New York State Announces that Statue of Sojourner Truth Will Be Erected

Pat Young

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This week marks the 100th Anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York State. In celebration, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that two new statues of women will be erected.

Sojourner Truth's statue will be on the Empire State Trail in Ulster County near where she was born and lived as a slave in the Hudson Valley. Long Island suffragist Rosalie Jones will also be honored with a statue for her part in passing the 1917 women's suffrage amendment. The Jones statue will be in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island at another trailside park.

More on this here:
https://hyperallergic.com/410065/suffrage-statues-on-ny-state-property/
 

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Sojourner Truth was born a slave in Swartekill in Ulster County in 1797 as Isabella Baumfree. In 1826 she escaped from her enslaver and two years later she filed a suit against him to recover her son. She was the first New Yorker to win such a suit. Although she was often depicted in the white-owned newspapers as speaking in a stereotypical Southern black dialect, she in fact first spoke Dutch and later spoke English with the accent of people from the Middle Hudson region as Dutch and English were merged.
 

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Until 1806, Truth was a enslaved in what is now Rifton, New York where she spoke only Dutch. When she was just nine she was sold after her enslaver died. She was sold to John Neely whom she described as crueld and violent in his punishments of her. She was held as human property by two other men after Neely.

In 1815 she began a relationship with a slave on another property named Robert. They wanted to marry, but Robert's enslaver refused permission since Robert's children would not belong to him. When Robert was found with Truth, he was beaten and died soon thereafter.

With slavery set to end in July, 1827, Truth walked away from her owner in 1826. She was sheltered by a Dutch New Yorker in New Paltz. In the decades before the Civil War, Truth became a prominent speaker for the rights of African Americans, and particularly for women of color.
 

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New York polling places are distributing this "I Voted" sticker today to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of women winning the right to vote. My blessing on each of you as you go to vote today. Rights only endure if they are exercised.

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I think this is absolutely great news and LONG over due. Sojourner Truth is an essential part of our American history.

Respectfully,
William
View attachment 164778
The announcement has gotten a fair amount of publicity in New York, so hopefully it will get a few people to look more closely at her life as both a slave, an advocate, and an activist.
Coming from a state where women got the vote when the territory was organized in 1869, I tend to forget that it was a long, long fight to achieve this goal in other parts of the country!

Sojourner Truth was a very brave woman!
Yes, she really was. I think the fact that she used to get on streetcars in Washington as a way to challenge segregation tells us how ahead of her time she was.
 

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