We present information from public domain documents that are almost two hundred years old. This vitally important information is presented in Bold Black Text.
We have experienced many different viewpoints from newspapers; the Folger encampment, Margaret the abandoned wife of Matthias, Isabella Van Wagener, and last but not least Mr. Stone. Within this chapter, we will present more statements from Isabella Van Wagener, who we now know as Sojourner-Truth. Interestingly we find a considerable amount of detail in her version of events, which provides us with information unavailable elsewhere! The report is relevant, as she wants us to know what happened to her from August to September of 1834. To present a balanced point of view, we shall, as usual, include different opinions.
After their sexual reunion at the Crosby Tavern, Ann and Benjamin attempt a reconciliation; however, this time, the Folgers desperate situation involves both the faithful disciples and the feared devilish citizens of the gentile world! Together the Folgers want Matthias out of their hideaway house at number eight Third Street; however, things are not quite what they seem to be! During his past attempts to free himself and his family, Benjamin directly moved against Prophet Matthias. Ultimately his actions have shown his intentions; unfortunately, Benjamin is entirely under the control of Ann, his wife. Ann has endured verbal and emotional threats, which she has sought to deal with passively. In essence, she appears emotionally distressed by the actions of Matthias and Benjamin who are, as men, attempting to satisfy her passions, and desires, physically and spiritually!
Attempting to escape the verbal onslaught by Matthias and his children, the harassed Ann quote. ‘Proposed taking a journey with her husband (Benjamin) to Albany.’ At this juncture, Ann is now saying that Benjamin is her husband, which are not words that Matthias wants to hear or accept. Utilizing three simple words, he said, referring to himself in the third person quote. ‘Matthias opposed it.’ Striving to hold his Zion together, and with his iron-clad grip starting to loosen: the world of Matthias is crumbling, but not yet fallen!
As the hours and days move forward, the continuing threat of sickness and death as prophesied by Matthias is diminishing. Bravely Ann is determined to press forward her viewpoint when she said quote. ‘Mr. Folger had sacrificed much for him.’ (Matthias) after which she continued to press the home advantage by saying quote. ‘She thought, as he (Benjamin) wished it very much, she might so far indulge him as to accompany him in this journey.’ Sojourner-Truth then informs us quote. ‘Mrs. B. Folger slept with her husband while thus traveling, either with or without the knowledge of Matthias.’ Together Benjamin and Ann are stronger in their re-kindled desires as legal husband and wife. Incredibly their original plan, as agreed around the time of repurchasing the furniture, is continuing to help bond them together!
During this uncertain period, either Matthias, a Prophet, or Benjamin a man, will eventually win Ann as the mother of the hideaway house at Third Street!
After enjoying Ann’s company in Albany, Benjamin is quote. ‘Unwilling to give up his wife.’ Ann, on the other hand, finds herself continually torn between her emotions of re-kindled love for Benjamin; and her delusion of faith expressed towards Matthias, his doctrines, and their unborn child! We read that Ann was quote. ‘Very far gone in the family way, with the expected holy son of Matthias, in whom there was yet much faith.’ (Ref: H87.)
What happened next throws slight on this underlying faith shown towards Matthias and his doctrines we read quote. ‘The subject was now resumed of Matthias going into the west, to seek a farm. After some manifestations of dissatisfaction, on the part of Matthias and Mr. B. Folger, the former resolved upon leaving the family, at least for a time, and set out on a journey, and reached as far as Newark.’ With Matthias out of the house, Sojourner-Truth informs us that quote. ‘Mr. Folger slept that night with his wife.’ (Ref H88.) Surprisingly Matthias, on his departure, took no provisions for his journey. Interestingly and using his understanding of the King James Bible, Matthias said quote. ‘ That he was like the prophet David, and Benjamin was like Absalom warring against his father.’ (Ref: H87.) Craftily, the old fox Matthias is on the run, while at the same time laying the groundwork, preparing for his counter-attack. Within the New York Times, we read quote. ‘The kingdom, now reduced to five or six members, was tottering to its fall. Mr. Folger, who appears to be as pliable as he was infatuated, urged Matthias to leave New York, offering to advance him sufficient money to buy a farm in some western state. Matthias finally consented to make the move, and in the first week of September 1834, he pretended to set out in search of another home, but proceeding only as far as Newark N.J.’ (Ref: 273.)
