Sojourner Truth Timeline
Timeline Description: Sojourner Truth was born a slave but she escaped slavery in 1826. She became a supporter of both women's rights and abolition, or the fight to end slavery. At a women's rights convention in Ohio in 1851, she gave one of her most famous speeches, called "Ain't I a Woman." She died a free woman in 1883.

Date Event
1797 Sojourner Truth is born as Isabella Baumfree.

Sojourner Truth is born with the name Isabella Baumfree in New York in 1792. Her exact date of birth is not known because she was a slave and close records were not kept on the birthdays of slaves.
1806 Sojourner Truth is sold to a new owner.

At the age of 9, Sojourner is sold at an auction to John Neely because her previous owner died. She is sold for $100, but the price includes a flock of sheep.
1808 Sojourner Truth is sold to Martinus Schryver.

Sojourner Truth is sold again, this time to Martinus Schryver for $105. She would be sold a third time two years later.
1815 Sojourner Truth falls in love.

Sojourner falls in love with a slave named Robert. She wanted to marry him, but Robert's owner would not allow it because he did not want Sojourner to have children he could not own.
1817 Thomas Dumont forces Sojourner Truth to marry another slave.

Thomas Dumont, Sojourner Truth's owner, forces her to marry a man named Robert. He is a slave on another plantation and they have five children together.
1826 Sojourner Truth escapes from her owner.

After Dumont does not keep his promise to free her, Sojourner escapes and takes her daughter, Sophia with her. Later she sues Dumont and her son, Peter, is returned to her because he was illegally sold to another owner.
1828 Sojourner Truth and her son move to New York City.

Sojourner Truth and Peter move to New York City and live with family with the last name of Grear. She earns a living being a maid.
June 1, 1843 Isabella Baumfree becomes Sojourner Truth.

Saying she is "called in spirit, Isabella Baumfree changes her name to Sojourner Truth. She begins to travel around the East Coast and meets several abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.
1846 Sojourner Truth becomes an abolitionist.

Sojourner is so influenced by the abolitionists that she meets, she devotes her life to ending slavery. She begins to give lectures around the country and people gather to listen to her stories about slavery.
1850 "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth" is published.

Even though she cannot read or write, Sojourner's autobiography is published, thanks to the help of a friend that wrote her story for her. She makes enough money from the sale of her book to buy a home in Massachusetts.
October 1851 Sojourner Truth gives her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech.

Now a supporter of women's rights, Sojourner attends the first Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. She gives a very popular speech that has come to be known as "Ain't I a Woman," even though she never said that phrase.
1857 Sojourner Truth moves to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Sojourner Truth moves to Battle Creek, Michigan and buys a barn that she turns into her house. She lives there for the rest of her life, but continues to travel and give speeches on behalf of women's rights and the end of slavery.
1864 Sojourner Truth works with the Freedman's Bureau in Washington, D.C.

After the Civil War ended, the Freedman's Bureau was created to help ex-slaves create new lives as free men and women. Sojourner is asked to go to Washington, D.C. to help work with the bureau and she meets President Abraham Lincoln at least once.
1867 Sojourner Truth creates a new program to help ex-slaves.

With so many ex-slaves suffering from poverty, Sojourner creates a new program to try and help create jobs for them. She asks Congress to give them land in the West that they can live on and farm, but Congress rejects the idea.
November 26, 1883 Sojourner Truth dies in Michigan.

Sojourner develops an infection from sores on her legs and is treated at the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The treatment does not work and Sojourner dies at her home.