7. Sojourner-Truth.

After almost two hundred years it’s time to expose the full uncensored version of the horrors and injustices endured by Sojourner-Truth during her time with Prophet Matthias in New York City. Unquestionably, this is the magnificent true story of Christian delusion, love, lust, and claimed demonic possession inside the higher echelons of New York society. After surviving her experiences with Prophet Matthias, Sojourner-Truth departed New York, rebuilt her new life, and then walked into the history books after her death. She is one of America’s outstanding examples of strength, endurance, love, and compassion. Her life lessons teach us never to give up our dreams and aspirations for a better future. Sadly, when in court, if Matthias was found guilty then hanged or imprisoned, the chances are that Sojourner-Truth would have suffered the same consequence!

As a new convert and a former prostitute from the Five Points, Mrs. Bolton would, quote. ‘Confess openly’ regarding her past sins to Mr. Elijah Pierson, while in the company of Sojourner-Truth. I should point out that Sojourner-Truth is the housekeeper for the Pierson family at their New York residence. Interestingly we read, quote. ‘In these confessions, she (Mrs. Bolton) admitted that she had lived in fornication; that she had used much skill and cunning in seducing men, and had received large sums of money from different gentlemen.’ On numerous occasions, Mrs. Bolton appears to enjoy her confessions to Elijah Pierson, due to her ability and willingness to reveal salacious details! We read that she would, quote. ‘Even describe the manner in which she communicated her inclinations to various dry goods merchants and clerks of whom she betrayed by naming to Mr. Pierson.’ (Ref: N20. The shocking confessions from Mrs. Bolton and the scriptural readings from Mr. Pierson resulted in a union of unusual compromises! Like a lamb to the slaughter Pierson, quote. ‘Believed her repentance sincere, and he was strengthened by a text of Scripture which he often quoted about harlots entering the kingdom of heaven before others.’

Turning to the honest opinions of Sojourner-Truth, we find that she had much to say about Mrs. Boulton. On one occasion, she said that Elijah Pierson was, quote. ‘Pleased with her confessions; she apparently knew he was and confessed to please him, for it always increased his confidence in her.’ (Ref: N22.) Presenting her viewpoint with clarity, Sojourner-Truth then went on to say verbally and in writing that she thought Mrs. Bolton, quote. ‘Had played the hypocrite so well at camp meetings might be playing the hypocrite now, and that she who had seduced so many men with such skill, might be seducing Mr. Pierson.’ With these thoughts and ideas running through Sojourner-Truths subconscious, she eventually takes courage and approaches Pierson with her concerns and fears. We read that she, quote. ‘Communicated to him her doubts, but these doubts excited rebuke from Mr. Pierson.’ Once again, Sojourner-Truth wants to reach out and help in any way that she is able. In many ways, she is like a shining light in the darkness of stinking immorality from the Five Points extending into the Pierson Christian New York Society.

We present information from public domain historical documents that are almost two hundred years old. This vitally important information is presented in BOLD WHITE TEXT. All the blog statements are from the book entitled Sojourner-Truth Matthias & Smith Clash of the Prophets.

Continuing with our investigations, we find, quote. ‘Mrs. Bolton exerted considerable influence over him (Pierson) until Matthias came when her influence declined.’ Matthias and Mrs. Bolton came up from the gutters of city life in New York’s Five Points. Like two street cats caught inside a trap of luxury and never-ending possibilities, the outcome is inevitable, one of them will have to go! Unsurprisingly, with the arrival of Matthias through the front door, we witness Mrs. Boltons’ departure via the back door! True to his character, Elijah Pierson like most wealthy people, has learned to shield himself from much of lives direct unpleasantness. We read, quote. ‘She (Mrs. Bolton) was finally forbid the house by Mr. Pierson’s sister, in accordance with Mr. Pierson’s wish, as an improper person to associate with him and his friends.’ (Ref: N22) With her cards marked, she is no longer welcome, and Mrs. Bolton disappears!

Sojourner-Truth GIF

According to those that knew her, Sojourner-Truth had a remarkable ability to sing, preach, and tell a good story in her African American voice. In the Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C. Isabella Van Wagener, who was born Isabella Baumfree; otherwise known as Sojourner-Truth, presented a Bible to President Abraham Lincoln on behalf of the colored people of Baltimore. The date was 29th October 1864.

Sojourner-Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Her bust is the first sculpture to honor an African American woman in Washington. On April 28, 2009, Hillary Clinton unveiled the statue of Sojourner Truth. During her remarks, Secretary Clinton paid tribute to Sojourner Truth when she said, quote. ‘What a wonderful day it is to be here in Emancipation Hall for this great occasion when Sojourner Truth takes her rightful place alongside the heroes who have helped to shape our nation’s history.

