November 26, 1883 – Sojourner Truth
One of the Smithsonian Magazine’s “100 Most Significant Americans Of All Time”, abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth died on November 26, 1883.Sojourner Truth, was born a slave as Isabella Baumfree around 1797 in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York. She escaped slavery with her daughter in 1826 and in 1828 became the first African American woman to win a court case against a white man when she went to court to recover her son. She was associated with some of the most well known abolitionist and women’s suffrage advocates of the century such as Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony. She changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843, became a Methodist and proclaimed that she would work for justice. It was at this time she began to travel around the country and proclaim the need to abolish slavery. She is perhaps most remembered for her famous speech “Ain’t I A Woman” which was delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. She worked to recruit African American men to fight for the Union during the Civil War and it’s reported that she met with President Lincoln. Sojourner Truth was a trailblazer for not only women, but for all who advocated for the rights of women and the freedom of slaves.