The Bible, Lincoln, and Sojourner Truth

Abraham Lincoln showing Sojourner Truth the Bible presented by colored people of Baltimore, Photograph of a painting, 1864, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

In 1864 Sojourner Truth, an African American evangelist, abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and author, talked with Abraham Lincoln at the White House. By that year, her famous speeches, including one called “Ain’t I a Woman?” made Truth a leader in the movement to end slavery and the movement for women’s rights. During the Civil War, Truth traveled to Washington, D.C. to work with the National Freedman’s Relief Association and to organize people to donate food, clothes, and other supplies to black refugees. This is a photograph of a now-destroyed 1894 painting done to commemorate that meeting.  It depicts Lincoln showing Truth a Bible presented to him earlier that year by African American residents of Baltimore.


Opposed to the practice of slavery.

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