The speech became widely known during the Civil War by the title "Ain't I a Woman?
," a variation of the original speech re-written by someone else using a stereotypical Southern dialect; whereas Sojourner Truth was from New York and grew up speaking Dutch as her first language.
While in New York, she befriended Mary Simpson, a grocer on John Street who claimed she had once been enslaved by George Washington.
She had to leave her other children behind because they were not legally freed in the emancipation order until they had served as bound servants into their twenties.
She found her way to the home of Isaac and Maria Van Wagenen, who took her and her baby in.
Truth had a life-changing religious experience during her stay with the Van Wagenens, and became a devout Christian.
In 1829 she moved with her son Peter to New York City, where she worked as a housekeeper for Elijah Pierson, a Christian Evangelist.
During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.
In 2014, Truth was included in Smithsonian magazine's list of the "100 Most Significant Americans of All Time".
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After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.
She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843 after she became convinced that God has called her to leave the city and go into the countryside "testifying the hope that was in her." Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously, in 1851, at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
She was infuriated but continued working, spinning 100 pounds of wool, to satisfy her sense of obligation to him.