As Matthias walks out of the front door, we find Ann inconsolable as she quote. ‘Commenced the most doleful lamentations, and manifesting the greatest marks of distress.’ (Ref: H87) Turning to another witness in the form of Margaret, the estranged wife of Matthias: we find information that verifies Isabella’s version of events; we read. ‘Here they began to make arrangements to move away to some distant place. Matthias went away and was gone a week in pursuit of a place. My sons informed me that while he was gone, Mrs. Folger (Ann) was continually mourning for his absence, even crying.’ (Ref: mw45 note 3.)
Once again with only silence from within the Folger encampment, we must now read and listen to the words of Isabella Van Wagener (Sojourner-Truth) as she is determined to reveal everything!
Inside Third Street, Benjamin appears to have won this round; he has moved with skill, determination, and courage against Matthias and all his dire prophecies of sickness, and death. Matthias has left the house, he is on his own, and he has time to think, regroup, and start to plan his next course of action! While Matthias is away from the house, Ann’s grief deepens and starts to affect everyone; we read quote. ‘Distress was so great that it affected those about her, and it drew the attention of the whole household.’ In the most remarkable turn of events, we read quote. ‘Mr. B Folger, too, became distressed at the unhappiness of his wife; and being melted into sympathy, remarked, that if this was the consequence of Matthias’ departure, he could have no comfort with her, and consequently wished him back.’ Within this statement, we find a dark, selfish side of Benjamin starting to surface; he is more concerned with his circumstances than the surprising sufferings of Ann! Benjamin said quote. ‘He could have no comfort with her.’ By the use of the words ‘no comfort’, the implications are that they shared neither communications nor private time! Surprisingly, Ann would say to Benjamin, quote. ‘How can I live if father goes away?’ On another occasion, she said. ‘What has become of him?’ after which Benjamin stated that ‘He would go and see.’
Ann’s reaction is both unexpected and shocking, as she is grieving for herself, and Matthias, in her heartbroken stated she said quote. ‘Mr. Folger would, perhaps, ill use her when Matthias was gone.’ (Ref: H89.)
Turning the tables, the Folger’s plan to run away to a farmhouse in the west is in rack and ruin, as they appear to be wallowing in pain, misery, and continued self-delusion. Incredibly Ann has plunged herself and Benjamin back into the firing line of Matthias’s sights: the only question is, will Matthias shoot to kill, or will he take prisoners during September of 1834.
Side note: The above historical statements (RefH88 Ref:273 Ref MW45.) are vital in understanding the importance of the pending actions for Matthias and his faithful disciples. It appears that both Benjamin and Matthias are deeming this plan unsatisfactory. The driving force behind this action plan is Ann. Remembering this information is helpful, it will aid you the student and careful reader in your analysis of this pending life or death struggle for survival and freedom.
THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 105.
The next part of this end game has one minor discrepancy within the time frame. In one report we read. ‘Matthias went away and was gone a week in pursuit of a place,’while in the other, we understand quote. ‘Matthias, who probably knew the effect of his absence, returned the next day.’ (Ref M.W. 65 & Ref: H89) Regardless of the amount of time, the outcome for his return was the same. Ann received him quote. ‘With open arms and Mrs. Folger manifested joy as rapturous, at his return.’ In a ridiculous turn of events, Ann and Matthias once again re-unite in yet another service of marriage! Unlike the previous ceremony of just a few short weeks ago, Isabella has a lot to say about this wedding: we read quote. ‘Then followed the last mockery of marriage, more solemnly contracted than before. The church or kingdom was assembled, and Mr. B Folger assuming the firmness of a man, and the sageness of a philosopher, declared to Mrs. Folger in the most solemn manner, that he was then about to give her up forever; that after that period, he would never take her back again.’ These appear to be strong words from Benjamin; however, with a weak double-minded man, his words can, and are all too often, only words with little substance behind them!
