Truth, Sojourner. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.
Handwritten letter from Sojourner Truth to Amy Kirby Post. Truth writes to Post about her recent assault, while riding on a train.
October 1, 1865
Washington Oct 1st, /65
Amy Post- My dear friend
I have heard nothing from my
children for a long time, neither
from my grandchildren since
they left me. I take this occasion
to inquire after their whereabouts
and health, as well as your own
prosperity, and to inform you of
my own. I spent over six months
at Arlington Heights, called the
Freedmen’s village, and served
there as Counciller [sic] for my people
acceptably to the good but not at
all times to those who desire nothing
higher than the lowest and the vilest
of habits. For you know I must be
faithful Sojourner everywhere.
I have generally received the kindest
attention from those in Authority.
even to the President. But I see
dark spots still in the great cloud
that leads us by day, and occasional
angry flashes in the pillar of fire that
guides through this long dark night.
Yet my comfort in all this is in
the thought that God rules.
A few weeks ago I was in com
pany with my friend Josephine S.
Griffing, when the Conductor of a street
car refused to stop his car for me, although
closely following Josephine. and holding
on to [sic] the iron rail they draged [sic] me
a number of yards before she succeed
ed in stoping them. She reported the
conductor to the president of the City Rail
way. who dismissed him at once,
and told me to take the number of
the car, wherever I was mistreated by
a conductor or driver, and report to
him and they should be dismissed.
On the 13th [illegible] I had occasion to go
for blackbury wine, and other necessities
for the patients in the Freedmen’s Hos
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Mrs [Hanilands?] on business and will remain a week or ten days
longer, she does the reading and writing for me while here
pitals in the City where I have been
doing, and advising, for a number
of months under sanction of the Bureau
tis they had often refused to stop for
me, I thought now I would get a
ride without trouble as I was in com
pany with another Friend Laura
S. [Haniland?] of Mich.. as I ascended
the platform of the car, a man just
leaving it, called out “Have you got
room for niggers here!” as the conduc-
tor then noticed my black face, push
ed me, saying “go back—get off here.”
I told I was not going off, “then I’ll
put you off.” said he furiously, with
clenching my right arm with both
hands, using such violence that he
seemed about to succeed, when Mrs
[Haniland?] reached us. and told him, he
was not going to put me off, placing her
hands on both of us. “Does she be
long to you! if she does, take her in out
the way” said he, in a hurried angry tone
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Tis ever I am your friend Sojourner Truth by L.L. H.
she replied “She does not belong
to me, but she belongs to Humanity.
and she would have been out of
the way long ago, if you had have let
her alone.” The number of the car
was noted, and conductor dismiss
ed at once upon the report to the
President (Mr. Gidean) who advised
his arrest for assault and Battery as
my shoulder was sprained by the
wrench given by the conductor in
his effort to put me off. Accordingly,
I had him arrested. and the case tried
before Justice Johnson who refered [sic]
the case to the Grand Jury of the United
States, and placed James C. Weedan,
the conductor under bonds for his
appearance to court which appears next
Wednesday, My shoulder was very
lame and swollen, but is better, but
I sometimes fear it will trouble me
for a long time. if I ever get entirely
over it. It is hard for the old slave
holding spirit to die. But die it must.
Write immediately, tell me where
my children are, and how they are.
Direct to me in care of Dr. [Glennan?]
D. S. A. Freedman’s Hospital Washington D.C.
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P.S. I think I shall be there in 4 or 5 weeks but I want to I am anxious to hear
Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and former slave, is writing from Washington, D.C. to fellow activist, Amy Post. Josephine Griffing was an abolitionist. The Freedman's Bureau formed during Reconstruction to help former slaves find jobs and received an education.
About the Original Item
- Truth, Sojourner, d. 1883
- Post, Amy Kirby, b. 1802
- Post, Amy Kirby, b. 1802
Truth, Sojourner, d. 1883
Slavery, abolition, and emancipation
Freed Slaves, Personal
- Post Collection
- Item Type:
- Truth, Sojourner, d. 1883, “Truth, Sojourner. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.,” Post Family Papers Project, accessed January 16, 2017, https://rbsc.library.rochester.edu/items/show/489.