We may have learned about Sojourner Truth in school. However, we may not have known that she not only influenced the Hudson Valley but had specific ties to it.

Who Is Sojourner Truth?


Accoring to National Women's History Museum, known as 

"a former slave, Sojourner Truth became an outspoken advocate for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the nineteenth century. Her Civil War work earned her an invitation to meet President Abraham Lincoln in 1864."

Where Was Sojourner Truth Born?


According to National Women's History Museum, 

"Truth was born Isabella Bomfree, a slave in Dutch-speaking Ulster County, New York in 1797. She was bought and sold four times, and subjected to harsh physical labor and violent punishments. In her teens, she was united with another slave with whom she had five children, beginning in 1815."

In the 1820's, Truth ran away, this was right before New York's law of freeing slaves was going to take effect. She left with her infant child, Sophia and went to the Van Wageners who were an abolitionist family. 

"The family bought her freedom for twenty dollars and helped Truth successfully sue for the return of her five-year-old-son Peter, who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama."

In the late 1820's, Truth then moved to New York City and worked for a local minister. In the early 1830's, she then was involved in the religious movement and used her voice to become a speaker.

"In 1843, she declared that the Spirit called on her to preach the truth, renaming herself Sojourner Truth."

Eventually, Truth moved to Michigan and spent the rest of her life there.

How Is Sojourner Truth Tied To The Hudson Valley?

According to The Town Of Esopus,

"Truth, named Isabella by her parents James and Elizabeth, had a dozen siblings, all of whom, with the exception of her youngest brother, had been sold off at a young age.


The family was the property of Johannes Hardenbergh, a Revolutionary War colonel and wealthy landowner whose stone house in Swartekill (present-day Rifton) still stands. The Hardenbergh family and their seven slaves all spoke Dutch, reflecting the culture of the first European settlers in the area."

According to SUNY New Paltz, 

"The Ulster County Court House in Kingston is another site connected with Sojourner Truth. It is the same building that she entered numerous times in 1827 and 1828 while fighting to recover her son, Peter. Early in 1827, he had been sold and sent to Alabama illegally. On July 4, 1827, all adult blacks in New York State were freed. Children became bonded servants for a period of years, depending upon their ages, but eventually were to be freed. This would not happen if they were sent out of the State."


"On March 27, 1993, the fifth annual Symposium on Sojourner Truth was held here in her church. This was not the same building of rough hewn timber built in the mid 1820's, that she attended, but it was on about the same site. She joined it late in that decade, at the time that she was legally freed from slavery and living in Kingston as a domestic."

According to Scenic Hudson,

Truth left behind her husband and three of her four children. She then proceeded to walk 11.5 miles which then led her to freedom which was over the Shaupeneak Ridge.

Where In The Hudson Valley IS Sojourner Truth Honored?

Sojourner Truth Statue, Walkway Over The Hudson State Historic Park

87 Haviland Rd, Highland, NY 12528

Sojourner Truth Statue

172 Broadway, Port Ewen, NY 12466

Sojourner Truth State Park

100 Sojourner Truth Way, Kingston, NY 12401

Sojourner Truth Park

55 Plains Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561

Sojourner Truth Library

300 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561

The Sojourner Truth Trail On Shaupeneak Ridge

143 Popletown Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561

Learning about Truth's life is fascinating and motivating, especially her ties to the Hudson Valley. May we continue to always be kind to one another and stand up for what's right in honor of Sojourner Truth. We can visit where she is honored within the Hudson Valley to continue to pay our respect and have her name live on.

Have you ever seen a Sojourner Truth statue before? Share with us below.

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