Sojourner Truth: born a slave, died a legend

Perhaps the most famous of all citizens born in the Swartekill area was Isabella Baumfree, known as 'Sojourner Truth.'

Swartekill is in the western part of the Town of Esopus, approximately where we find Rifton today. At the time of Sojourner's birth, this area was the south eastern part of the Hurley Patent. This has been the cause of much confusion and mis-interpretation, leading some people to think that she came from Hurley proper. This is obviously not the case, for the village of Hurley is some miles away over both the Wallkill and the Rondout. Swartekill became part of the Town of Esopus when the town was formed in 1811.

For further information, we highly recommend the book "Sojourner Truth Slave, Prophet, Legend" written by Carlton Mabee with Susan Mabee Newhouse.

This book is well researched, informative, and a very interesting read. 


This page created and maintained by Karl Wick  
Created Sat 28 June, 1997.