National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Sojourner Truth: American\African American
Abolitionist and former slave Sojourner Truth was overjoyed when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Eager to assist the many refugees from slavery who had flocked to the nation’s capital, Truth traveled there from her home in Michigan in the autumn of 1864. After meeting with Lincoln, she remained in Washington, where she initially helped to raise funds for the Colored Soldiers’ Aid Society. In December, Truth accepted an appointment from the National Freedmen’s Relief Association to serve as "counselor to the freed people" at Freedmen’s Village—the camp established by the federal government at Arlington Heights, Virginia. Working there for more than a year, she was warmly praised by the camp’s superintendent for "the great service rendered to the Freedmen and their families." Truth provided similar support to the newly established Freedmen’s Bureau, laboring tirelessly to collect much-needed provisions for patients in its Freedmen’s Hospital.