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Living History Visit with Sojourner Truth

May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sojourner Truth at the Old Dutch Parsonage

Born Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth was enslaved for nearly the first decade of her life by the Hardenbergh family of New York, relatives of Rev. Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh of New Jersey’s Old Dutch Parsonage.

The slave from a small town north of New York City changed hands several times, sold by one brutal owner to another just as harsh. Her life included repeated beatings, rapes and a forced marriage. In 1826, having been promised freedom, but then cruelly denied emancipation, she left her current owners and found her way to the Van Wageners’ home. There she had an epiphany, became a devout Christian, and renamed herself Sojourner Truth, after which she began her travels as a preacher. In 1850, Sojourner began speaking on women’s suffrage, believing the causes of abolition and women’s rights to be intertwined and equally important. Ms. Truth’s most quoted speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Although there has been much dispute about the words she spoke and the rhythm of her speech, there is no debate about the power and integrity of the speaker or about the impact of the speech and the speaker’s life. Truth also helped recruit black troops during the Civil War for the Union Army, and she worked as a Union nurse.

Dr. Daisy Century gives a commanding performance of Ms. Truth, bringing to life a woman undeterred by incredible obstacles, a woman who mixed with the leading figures of her day, including Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Audience members are urged to consider the twin goals of racial and gender parity of equal importance.

NJCH is a proud sponsor of this event.

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May 21
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage State Historic Sites
71 Somerset Street
Somerville, NJ 08876 United States