Sojourner Truth, Carte de Visite, framed
“Used to be Sold for Other People’s Benefit,
but Now She Sold Herself for Her Own.”
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This Sojourner Truth Carte de Visite is deeply framed, with hand drawn mat trim.
Isabella Baumfree was was born into slavery around 1797. Sold several times, and beaten even more, in 1826 she walked away from her master’s farm after he failed to keep his promise to free her ahead of a state law that would have made her free. She then sued her former master for selling her son illegally. She won her case.
As a freed woman, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth after her religious conversion. She became an itinerant preacher. She stumped for both the abolition of slavery and women’s rights.
She saw the value of the photograph, earlier and more clearly than even Lincoln did. Although photographers held the copyright of all the photos they created, she added the slogan at the bottom so people would know she owned it. She also copyrighted her own image. She sold these cartes and used the proceeds to fund her speaking tours.
Handsomely framed, this carte has some minor edge soiling; probably from previous mounting. Deeply framed, it is much nicer in person. The back of the frame is opened so the backmark is clearly visible.