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Truth, Sojourner
Narrative of Sojourner Truth



" My Dear Friend :--

"I may not be able to make you sensible of the heart-felt pleasure I experienced on receiving your kindly greetings once more, but hasten to thank you sincerely for them, and for your address which I have long wished for; and I assure you I am most happy in thus being enabled to return you my own greeting, fervent, fresh, and warm from the heart. It is a very long time since we have had any opportunity of communicating with each other directly, though I have been enabled to find traces of you and your labors, from time to time, which was more, I think, than you have been able to do of your old friend; for I am not so public a personage as yourself.

"Your call upon Mrs. Stowe, and our dear, sainted president, and your labors connected with the army, and the Freedmen's Bureau, gave you a publicity that enabled

me to observe you at your old vocation of helping on and doing good to your fellow-creatures, both physically and mentally. I was much pleased with Mrs. Stowe's enthusiasm over you. You really almost received your apotheosis from her. She proposed, I think, that you should have a statue and symbolize our American Sibyl.

I have written more than a sheet, and have not spoken of what has been in my mind all the time, of the great deliverance of your people from the house of bondage, the wonderful work of the Lord, accomplished only through a cruel and bloody war, as was so often predicted by friend Garrison and others in days gone by. You may have witnessed many of its terrors. And oh! it makes me almost speechless when I contemplate the hosts of men, and those the flower of their country, that were thus sacrificed to Moloch. There is bu!econciling thought, and that is, The Lord is all-wise and reigneth over all. He sees and knows what we observe, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice. Of the little book I wrote for your benefit, some of the copies I took are sold; others I gave to my friends as keepsakes, &c.

"Get some one to write for you soon, and believe me to be your true friend and well-wisher, now and forevermore. O.G."

"The company of our estimable friend, Sojourner Truth, will ever be cherished with feelings of love." Sarah T. Rogers .
" No. 323, North Eleventh St., Philadelphia ."


"3 Exeter Street, Boston, Mass .,

Apr. 25, 1875. " Dear Friend :--

"We are sorry to hear that you are suffering from ill health, and hope you may be getting better by this time. My mother, Mary May, who was one of the earliest abolitionists, with Mr. Garrison and Wendell Phillips, wishes me to send her remembrances to you, and her best wishes, and wants you to accept ten dollars from her. Perhaps you have seen her, either here in Boston, or at the house of my brother, Samuel May, in Leicester. She is eighty-seven years of age and rather feeble, though her mind is bright, and she is able to read a little and knit a good deal. I inclose a post-office order for fifteen dollars. Please accept five from me.

"I should be glad to hear that the money reaches you safely, so I inclose a card addressed to us, for reply. I am, with very great respect, dear madam,"Yours, Abby W. May ."

" Richmond, Ind.,

April 15, 1875 . " Sojourner Truth :--
" My Good Sister --

Mrs. Dr. Thompson and myself, on hearing of your afflictions in the death of your grandson and your own sickness, have been trying to raise some funds for you, but I am sorry to be obliged, after waiting so long, to send you so small a sum as two dollars. For this you will find inclosed a money order. In reply I wish you would tell me all about your situation and wants, and if possible I will send you more. Have you received anything from the Julians? Have your wants been supplied?

Tell me all the facts. How are you getting along with your sickness?

"Mrs. Dudley sends with me our hearty good wishes, and we only regret that we cannot send you something more substantial to supply your needs. You are remembered in our poor prayers in our family. We shall never forget the light and cheer which your presence and words gave us when here. The good Lord, whom you have so faithfully served in labor for your poor race, will take you through and give you, a weary old pilgrim, a home of rest and reward. Let me hear from you soon."Your fellow-pilgrim and sojourner, " John Dudley ."

"With earnest respect for your constant effort to help humanity, and to make the world better for your being in it, I want you, dear friend, to think of me in this life and the higher one as your friend and sympathizer. Eliza S. Leggett .
" Detroit, Mich., June 20, 1871 ."

" Grand Rapids,

March , 1873.

"God bless Sojourner Truth, who spoke so grandly at the Second Street M.E. Church, last night, and who has been our honored guest for a few days.L.H. Pearce ."

"Equality of rights is the first of rights." Charles Sumner .
" Senate Chamber, April 26, 1870 ."