Seeking his promised replacement wife and standing alone and with no real chance of regaining the young and beautiful Isabella daughter of Matthias, Benjamin once again turns his attention towards Catherine Galloway. Clearly, Benjamin understands his situation, he can see his world imploding, and his selfish desires as a man are paramount! Turning from Ann to Catherine, Benjamin declared himself quote. ‘Willing to take her forever, but with much solemnity and apparent prudence and sageness, pointed out to her the difficulties of her situation. He foretold that the world must become acquainted with the facts, and that persecution would possibly follow. He then asked her solemnly if she was willing to take him with these prospects, and if she felt that she had strength to bear up against the frowns of the world, concluding with repeating the question, was she willing to take him forever?’ Undoubtedly Benjamin knows his activities will be examined and condemned.
As a man of simple education and now reduced wealth, he fully understands his position, which is the perfect lapdog for the controlling boss of bosses, the real master manipulator, the one and only Ann Folger! Sitting on her delusional throne, Ann has managed to influence and control Matthias and Benjamin, she is pregnant and is once again re-united then re-married with Matthias. The clever seductive Ann has even managed to manipulate Benjamin into accepting Catherine Galloway as a throwaway substitute sexual companion. Almost as if she is re-enacting a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, we read that quote. ‘Catherine, who was unable to make a speech, or to look solemn, only looked foolish, and hung her head down, and drawled out the accustomed Yes, sir.’ Turning to Margaret, the abandoned wife of Matthias, we read quote. ‘They were then married Matthias and Mrs. Folger and Mr. Folger and Mrs. Galloway.’ (Ref: mw45.) Moments before the final ceremony of marriage, Benjamin informs Ann, quote. ‘Now, father(Matthias) takes you forever.’ In her attempt to portray her side of this story, Sojourner-Truth then expresses her understanding of this situation; she said quote. ‘The unusual solemnity of Mr. Folger on this occasion, and the firmness with which he pronounced the words forever seemed to unnerve Mrs. Folger. She was not accustomed to it; she paused and faltered as if she was about to lose the influence she had exerted over Mr. B Folger, and this perhaps Matthias observed, and for the first time, probably, conceived the idea, that Mrs. B Folger really wished to retain two strings to her bow.’ The idea of having two strings to her bow implies that Ann enjoyed toying with the affections of both Matthias and Benjamin! Within her closing statement, Sojourner-Truth then informs us. ‘The family wounds were healed, and the kingdom was again built up. Harmony reigned that evening, and Matthias, at night, retired with Mrs. B Folger, while Mr. Folger led off the young widow (Catherine Galloway); each of the parties being now fixed forever.’ (Ref H90.)
The intention of examining all the available historical records provides information which, when correlated, gives a better understanding of the enjoyed or endured actions of Prophet Matthias and his disciples. Surprisingly we have presented evidence showing Ann Folger bed-hopping between Matthias and Benjamin. Additionally, we understand from several historical documents that Ann Folger also shared her bed with Sojourner-Truth. The fact of Sojourner-Truth sharing a bed with Ann Folger must not be miss understood, as the idea of these two women in bed together does not imply or present, any lesbian or bi-sexual activities.
All of Sojourner-Truths statements confirm the principle that truth must prevail, especially when she is quoted as saying. ‘Mrs. B Folger slept with Isabella, and on these opportunities made to her very free communications, while the subject of her union with Matthias seemed to occupy much of her thoughts. And it became the subject of conversation; besides, being under partial restraint, and denied the company of Matthias, this perhaps operated in exciting the imagination the more. Then when Mrs. B Folger was in bed with Isabella, and when Matthias was spoken of, Mrs. Folger (Ann) actually showed Isabella how Matthias kissed or embraced her. This, with other facts, shows clearly, that the death of Mr. Pierson made no alteration either in the faith of Mrs. Folger or in her affections. It shows most clearly that her mind was at least much occupied with her enjoyments with Matthias, whom she still regarded as her proper spouse.’
As a slave and servant, Isabella Van Wagener or (Sojourner-Truths) ability to choose or complain was almost none existent, moreover, she has limited options. Entrapped in a fanatical religious environment, we find Sojourner-Truth in bed with Ann Folger regaling her with verbal and physical renditions of her promiscuous experiences with Prophet Matthias. The fact that Sojourner-Truth was kissed, and then shown how Matthias embraced the body of Ann Folger, does not imply that Sojourner-Truth was a lesbian or bisexual. In essence, Sojourner-Truth is innocent prey for the lonely frustrated excessive sexual desires of the quietly spoken Ann Folger claimed mother and domineering character of the house. (Ref: H90 -91) The evidence is from multiple witness statements, and is entirely in harmony with each record, apart from the time scale in which Matthias was away from the hideaway home. No wonder the Folgers declined to present this information, as the actions of Ann are incomprehensible to most members of Nineteenth-Century society. Uncontrollably she has continually shown her appetite for both Matthias and Benjamin while she was heavily pregnant with what she called her holy child!
