Plans of Escape
Taylor, Age 11, Charleston, WV

It is just a normal day on the farm. I am a slave who is treated unfairly. Everybody I met that was “white” treated me like I was nothing. I wanted to do something to stop it. This was my sixteenth year as a slave, and I had been sold like property to many farmers. The farm I am at right now is close to my birthtown, Ulster County, New York.

As the days went by I made many plans of escape. I was seventeen and ready. But if I got caught I would definitely get whipped or punishment from my master. That night I made my final escape plan. The next night I made my move. I struggled a little bit, but I made it. I was a free woman.

After I celebrated my freedom, I started talking to other blacks. I told them about the unfairness of slavery and how everyone can help stop it. Eventually people started listening and doing something. I started traveling so more people could hear my opinion on slavery. One day when I was speaking in Washington, D.C., President Lincoln asked me to tell him what I think about slavery.

In 1861, the Civil War started and the black camps needed clothing and food. So I started lots of food and clothing drives for the black camps. Pretty soon the black camps had enough food and clothing for everyone. I really felt good helping all of these people. Slowly I was getting older, but did that stop me?

Nope, I kept on speaking. Hoping that I changed each person’s mind about slavery. I never learned to read or write, but I depended on my memory. Who am I? My name was Sojourner Truth.

(Sojourner Truth was a real person who died in 1883.)


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