Sojourner Truth

Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer1864/1864

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia
United States

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born into slavery with the name Isabella Baumfree in Ulster County New York, but eventually escaped with her daughter Sophia in 1826 prior to the full, formal abolition of slavery in that state. She gave a number of speeches supporting abolition and women’s rights.

Her most famous effort on behalf of the latter came in 1851 before the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, when she delivered her extemporaneous, but now famous “Ain’t I a Woman” address, of which several competing versions exist. Truth stayed on the lecture circuit, supporting herself in part by selling her photographic image in both carte de visite and cabinet photo format. While variants do exist, most of these photographs portray her seated with her hands clasped above the phrase, “I sell the shadow to support the substance.”


  • Title: Sojourner Truth
  • Creator: Emilia D. van Beugen, photographer
  • Date: 1864/1864

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