" Orange , Feb. 10, 1875. " Aunt Sojourner :--
" Dear Friend --

I learned last evening that thee is dangerously ill, and that it is paralysis which has prostrated thee. I spent the evening with Mrs. McKinn and learned it from her. Most sincerely do I hope she has been misinformed, and that thy illness is something from which thee may recover, and that we may see thee again in the flesh; but if this cannot be I know that thee is prepared to enter that beautiful world of spirits which has seemed so near thee while here.

0"Dear Aunt Sojourner, may I among the many who love thee, be remembered by thee on that beautiful shore of the river of everlasting life, and if thee is permitted to return to the children of earth, receive from thee some token of thy presence and continued affection.

"Thee left a trunk here which we will fill and send thee as soon as we learn what will be most useful. I do not doubt but that thee has kind friends who are not only willing but anxious to make thee comfortable in every respect, I mean in Battle Creek. But those of thy friends who have not the privilege of relieving thy wants in person, would like to add their mite toward returning the kindness which thee, for so many years, has shown others. May the Infinite Love sustain thee, and that faith which has ever been thy support in the trials of life become stronger and purer as thee nears the golden gates, is the prayer of thy loving friends," H.W. Johnson & Rowland Johnson ."


" Standard Office, New York,

Jan . 13, 1866. " My Dear Friend :--

"I know you will be glad to put your mark to the inclosed petition, and get a good many to join it, and send or take it to some member of Congress to present. Do you know there are three men, Schench, Jenkes, and Broomall, who have dared to propose to amend the United States Constitution by inserting in it the word 'male,' thus shutting all women out by constitution from voting for president, vice-president, and congressmen, even though they may have the right to vote in the State for State officers. It is a most atrocious proposition, and I know Sojourner Truth will say, No, to it. God bless you, and help you to do the good work before you, is the wish of your friend, Susan B. Anthony ."

" Biddle House, Detroit,

Jan . 29, 1869. " Sojourner Truth :--
" My dear Grandmother in Israel --

I am sorry I cannot get time to take you once again by the hand before I leave Detroit, but I herewith inclose to you a five-dollar bill to keep you in mind of"Your dutiful grandson, Theodore Tilton ."" My Dear Friend, Sojourner Truth :--

"If we never meet on earth again, my prayer is that we may meet on the other shore." E. Dickinson .
" Brodhead, Wis ."

" Sojourner Truth :--

"You want the government to give land to the freed people. This would be true statesmanship, as by so doing we should be paying a little of the great debt we owe the freedmen, and at the same time putting them in the way of supporting and educating themselves, and enriching the nation." Seth Hunt .
" Northampton, Mass., 1871 ."

" Boston, March 18, 1875. " Mrs. F.W. Titus :--
" Dear Madam --

I have your prompt reply to my note of inquiry, and hasten to inclose a check for twenty-five dollars of the benefit of Sojourner Truth. It is the contribution of Mr. Phillips, father, and myself." W.L. Garrison, Jun ."" Sojourner Truth :--
" Dear Friend --

Your life is living epistle known and read of all men. You surely are a sojourner, laboring for the truth. You life has been one of sorrow and toil, bearing in your own body and your own family the bitter injustice and cruelty that has sent you a missinary to the learned and unlearned alike for many years. You and I have cause of sympathy, each with the other. God bless and keep you ever.
Calvin Fairbanks . *

(*) Calvin Fairbanks was confined for 12 years in Frankfort prison, Kentucky, of raiding a slave to escape." Florence, Mass., March 20, 1871 ."


" North Topeka, Kan.,

Nov . 20, 1871.

"It has gratified me much, Sojourner, to see your face once more, and welcome you to my home and my church. It is a dozen years since we first met, and, possible, we may meet again in this world; if not, we will in the next. Our meeting in this far West has brought to my mind the beautiful words of Ph[oelig ] Carey:--

'As ships from far and distant ports
To distant harbors hurrying on,
Meet with each other on the deep,
And hail, and an;swer, and are gone,

'So we upon the sea of life,
Have met as mortals often will,
One from the prairies of the West,
One from the land of rock and rill.

'So we shall pass on separate ways,
As vessels parting on the main,
And i the years to come, our paths
May never meet or cross again.

