A New Life, a New Name

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Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln

Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln

Born a slave in New York in 1797, she spoke only Dutch until she was sold at age 11. Suffering hardships, her third master made her marry an older slave with whom she had five children.

In 1827, she escaped to Canada. After New York abolished slavery, she returned as a domestic servant and helped with Elijah Pierson’s street-corner preaching.

Her name was Sojourner Truth. In 1843, Sojourner Truth heard “a voice from Heaven” and began spreading “God’s truth and plan for salvation.”

In Massachusetts, she worked with abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.

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After the Emancipation Proclamation, Sojourner Truth moved to Washington, D.C., met Lincoln and helped former slaves.

In 1850, she dictated her biography, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, stating:

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“When I left the house of bondage I left everything behind. I wanted to keep nothing of Egypt on me, and so I went to the Lord and asked him to give me a new name.”

Sojourner Truth continued:

“I set up my banner, and then I sing, and then folks always comes up ’round me, and then…I tells them about Jesus.”

Her last full day on earth was NOVEMBER 25, 1883. Sojourner Truth would begin her messages:

“Children, I talk to God and God talks to me.”


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William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousands on the internet.
William J. Federer
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