First EditionTruth, Sojourner. Narrative of Sojourner Truth: a Bondswoman of Olden Time, Emancipated by the New York legislature in the Early part of the present century; with a History of her Labours and Correspondence drawn from her “Book of Life.” First edition, second printing of Truth’s 1850 “Narrative”, which was printed from the same typeset and published along with the First Edition, first Issue of Truth’s “Book of Life.” Boston: Published for the Author 1850, 1875.
As described by the original inserted errata notice “To the Reader”, “The first 128 pages of this work are reprinted from stereotype plates, made in 1850.” The remainder of the text is a collection of newspaper articles and celebrity autographs taken from a personal collection of Truth's that she called the "Book of Life." When Truth decided to issue an updated version of her biography in 1875 to help pay for a grandson's medical bills, she asked Frances Titus to publish excerpts from her "Book of Life" as a supplement to the original text. These are printed here for the first time. Sojourner Truth was one of the most important American abolitionists and civil rights activists of the 19th-century. Born a slave, Truth was known for her speeches and memoirs proclaiming freedom and equality, many of which were published in her book ‘The Narrative’. This book was first published during Truth’s rise to prominence, a year before her famous speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention which is today known by the title “Ain’t I a Woman.” Original maroon boards with gilt title to spine and gilt portrait of Truth to cover. Boards and spine worn, professionally cleaned. Spine professionally strengthened. Internally quite clean, with light toning and a few scattered stains. Original frontis entitled “Sojourner Truth; the Libyan Sibyl” present and protected by original tissue guard. Exceedingly rare, the 1850 First Edition is virtually unobtainable and absent from the auction records for many decades. This second printing, unchanged and set from the original type and published by Truth during her lifetime, is the nearest obtainable chance to own an extraordinarily rare piece of abolitionist history.