'Yet when life's voyage all is done,
Where'er apart our paths may tend,
We'll drop our anchors side by side
In the same harbor at the end.'
" Thomas W. Jones .
" Pastor of Cong. Church ."" Sojourner :--

"The words of my husband are warmly echoed from my heart, and I feel more than gratified to have had the opportunity of entertaining you in my own home. Be sure you will always be held in loving remembrance by us all. Helen M. Jones "

" Dear Sojourner :--

"At your request I record the fact that I succeeded in registering my name in the First Precinct of the Ninth Ward, and on Tuesday, the 4th of April, cast the first vote for a state officer deposited in an American ballot-box by a woman of the last half century. After the vote was deposited, I presented a vase of flowers to the inspectors, and also handed them a large picture representing ga large crowd of women in darkness, just entering the portals of an arch, which were inscribed, 'Liberty,' and upon which an eagle was perched. The gates were held open by Columbia and the Goddess of Justice. The foremost woman held in her hands a scroll, inscribed, 'The Fourteenth Amendment.' To the right wer imps of darkness fleeing away, some with barreled of whiskey. On the left was pictured the Capitol of Washington, with men crowding its steps, cheering, &c. Streams of light flowed upon them, while, with the exception of this and foreground, the picture was darkness intensified. The following lines appeared underneath:--

"'We come, free America, five millions strong,
In darkness and bondage for many years long,
We've marched in deep silence, but now we unroll
The Fourteenth Amendment, which gives us a soul.
Glory, glory, hallelujuh, glory, &c., As we go marching on.'" Nannette B. Gardner .
" Detroit, Mich., June 30, 1871 ."

"With a great deal of esteem,"Your friend, John R. French ."


"Sojourner Truth lectured before the Pewamo Temperance Society last evening. She held the audience in breathless attention for one hour. May the Lord guide and protect her in her errands of mercy, and may her days be multiplied. One great desire of my heart has been gratified, which was to meet Sojourner and converse with her face to face." Mrs. E.A. Chaddock ,
" President Pewamo Temperance Society ."

" Bristol, Conn .,

1840. " Sister Dean :--

"I send you this living messenger, as I believe her to be one that God loves. Ethiopia is stretching forth her hands unto God. You can see by this sister that God does, by his Spirit alone, teach his own children things to come. Please receive her, and she will tell you some new things. Let her tell her story without interruption, give close attention, and you will see that she has the leaven of truth, and that God helps her to see where but few can. She can not read or write, but the law is in her heart. Send her to brother Rice's, brother Clapp's, and where she can do most good.

"From you brother in looking for the speedy coming of Christ, Henry L. Bradley ."

"May the God of truth sojourn with you through this world, and then give you an abundant entrance into mansions prepared for you in Heaven." T.B. Welch .
" Vineland, N.J., Dec. 25, 1869 ."


" Hopedale, Mass.,

July 28, 1670.

"Faithful mother in Israel,
Raised up to bless thy people,
Fearless for God's righteousness,
Witness for Truth's almightiness,
Scourge of scornful oppression,
Shamer of vain profession,
Tender nurse of feebleness,
Helper of sad neediness,
Friend of all humanity,
And practical Christianity,
Wondrous age of they sojournment,
Passing strange thy life's concernment,
Stranger than the tales of fiction,
Full of woe and benediction,
But crowed with rich fruition,
May thy Heavenly Father bless thee,
And guardian angels often caress thee,
Till all they toils are ended,
And thy spirit has ascended,
To be with Jesus mansioned,
Among his countless ransomed.
" Adin Ballou ,
" Lucy H. Ballou ."

"Sojourner Truth is the most marvelous person we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. May God spare her, to se her heart's desire accomplished." Mrs. L.H. Pearce ."

" Vineland, Jan . 4, 1870.

"The Lord and good angels have blest you and your work, and will bless you in that better world where I hope to meet Sojourner Truth.John Gage ."


" Niles, Mich.,

Oct 9, 1873.

"This neighborhood has been favored with the presence of Sojourner Truth among us. She dined yesterday at S.A. Gardiner's, took tea with Mrs. Henry Moore, and spent the night at M.F. Reed's. The Lord has blessed us with this angel in disguise, which has made our hearts very glad. May he bless her most abundantly. Mrs. H. Moore ."