In her final words on this subject, Sojourner-Truth cuts deep into the deception, when she refers to Mr. Stone in her testimony of events. The two different versions of Ann Folger’s situation from August to September 1834 were.
THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 106.
Considering the factual evidence presented in this and previous chapters, perhaps students and careful readers understand how Ann Folger was before and after the death of Mr. Pierson, wholly besotted and under the influence of Matthias!
In summary, we have another option to consider. Determined to achieve her goals as the mother of the house, and mother of her unborn child, cleverly, Ann Folger is using her seductive charm. She has Matthias and Benjamin unwittingly doing what she requires! Ann is a leader who leads from behind; she has a sharp, determined mind and is not afraid to do or say anything to achieve her goals!
Under pressure, we know the Pierson family relatives, and Mrs. “X” are opposed to the Folgers and Matthias, as they have openly spoken out against them. Additionally, the repossession of the deceased’s assets via the courts has been successful. Understandably with rumors spreading like wildfire, the unexpected death of Mr. E Pierson and the opinions of influential members of the New York Society are hard to ignore, especially when they put their money where their mouths have been!
Under growing pressure, Matthias and the Folgers experience another devastating set back as within numerous newspapers, we read quote.
‘About ten days afterwards (18th August 1834), the grave was opened by myself (Mr. Moses Cherry), and Sexton named Johnson, and the body opened in the presence of Drs. Nathan & Lewis Condit. The stomach was taken out and the doctors took the stomach away with them.’ After an examination of the stomach and its contents, we then find quote. ‘The doctors Condit, Jones, and Carfield, disinterred the body a second time.’ The doctors reported quote. ‘When it was first buried, it was offensive, and when first disinterred, but there was no smell the second time. Some pieces of the intestines and parts below the stomach were taken away with it, by the Doctors Condit.’ (Ref: 260.) Once again, the reports within the newspapers are correct; however, this is not the full story as quote. ‘The stomach, with its contents, was carefully packed in a jar, and sent to Dr. Torry, a chemist, for examination.’ (Ref H74.) Fulfilling their professional duties, the respectable doctors have unintentionally provided considerable speculation on the actions of Matthias and the Folgers, due to the accepted understanding that any disinterment must have both a legal and a moral reason for it!
Under increasing pressure from the investigations of the newspapers, medical experts, and Pierson’s family members, the bonds of faith and claimed Christian fellowship falter to the point of breaking when Ann Folger quote. ‘Seems to have at length grown weary of the false position she had assumed in the blindness of fanatical zeal. Matthias found that his power of the diminishing kingdom had passed away from him.’ According to this report, the end game for Matthias is pending, as the article continues by saying quote. ‘Accordingly, on the 19th September, after a quarrel in which all parties, servants included, participated, the kingdom broke up by mutual consent.’ (Ref: 273.)
Side note: Some reports give 18th September as the final day of the kingdom, while others record it as being the 19th September 1834.
Regardless of the date, the recorded facts indicate that Matthias is confused and divided in his thoughts, actions, and abilities. The assets of his Zion are no longer his. And in desperation, the boat is sinking, with every man and woman left to either sink or swim! So how in just three short weeks can the situation change so much? As in all situations, there are two sides to every story, so let’s investigate from the statements recorded by the ever so reliable Isabella Van Wagener (Sojourner-Truth) who said quote.‘ For three weeks after this last marriage, which was to bind them forever, the parties seemed to get on tolerably well. But Mrs. Folger (Ann) was probably more attentive to Mr. B. Folger than before, as she evidently did not wish to lose her influence over him; and this perhaps excited or increased the jealousy of Matthias, whom we before remarked did not like so much politeness on the part of Mr. Folger.’ Interestingly we are informed that during these three weeks, Benjamin quote. ‘Seemed to be satisfied with Catherine, but he could not last out the honeymoon. On Sunday afternoon, 15th September 1834, about three weeks after the late marriage, Mrs. B Folger went into the garret to lay down on Isabella’s bed, when Mr. B Folger, after some time, followed her, entered the room, shut the door, and locked it.’ (Ref H91.)
