By adolescence, she had already been sold three times. Her second master raped her, then she was given to an older slave in marriage. Truth bore five children from that marriage, most of whom were sold to other slave owners.
In 1827, she was emancipated by state law and obtained domestic work given she could not read nor right.
Truth soon joined a religious group in New York City; however, she later became involved in a scandal that implicated her in the murder of a fellow member. After suing for libel, she was exonerated and left the order.
"I went to the Lord and I asked him to give me a new name. And the Lord gave me Sojourner because I was to travel up an' down the land showin' the people their sins and being a sign unto them… And the Lord gave me Truth, because I was to declare the truth to the people."
Truth supported herself via sales of her autobiography, which she had dictated to a white friend; she also sustained herself with the generous financial assistance of other friends.
In Ohio, during 1851, she spoke at the Women's Rights Convention where she delivered her now famous, Ain't I a Woman, speech.
This commitment to freed slaves inspired her request to Congress that they help provide public land in a western state for melanated people to initiate new, independent lives.
She continued to advocate for this cause until she fell ill in 1875. She settled in Battle Creek, Michigan during her final years and died in 1883.