" West Medway,

Dec . 21st, 1870. " Dear Aunty Sojourner Truth :--

"We intended to ride down to see you before you left Dr. Gale's, but shall not be able, for Mr. Ray has been to Woonsocket twice this week, and the rest of the week he is so much engaged that we cannot come. I am rather disappointed, for I wanted to see your dear face once more. Mr. Ray wishes me to tell you that he saw brother Gilbert Haven on Monday, and he said that he had been looking for news from you for some time, but didn't know your whereabouts. When Mr. Ray told him that you would spend Christmas with him, 'God willing,' he said, 'That's good. Now we'll have a big time .' Mr. Haven is anticipating your visit with a great deal of pleasure, and I know you will have a nice time. We are all well. Our circle met this week, P.M. and there were many kind inquiries for you. I am sorry you could not have stayed longer with us. May God bless you. I feel that the conversations we had, did me a great deal of good, particularly the relation of your experience on Sunday evening after meeting."Yours in Christian love, Justina B. Ray ."


" Philadelphia, May 9, 1870. " Mrs. Titus :--

"We were made glad last evening by the return of our old friend, Sojourner, from Washington, where she has been for two months. She looks very well and bright, and is in her very best spirits as you will see by the following statement:--

"She has received from the government, through the influence of Gen. Howard, three hundred and ninety dollars, being fifteen dollars per month for twenty-six months. She has collected other funds to the amount of four hundred and fifty dollars, for which I send my check payable to your order, which you will please to pay to William Merritt on acc't of her mortgage, and get him to send the receipt to me with a statement of her accounts.

"She has lived to see her people delivered, and we may all rejoice with her."Yours truly, " Henry T. Child , M. D.
" 634 Race St ."

" Florence, Mass.,

March 8, 1871. " Sojourner Truth :--
" Dear Friend --

Mr. Hunt informs me to-day that Mr. Wheedon, Methodist minister in Northampton, will appoint a meeting for you in his church, next week Tuesday evening, and will himself cause notice thereof to be given next Sunday in all the churches in town, or in such of them as will give the notice. Mr. Hunt will also have the notice in the Free Press printed next Friday, and in the Gazette

printed next week, Tuesday. Now if you will inform me on what evening next week you wish to have a meeting in Florence, I will also have notice given here next Sunday, by the Methodists, the Congregationalists, and in our meeting. Will also have the notice given in the Free Press of next Friday (if I get your reply in season), and in the Gazette of next week, Tuesday. You will be welcome to the use of our hall next week, either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday evening. Please send me word to-morrow, if you can, which evening you will occupy. If not to-morrow, send word the next day, and oblige,"Yours truly, Samuel L. Hill ."

"On Saturday, Jan. 1st, 1870, our house received a new baptism, through Sojourner Truth, whose voice is continually praising God for the blessings bestowed upon her, and never murmuring because of hardships endured. She has been a wonderful teacher to me. I thank my God that I have met Sojourner Truth." Portia Gage ."

" Washington, April 10, 1867. " Isaac Post, Esq .:--
" Dear Sir --

Inclosed find a post-office money order for $20, which is intended for Sojourner Truth, it being the amount due her from the New York Freedmen's Commission for December last. Please assure her of my regards, and that we shall be glad to see her when she returns."Yours truly, A. E. Newton ,
" Sup't of Schools, &c ."


"Sojourner Truth has been very acceptably received by the people of Vineland, and I trust that the many earnest words she has uttered, both in public and private, for the cause of woman and the abolition of the death penalty, will be like seed cast upon good ground." Deborah L. Butler.
" Jan. 17, 1870 ."

Sojourner was most cordially and hospitably entertained whilst in Lawrence, Kansas, by a family of the name of Simpson, bankers in that place.

The following testimonials of their respect are transcribed from her "Book of Life":--

"May your future, Sojourner, be ever brighter than your faith. W. A. Simpson ."

"I wish you the same, Sojourner."Laura B. Simpson ."" Sojourner :--

"May our faith be like thine, and our duty as well done. Kate L. Simpson ."

"The Lord bless you, Sojourner, and may your immortal crown be studded with many stars." Hannah P. Simpson ."