Ensconced in Sojourner-Truths garret bedroom, the actions of Ann and Benjamin catch the eye of Matthias. Noticing that both Ann and Benjamin have departed the living and dining rooms on the first floor, and not finding them in the gardens or upstairs bedrooms, Matthias continues his search. Climbing the stairs, then attempting to open the garret bedroom door, Prophet Matthias garnered new evidence, which is both confusing and distressing. Once again, we have inside information from Sojourner-Truth, when she said quote. ‘He (Matthias) too went up to the garret and finding it locked, ascertained who were within and why they had locked it; but as he had no legal remedy, he had to put up with it.’ Walking away from Sojourner-Truths bedroom, down the stairs, and into the kitchen, Matthias is a man on a mission, and this time his mission is Catherine Galloway. Performing her duties of the day, Catherine is as usual with Sojourner-Truth working in the kitchen. Without any regard for her feelings, Matthias walks up to her, then informs her that Benjamin is with his Ann, tucked away in Sojourner-Truths upstairs bedroom. Turning towards Sojourner-Truth, the broken-hearted Catherine said quote. ‘Father had caught them or caught her(Ann) at it.’ From Catherine’s point of view, the implications are clear; she is blaming Ann not Benjamin for the sexual activity. Continuing with her remarks, Catherine also complained quote. ‘That it was too bad that Mrs. Folger had two men, and using an exaggeration, declared that she had Matthias all night, and Ben Folger all day.’ (RefH91.) In her sincere attempt to verbally express the full overview of Catherine’s words, Sojourner-Truth clarified her explanation via a footnote when she said quote. ‘The exact words of Catherine were, Lord God, Ben, and Mother are locked up in your bedroom together. What a devilish shame it is that a woman wants two or three men.’ In her moment of annoyance, anger, and utter antipathy, Catherine walked out of the kitchen, composed her thoughts, then returned and informed Sojourner-Truth that quote. ‘Father has caught Ben and Mother together.’ The full statement Catherine then uttered was quote. ‘Well, I never seen such a woman in my life before, have you? She wants Father all night, and Ben all day.’ Disheartened, Catherine as a servant, a widow, then spirit matched wife is unfortunately continually abused and used by the Folgers. Together Benjamin and Ann are only interested in their lustful desires, as their needs are paramount.
Walking out of Sojourner-Truths garret room, then down the stairs, Ann is composed and confident as she approaches Isabella, and delivered her prepared words,she said, and I quote. ‘Mr. Folger had forced her. I was fatigued and was laying down on your bed, and Benjamin came up and locked the door and forced me, and Father came up to the door, and now he is angry. I am sure; I am not to blame.’ (Ref H92.) Surprisingly Ann is attempting to blame Benjamin for her actions; she said that she was not to blame, as he was her lawful husband which gave him the right to have sexual relations with her. Standing in the kitchen, Matthias digests the words of Ann, yet he makes no remarks. Additionally, in his moment of clarity, Matthias did not rant or rave like a madman! Ann is the spark; however, on this occasion, Matthias was not the flame, as he, like Catherine, did not place all the blame on Benjamin! Surprisingly Ann is viewed as a nymphomaniac, as her actions have become motivated by her need to embrace love and lust. These are the same kind of activities, which Pierson showed during his later years at Mount Zion: when he would find himself engaged in public masturbation, while in his fits, or under the influence of possible demonic possession!
THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 107.
