Nice to meet you too Allen. I really appreciate your comment. We all can learn from each other so feel free to contribute. Last year Witt pulled a few factual surprises on me, which was most pleasant.
Now meet Isabella Baumfree born to slave parents James and Betsey. As there are no records of her birth, Isabella calculates, as best she can, her birth to be between 1797 and 1800.
She and her parents, being human chattel, became the property of one Charles Ardinburg upon the death of his father.
One of her earliest recollections is about all the slaves of Master Charles being move to
their new sleeping quarters, which was a cellar dug under a new hotel that Charles converted into his new home. All the slaves slept there, young old, both sexes. The only light was from a couple window panes. Isabella shudders as she tells of the loose boards on the uneven floor that was oft as not filled with water and mud.
She wonders not at all at the accompanying illness suffer by them. Here is a most remarkable quote about here attitude toward this cruelty:
Still, she does not attribute this cruelty“for cruelty it certainly is, to be so unmindful of the health and comfort of any being, leaving entirely out of sight his more important part, his everlasting interests,“so much to any innate or constitutional cruelty of the master, as to that gigantic inconsistency, that inherited habit among slaveholders, of expecting a willing and intelligent obedience from the slave, because he is a MAN “at the same time every thing belonging to the soul-harrowing system does its best to crush the last vestige of a man within him; and when it is crushed, and often before, he is denied the comforts of life, on the plea that he knows neither the want nor the use of them, and because he is considered to be little more or little less than a beast.
At nine years of age Isabella was sold on the action block. Isabella's masters up to this time were Dutch and as such she could only speak dutch, but the ones that bought her spoke English. She suffered terrible beatings for that lack of understanding.
Fast forward to Isabella's adulthood. She bore thirteen children, work in the fields and worked in the slave master's house.
Eventually Isabella ran away becoming a preacher, lecturer, and abolitionist.
Hugh crowds came to hear her oratory.She travled all over the country, had audience with President Grant and was befriended by Harriet Beecher Stowe and other famous abolititionists. She preached from memory and spoke from her experiences and heart as she never learned to read.
One of her greatest oratories is entitled, Ain't I a woman?
Isabella Baumfree...We know her well. She is none other than Sojourner Truth.