"The Lord bless you, sister Sojourner. I believe you are endued by the Spirit of the Lord in your efforts for the elevation of your race." Samuel Simpson.
" Lawrence, Kansas, Dec. 1, 1871."


"Peterborough, N. Y.,

Dec . 11, 1868. " My Dear Sojourner Truth :--

"I cannot let you go without telling you on paper how highly we have prized your visit to us. We have enjoyed your wit and powers of description, we have been instructed by your wisdom, and we have welcomed your religion. I trust that this is not your last visit to Peterborough, and that the good Lord and Father will spare you to come again to us. Wherever you shall go, there will, I trust, be good friends to receive you, to bless you, and to be blessed by you. I know that wherever you go you will be useful, for the head and heart that you carry with you are continually doing good."With much love to you from my dear wife and myself, your friend, Gerritt Smith .""Sojourner Truth :--

"With weary hand, yet steadfast will,
In old age as in youth,
Thy Master found thee, sowing still
The good seed of his truth." Rev. E. Marble .
"Schoolcraft, Mich. Conference .""Friend Sojourner :--

"It would be folly in me to ask the Great Spirit to bless that which he has already so abundantly blessed. Why should I invoke him to shower blessings upon thy head, or strew thy pathway with flowers? Do not all these jewels naturally belong to and sparkle around the footprints of those

who, like you, go about doing their Master's business? 'T is not race, profession, or position, but knowing the right and doing it, which shall entitle an individual to a safe passport to the home of the angels." Warren Samson .
"Hammonton, N. J., 1870."

"Toledo, Ohio,

Jan. 12, 1866: " Sister Sojourner :--

"I have received my commission to return to Washington and Richmond as soon as I can possibly get ready, i. e ., collect about $300 more to go with. I want to be ready the latter part of next week. Oh, how I want to know how you are getting along. I have not been to Battle Creek, and hardly think I can reach it; but I have written them and hope they will send money and clothes by me to you. I cannot set precise date, but may, in a week or ten days, see Washington.

"Our Home is getting along finely. The colored people of Adrian placed $40 in my hands to buy a cow for the little folks at the Home. I have bought a good cow for them, which gives eleven quarts of milk per day, and Mr. Don gave them another, so they are nicely provided for. The colored people also gave us a Christmas donation for the Haviland Home, valued at $113.84, mostly in provisions and clothing, with some money to purchase hens for the Home.

"I must close with earnest desire for your prosperity in all things."Yours for the poor and needy, " Laura S. Haviland ."


"Washington, March 18, 1874. " Dear, Blessed Sojourner Truth :--

"I must address you from the heart, mother of love and truth as you are. I am blest and thankful that I have held your hand in mine, been greeted by you, and heard your voice, which, longer years than I have known, has been lifted up throughout the land against oppression and sin, say to me, 'I know your soul!' Blessed words! Cheering me on my path and to be proved thrice blessed in the spirit world, where you and I will learn the deep import of your gre!'I know your sou!d grant me strength also to 'be faithful unto the end,' even as you have been.

"When Christ the Lord makes up his jewels, you then exalted will receive the crown eternal, and clothed in white rise upward in joy unspeakable and full of glory. Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory. Reverently and lovingly,"Your child and sister, " Jennie Leys ."

"Pawtucket, Nov. 10, 1870. " Dear Sojourner :--

"I hope there yet may be found ten righteous people to save us this way. At any rate, perhaps you'll help us to hunt them up when you come. There is a nice little hall here which the temperance people occupy only Wednesday evenings. In applying for it, I found old friends of yours who knew you in Bensonville, and it was at once tendered to you in your behalf, free of any expense whatever."Yours in haste, J. Adams ."


"Benzonia, Mich.,

Nov . 8, 1864. "Dear Mother, Sojourner Truth:--

"We have received your 'shadow' all right--very beautiful. We esteem it very much. May God bless you and make you very useful, and prepare you for your higher life, and rest, and glory. To day we suppose Father Abraham is again elected. May God bless him and give him all needed wisdom and grace.

"We all unite in much love to you."Yours for the good cause, " George Thompson ."

"From the Lion's Den, Mount Glendel."