For the next few days, the relationship between Ann and Matthias continues on its downward spiral until eventually on Tuesday evening quote. ‘Matthias got out of bed and left her.’ With Matthias out of bed, Ann becomes unsettled or nervous. Surprisingly, she ascends the stairs and entered Sojourner-Truths bedroom, then slides into bed, at which point she whispered, that she could not sleep alone as Matthias had left her and quote. ‘Pierson’s spirit haunted her.’ The idea of Pierson’s spirit haunting Ann is nothing new as she has been experiencing these feelings for many weeks! Together in bed, Ann and Sojourner-Truth start a conversation, at which point Ann Folger shared more of her secrets when she said quote. ‘If she got out of the bed in the night or in the dark, that she (Ann) required Matthias to hold his hands over her eyes, for she seemed to see Pierson’s spirit.’ Once again, in her attempt to convey the importance of the horrifying experiences, we find Sojourner-Truth recounting Ann’s words when she said quote. ‘I come to you for protection for Father has gone off, laying on the sofa, or somewhere or other, and left me alone in the bed, and Pierson’s devilish spirit haunts me so that I don’t know where to go.’ Isabella Van Wagener (Sojourner-Truth) then replied quote. ‘I wish to God he would appear to me; I would ask him what he wanted.’ As the conversation progressed, a remarkable event occurs, which presents a crystal-clear picture of where immorality and sexual deviancy eventually leads, we read quote. ‘After a short time, Matthias also came into Isabella’s room, apparently to look for Mrs. Folger, and seeing her in bed with Isabella, he desired the colored woman (Sojourner-Truth) to get up, and leave her, exclaiming that Mrs. Folger was a harlot.’
Failing to resolve their differences, Matthias is not happy, and now it’s time for him to have his say. Looking at Ann and Isabella in bed, Matthias utters the words, quote. ‘My Lord and my God, have I had that devil in my bosom?’ (RefH92.) Enraged from physical and spiritual frustration, Matthias is a mass of confusion and desperation. He has vocally rejected Ann, and their soon to be born child! Also, Matthias as Prophet, and spirit matched husband, has cursed and verbally assaulted Ann due to her insatiable sexual desires. Physically her actions have repulsed him; she is in his eyes on the road to hell, and Matthias wants nothing more to do with her! Unquestionably, this is a real turning point, as Ann no longer is in control. Matthias, the sleeping giant, has awoken, the bubble has burst, and she has fallen! Ann has, in the words of Margaret, proved to be quote. ‘Sinful and no better than any other woman of ill fame, and in many respects, I thought her to be worse.’ (Ref: mw36.) Turning to Sojourner-Truth, he Matthias then said quote. ‘God will curse you if you do!’ (That is, lay in bed with her.) After which, Ann responded by saying, quote. ‘Well, where can I go, I must go somewhere; where shall I go, Father?The response from Matthias was not what Ann was expecting; he said quote. ‘Go to the pit from whence you came; you cursed creature.’ (Ref: H92.)
Ann’s immorality and deception are shocking. As a cursed creature, Ann as a spirit matched wife, and mother of the house, has fallen from grace. Her decline into immorality springs from her beauty and uncontrollable sexual desires. The only question is, will she remain on her own, or will she redouble her efforts to win either Matthias or Benjamin back?
With Sojourner-Truth standing as a witness, the confusion, and internal destruction continues between Matthias and Ann. Some say it’s a thin line between love and hate; however, according to Sojourner-Truth, the following happened when she said quote. ‘But when she (Ann) became the object of his resentment, her love for a moment appeared to turn to hatred.’ (Ref: H108.)
Within most religions, the acceptance of moral actions results in the blessings of joy and peace of mind; however, the understanding of unrighteous activities results in misery, confusion, and no peace of mind! Perhaps in either a real or imaginary way, Matthias is surrounded by evil spirits of his making or is this just a simple fact of not addressing the real issue at hand. The acceptance of evil spirit entities is apparent in all religious accounts of human history. Perhaps Pierson was possessed by evil spirits, the same kind of spirits as claimed by the Mormons! The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith’s encounters with demonic spirits, along with the first-hand witness accounts are in the official records of the L.D.S. Church, and historical newspapers. We have discovered in previous chapters, the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith called the casting out of demonic spirits, the first miracle of the L.D.S. Church. Perhaps those same evil spirits, as experienced by Joseph Smith and his congregation, have possessed Matthias and his disciples in their New York hideaway home!
We like our ancestors have much in common when it comes down to the necessary acceptance of both good and evil, via the existence of different spirits, or to put it another way, the presence of God and the Devil! The period we are investigating is commonly called ‘the second great awakening. ‘
As we continue our investigation, we shall attempt to find some answers to these difficult questions.