Truth vs Grimke
Grimke and Sojourner Truth, were both very outspoken women, both abolitionists, and, both fighting for equality among men and woman. Although both women had very similar purpose their background was clearly different. Grimke was raised by slaveholders and Sojourner was a free slave. Grimke was an educator and Sojourner had no formal education. Grimke was an American political activist, abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, and supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. While she was raised a southerner, she spent her entire adult life, by choice, living in the north.
She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church. A proponent of biblical study and interfaith education, she taught a Sabbath school class and also provided religious services to her family’s slaves. Grimke became a close friend of the pastor of her church, Rev. William McDowell. McDowell was a northerner who had previously been the pastor of a Presbyterian church in New Jersey.
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Grimke and McDowell were both very opposed to the institution of slavery on the grounds that it was a morally deficient system that violated Christian law.
An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836) was written in the hopes that Southern women would not be able to resist an appeal made by one of their own. The essay is unique because it is the only written appeal made by a Southern woman to other Southern women regarding the abolition of slavery. Grimke’s Appeal was widely distributed by the American Anti-Slavery Society, and was received with great acclaim by radical abolitionists. However, it was also received with great criticism by her former Quaker community, and was publicly burned in South Carolina.
The Appeal makes seven main arguments: First, that slavery is contrary to the Declaration of Independence; second, that slavery is contrary to the first charter of human rights bestowed upon man in the Bible; third, that the argument that slavery was prophesized gives no excuse to slaveholders for encroaching on another man’s natural rights; fourth, that slavery was never supposed to exist under patriarchal dispensation; fifth, that slavery never existed under Hebrew Biblical law; sixth, that slavery in America “reduces man to a thing” ; and lastly, that slavery is contrary to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.
Grimke also states, in a reply letter to Catharine E. Beecher, what she believes to be the abolitionists’ definition of slavery: “Man cannot rightfully hold his fellow man as property. Therefore, we affirm that every slaveholder is a man-stealer… To steal a man is to rob him of himself. ” She reiterates well-known principles from the Declaration of Independence regarding the equality of man.
Grimke argues that “a man is a man, and as a man he has inalienable rights, among which is the right to personal liberty… No circumstances can ever justify a man in holding his fellow man as property… The claim to him as property is an annihilation of his rights to himself, which is the foundation upon which all his other rights are built. ” Truth was one of the ten or twelve children born to James and Elizabeth Baumfree. James Baumfree was an African captured from Ghana. Elizabeth Baumfree, was the daughter of enslaved Africans from the Coast of Guinea.
The Baumfree families were enslaved by Colonel Hardenbergh. The Hardenbergh estate was in a area called Swartekill in the town of Esopus, New York, 95 miles north of New York City. After the colonel’s death, ownership of the family slaves passed to his son, Charles Hardenbergh. After the death of Charles Hardenbergh in 1806, Truth, known as Belle, was sold at an auction. She was about nine years old and was included with a flock of sheep for $100 to John Neely, near Kingston, New York. Until she was sold, Truth spoke only Dutch.
She suffered many hardships at the hands of Neely, whom she later described as cruel and harsh and who once beat her with a bundle of rods. Truth said Neely beat her daily. Neely sold her in 1808, for $105, to Schryver, a tavern keeper, who owned her for eighteen months. Schryver sold her in 1810, for $175, to John Dumont of West Park, New York. Although this fourth owner was kindly disposed toward her, his wife found numerous ways to harass Truth and make her life more difficult. Around 1815, Truth met and fell in love with a slave named Robert from a neighboring farm.
Robert’s owner (Catlin) forbade the relationship; he did not want his slave to have children with a slave he did not own, because he would not own the children. Robert was savagely beaten and Truth never saw him again. Later, he died from the injuries. In 1817, Truth was forced by Dumont to marry an older slave named Thomas. She had five children: Diana (1815), fathered by Robert; and Thomas who died shortly after birth; Peter (1821); Elizabeth (1825); and Sophia (ca. 1826), fathered by Thomas.e state of New York began, in 1799, to legislate the abolition of slavery, although the process of emancipating New York slaves was not complete until July 4, 1827. Dumont had promised to grant Truth her freedom a year before the state emancipation, “if she would do well and be faithful. ” However, he changed his mind, claiming a hand injury had made her less productive. She was infuriated but continued working, spinning 100 pounds of wool, to satisfy her sense of obligation to him. Late in 1826, Truth escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, Sophia.
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 later said: “I didn’t walk off , for I thought that be wicked I , but I walked off believing that to be alright. ” She found her way to the home of Isaac and Maria Van Wagener, who took her and her baby in. Isaac offered to buy her services for the remainder of the year (until the state’s emancipation took effect), which Dumont accepted for $20. She lived there until the New York State Emancipation Act was approved a year later.
On June 1, 1843, Truth changed her name to Sojourner Truth She became a Methodist, and began traveling and preaching about the abolition of slavery. In 1844, she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Northampton, Massachusetts. Founded by abolitionists, the organization supported women’s rights and religious tolerance . In May 1851, Truth delivered her famous speech on women’s rights, later known as “Ain’t I a Woman” In this piece, Truth starts by saying two of the primary issues of the day: the abolitionist movement in the South and the growing unrest of women in the North.
Transitioning to the general treatment of women in the day: white women are treated as fair creatures and receive assistance from men. She states that she does work that would be the equivalent of a man but she does not get the treatment different than man even though she does things that men can’t do, such as giving birth to 13 children. The reason given for women to be treated differently from men is that that Jesus Christ was a man. Truth points out that the only way that Christ came into existence was through a woman. She also mentions that Eve was powerful enough to change the world by eating the apple.
If one woman could “turn the world upside down all alone” than women as a collective should “be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! ” We have woman who not only have a voice but women who me the voice.. We have women judges, lawyer, teachers, and preachers. So as we can see Grimke and Truth’s struggle was not in vain Men do respect women a lot more these days and we owe all thanks to Sojourner Truth and Angelina Grimke, the women who said there was no stopping until justice was done. not only have a voice but women who me the voice.. We have women judges, lawyer, teachers, and preachers..
So as we can see Grimke and Truth’s struggle was not in vain Men do respect women a lot more these days and we owe all thanks to Sojourner Truth and Sarah Gdmke, the women who said there was no stopping until justice was done. not only have a voice but women who me the voice.. We have women judges, lawyer, teachers, and preachers.. So as we can see Grimke and Truth’s struggle was not in vain Men do respect women a lot more these days and we owe all thanks to Sojourner Truth and Sarah Gdmke, the women who said there was no stopping until justice was done.