An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Truth, Sojourner

(c. 1797/98-Nov. 26, 1883). Antislavery reformer. She was born a slave in Ulster County, New York, and named Isabella Baumfree. She purchased her freedom when she was twenty-eight. After one of her many religious visions, on June 1, 1843, she took the name Sojourner Truth. She moved to New York City and became a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. She was a traveling preacher, an advocate of woman's rights, and an abolitionist. She was a leading suffrage speaker, and her brief classic speech, “Ain't I a Woman,” criticizes men and white women for neglect of the plight of African American women. She was also known as “Miriam of the Last Exodus.” She died in Battle Creek, Michigan. She is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on July 20. See Bloomer, Amelia Jenks; see Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; see Tubman, Harriet Ross.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.