Chapters 5 Social Justice Activist to the End
When the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, Sojourner Truth, now in her mid-60s, was gravely ill at home in Battle Creek, Michigan. She had been on the road for nearly 20 years, the last seven of those lecturing in the Western states. Th e circuit had taken a great toll on her health. In Indiana, where she had famously bared her breast, she was later battered and bruised by an angry mob, and had to take several weeks away from the speaking-circuit while recovering in bed. In 1863, news traveled fast through anti-slavery circles that the old war horse was on her deathbed. She received visitors, gift s, letters, cards, and even ﬁ nancial donations from around the country and the world. By the spring of 1863, however, Sojourner was slowly clawing her way back to health. Th e once bedridden woman began to walk outside again. From her home in Michigan she corresponded by mail with friends and associates.