the South. However, Mr. Dumont sold Bella’s son Peter to a friend who sold him to Alabama. With the help of her Quaker friends, Bella hired a lawyer and took the man to court. Against everyone’s expectations, Bella won the trial. In 1829, Bella decided to move to New York City, where she could have better opportunities. She returned Sophia to the Dumont's where the young child could be with her older sisters. Bella wanted Peter to be educated and literate, something Bella herself would never achieve. It was unheard of for a rich man to be sued, esp. by a woman, and esp. a black woman, and furthermore, a former slave.

8 While in New York City Bella was fooled by Elijah Pierson who claimed to be the prophet of God. He took all her money before she realized his scam. Her son was also falling in with a rough crowd. He decided to straighten up and went to work on a ship. After three letters, Bella never heard from her son again. By 1843, Bella was tired of city life. She was inspired by God to leave the city, travel, and tell her story to others. Some argue she was told to preach and others say she wanted to tell the evils of slavery.

9 Sojourner Truth is Born
Bella left the city with just 25 cents in her pocket. She left her life as a slave behind her and decided to rename herself Sojourner Truth, because of her mission. Sojourner traveled around the northeast, telling her life to anyone who would listen. She did this for about 40 years. Sojourner fearlessly spoke out against slavery and for the rights of women. Oftentimes, the audience was swayed by her speeches.

10 Sojourner’s Accomplishments
During the Civil War, Sojourner delivered food to an all-black Michigan regiment. She also visited Abraham Lincoln during the war. He referred to her as “Aunty” Sojourner Truth. After the Civil War, Sojourner worker for the National Freedman’s Relief Association. This organization helped newly-freed slaves find jobs, shelter, and a new way of life. She also worked with Freedman’s Hospital to ensure all blacks be given proper healthcare. A new law integrated streetcars in Washington when Sojourner was 70. When an attendant refused to stop for her, she sued him, and he lost his job. She petitioned Congress to give Western land to freed slaves. Although many people signed, it was refused.

11 Sojourner’s Literary Influence
In 1850, Sojourner dictated her life story to a friend, Olive Gilbert. The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: a Northern Slave was published the same year. In 1851, Truth delivered her famous “Aren’t (Ain’t) I a Woman?” speech to a Women’s Right’s Convention in Ohio. Both of these pieces receive mixed criticism because of doubt in authenticity. Her book was not written by her, and the author left out many details of Truth’s rough slave life. Her speech was recorded by two people. One gives her a heavy dialect, while the other tends to be more accepted. However, it is agreed that Sojourner Truth captivated audiences with her manner, appearance, and account of being a slave. Her style often has a religious influence, is very personal about her past life, and involves many controversial issues of her day. Personal life is all speeches were about, that is why so much of this report centers around her life. Style is also in speeches/ telling story to someone else b/c she was illiterate.

12 The Death of Sojourner Truth
Sojourner bought a house in 1857 in Battle Creek, Michigan, and her daughters moved in shortly after. She stopped traveling between the age of Around the age of 86, Sojourner Truth died from an illness at her home. More than 1,000 people attended her funeral. Sojourner Truth was a very important person in slavery and women’s rights issues. She was a courageous speaker who allowed no person to compromise her beliefs. Although she may not be remembered for her impact on literature, she continues to be an inspiration to the lives of African Americans and women to this day. Remained cheerful up to death- did not fear it, said she was going home, like a shooting star.

13 A Presentation of Sojourner Truth by Taylor Dies The End

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