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Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth
Unidentified Artist
Sojourner Truth, c. 1797 - 26 Nov 1883
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 8.1 x 5.7 cm (3 3/16 x 2 1/4")
Mount: 9.3 x 6.1 cm (3 11/16 x 2 3/8")
Mat: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11")
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Photographic format\Carte-de-visite
Sojourner Truth: Female
Sojourner Truth: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Lecturer
Sojourner Truth: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
Sojourner Truth: Society and Social Change\Enslaved person
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Hurley, New York
In 1843, sixteen years after gaining her freedom, Isabella Baumfree changed her name to Sojourner Truth and emerged as one of the nation’s foremost abolitionists. Speaking throughout the country, she supported her antislavery campaign through sales of her book, the Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1850), and by selling copies of her photograph, which carried the caption, “I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance.”
Truth continued to call for slavery’s abolition during the Civil War and rejoiced when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (1863). Eager to assist the many refugees from enslavement who were flocking to Washington, D.C., she traveled there in 1864. Appointed by 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—Truth earned praise for her “great service rendered to the Freedmen and their families.”
Nacida en Hurley, Nueva York
En 1843, a los 16 años de haber obtenido su libertad, Isabella Baumfree cambió su nombre a Sojourner Truth y pasó a ser una de las más notables abolicionistas de la nación. Daba charlas a lo largo del país y costeaba su campaña antiesclavista vendiendo su libro Historia de Sojourner Truth (1850) y fotografías suyas con la inscripción “Vendo la sombra para mantener la sustancia”.
Truth siguió abogando por la abolición de la esclavitud durante la Guerra Civil y se regocijó cuando Lincoln emitió la Proclamación de Emancipación (1863). Deseosa de ayudar a los muchos refugiados afroamericanos que venían en masa a Washington D.C., ella también vino en 1864. La Asociación Nacional de Socorro a los Libertos la nombró “consejera de las personas libertas” en Freedmen’s Village, el campamento creado por el gobierno federal en Arlington Heights, Virginia. Allí recibió elogios por el “gran servicio prestado a los libertos y sus familias”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Currently not on view