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Abolitionist Sojourner Truth escaped slavery in 1826 on what would become known as her “Walk to Freedom.”

Categories: Event, History, NYS History, People, WCNY Vignette, Women's Suffrage

Sojourner Truth was born an enslaved person near Kingston, N.Y. Her given name was Isabella; she is often referred to as Isabella Baumfree. Having been promised by her owner, John Dumont, to be freed a year before abolition took effect in New York State, she was infuriated when he refused to honor his promise. She fled with her infant daughter in 1826, but later claimed “I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.” Hence the name, her “Walk to Freedom.” She followed a road through Ulster County, New York, finding refuge in Esopus. She eventually found her way to New York City, converted to being a Methodist and delivered fiery speeches in support of women’s rights and the abolitionist movement across the free states. Her 1851 speech, often referred to as the “Ain’t I A Woman” speech is considered seminal in the advancement of human rights in the United States.

Video produced by WCNY.