DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On November 18, 1787 African-American Abolitionist, women's rights
activist and orator, Sojourner Truth was born in the town of
Swartekill, in Ulster County, New York.
Born Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth was her self-given name, from
1843 onward. Truth was born into slavery, but escaped with her infant
daughter to freedom in 1826. Her best-known speech on racial
inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?", was delivered extemporaneously in
1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.
Sojourner Truth was one of as many as 12 children born to James and
Elizabeth Baumfree. Her father, James Baumfree, was a slave captured in
modern-day Ghana; Elizabeth Baumfree, also known as Mau-Mau Bet, was
the daughter of slaves from Guinea. The Baumfree family was owned by
Colonel Hardenbergh, and lived at the colonel's estate in Esopus, New
York, 95 miles north of New York City. The area had once been under
Dutch control, and both the Baumfrees and the Hardenbaughs spoke Dutch
in their daily lives.