"He who feedeth the ravens, careth for thee, true Sojourner, and blesses all thy labors of love abundantly. Go on proclaiming glad tidings. Preach the true gospel, and curse the follies and sins of this world."Your Old Lion S, Dollie Lion ."

"Schuylkill, Chester Co., Pa.

" April 5, 1863. "To Sojourner Truth:--
"Dear Sister--

I saw, this morning, in the Anti-slavery Standard , an extract from a letter written by Mrs. Stickney to our mutual friend, 'Uncle' Joseph Dugdale. I was glad to learn that you are among kind friends. Although my sympathies were moved at the thought of your poverty and bodily afflictions, yet it was not with feelings of sorrow or regret. I rather rejoiced that your needs should have been the medium through which I learned your whereabouts, and that you still breathe in the

atmosphere of truth, and feel an interest in the welfare of your race and all mankind. That notice will unquestionably bring you all needed temporal help as far as pecuniary aid can supply your wants. I will inclose a mite in this letter for you. It would be more only I that feel assured it will not be needed, as, no doubt, hundreds will feel glad of the opportunity of contributing to your needs.

"Let us bless and praise God for his manifold goodness. God's goodness is none the less displayed in his abused mercies turned into curses by a wicked people than in the fruition of divine joy by his obedient children. May his spirit in such fullness as thy vessel can contain and enjoy, ever be with thee. With fond Christian affection,"Farewell. Isaac Price."

"Peterrorough, May 4, 1869. " My Dear Sojourner :--

"I was very glad to receive a letter from you, but sorry to learn that you are suffering from indisposition. I hope you will soon be well enough to go to Brooklyn and call here on your way. We very often talk of the pleasant visit we had from you, and when I am alone I frequently recall the words you spoke to us and feel refreshed and strengthened by them. I send you ten dollars, for food and fire as far as it will go. Wish it were more, but it must suffice now.

"God bless you always, and keep you in his own peace.In much love, " Ann C. Smith ."


"Alexandria, May 3, 1866. " Sojourner Truth :--
"Dear Friend--

The bearer of this note is desirous of going North and taking thence his family, consisting of wife and daughter. I have known him since my stay here, and recommend him to your consideration. If anything can be done as regards transportation, &c., it will be thankfully received by him."Very respectfully, your obedient servant, " A. W. Tucker ,
"A. A. Surgeon, U. S. A."

"Glad to see our dear co-laborer, Sojourner Truth, again. "Lucretia Mott .
"Road Side, Philadelpha, Eleventh Month, 1869."

"Ever yours, Henry Wilson ,
"Senator, Mass.

"April 20, 1870."

"This is my first interview with Abraham Lincoln's 'Aunty' Sojourner Truth. A pleasant season."George Truman .
"Philadelphia, Eleventh Month, 1869."

"I hope, dear Sojourner, that you will be enfranchised before you leave us for the better land."Your true friend, "Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
" New York, May 4, 1870 ."

"Very truly yours," Mary A. Dodge--Gail Hamilton."


"My friend, Sojourner Truth, the friend of the human race--God bless you."Jacob Walton .
" Adrian, Mich., 1871 ."

"Your brother in the hope of glory,"B. Sunderland ,
" Pres. Minister, Wash. D. C."

"May God bless and guide you!"Anne G. Phillips .
" Aug. 1 ."

"Your true friend and co-worker,Lucy N. Coleman .
" Syracuse, N. Y ."

"Your old young friend, W. F. Morgan.
" Leavenworth, Kan ."

"S. C. Pomeroy, Senator, Kan.
" April 20, 1870 ."

"J. M. Thayer, Senator, Neb.
" April 20, 1870 ."

'A. McDonald , Arkansas."

"Most sincerely your friend,"George W. Julian."

" Henry E. Benson , Lawrence, Kansas ."

"Jacob M. Howard, Michigan Senator ."

"T. M. Morrell , Illinois Senator ."

"Yours truly, J. W. Patterson."


"J. M. Bowen , Mayor of Washington ."

"George E. Spencer , Senator, Ala ."

"D. D. Pratt , U. S. Senator, Ind."

"H. R. Revels , Senator, Miss., Colored ."

"J. S. Adams , Louisiana."

"Z. Chandler , Mich."

"R. E. Fenton , N. Y."

"Jas. S. Fowler , Senator, Tenn ."