Surprisingly the New York years of Sojourner-Truth have been both overlooked and misunderstood by many researchers and writers. As a Christian woman attempting to find her faith in New York City, Sojourner-Truth, unfortunately, experienced horrors, trials, and tribulations, inside the Zion or New Jerusalem of the notorious American Prophet Matthias. Interestingly Sojourner-Truth remained connected to Matthias until his dramatic expulsion by the citizens of New York.

Sojourner-Truth, Ann Folger, and Catherine Galloway were three Christian women adversely affected by their association with Matthias. Together Sojourner-Truth and Margaret Matthews, the legal wife of Matthias, stood united in their attempt first to defend and then to help Prophet Matthias. After enduring increasing hardships, violence, mental and spiritual abuse, coupled with financial ruin, they decided to change their position. Sojourner-Truth and Margaret want you to know what they suffered; interestingly, they communicated their plight both verbally and in writing. We share their story; it exposes Christian suffering of immorality and claimed spirit communications!

Sadly, these women also endured the horrors of living in fear and the continual pressures of claimed evil spirit communications. Incredibly the evil spirits were called quote, ‘pretty devils’ by these women. Shockingly we have information confirming the fear of evil spirits possessing, then jumping, from one human into another!

Shockingly, Catherine Galloway informed Sojourner-Truth of the offensive actions of Ann Folger. On hearing of these measures, Sojourner-Truth became angry. From her viewpoint, and from the pen of Mr. G. Vale and Oliver Gilbert we read, quote. ‘When Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) was thus informed, that a formidable book was coming out against her and Matthias by Mrs. Folger, she (Sojourner-Truth) exclaimed, with much energy, for she is really very energetic and not very timid, I have got the truth, and I know it, and I will crush them with the truth. We have no doubt that Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) was very angry on this occasion and perhaps expressed some bitter wishes under such feelings.’

Sojourner-Truth & Prophet Matthias. 

Prophet Matthias, and Sojourner-Truth, helped each other in and around New York City. Prophet Matthias called himself the spirit of truth, amazingly, when he and Isabella eventually parted company, she, after experiencing an epiphany, began calling herself Sojourner-Truth.

The ever-reliable Sojourner-Truth presents interesting information. Surprisingly after helping the notorious American Prophet Matthias we find her actively involved in an altercation, with the New York Police, she said, quote. ‘Mr. Crooker and Mr. Dias appeared to direct, while the Constables stripped’ Prophet Matthias of his clothing. Without question, this was a violent encounter between the Police and Matthias. During this battle, Sojourner-Truth, unfortunately, was violently struck by Mr. Levi Andrew Mills, the brother of Sylvester Mills. Attempting to help Sojourner-Truth was, quote. ‘Repeatedly put out of the house.’ Standing firm and showing her strength and loyalty, Sojourner-Truth is unable to walk away from the New York Police, who are physically assaulting Matthias. Astonishingly we are told that she, quote. ‘Repeatedly re-entered by one door and sometimes another.’ Injured and outnumbered during the attack, Sojourner-Truth witnesses the words and actions of the Police, Mills, Crocker, and Dias. Beaten then stripped of his clothing Matthias endures the continuous onslaught from the New York Police. Beaten then stripped naked, the New York police proceed to remove all of the cash from the pockets of this humiliated man, who calls himself Prophet Matthias. Unable or unwilling to defend himself, and with the continual aggression of the Police Officers intensifying, they quote. ‘Cut his beard off and tormented him in every way.’  (Ref: N50) Assaulted, robbed, and then divested of his beard, Matthias finds himself arrested by the aggressive, gloating, bribed officers of the law.

Remembered in Victory or Forgotten in History?

The historical importance of Sojourner-Truth, and the American Prophet Matthias, together in New York, should never be forgotten! Reflecting on her activities, Sojourner-Truth concluded that, quote. ‘She had been taking part in a great drama, which was, in itself, but one great system of robbery and wrong.’ Surprisingly, she was, in fact, Prophet Matthias’ first acolyte, and stayed loyal to him until the bitter end!

Location: Mount Zion Sing Sing on the banks of the Hudson River.

Talking in the kitchen, Ann Folger informed Sojourner-Truth and Matthias that she is not feeling too well, after which Ann requested that she lie down. With her request granted, she leaves the kitchen then walks into her bedroom with Matthias by her side. Unusually Sojourner-Truth also sat down to rest by the kitchen fire without requesting permission! When Matthias returned to the kitchen, he found one of his young sons playing and getting into mischief. Witnessing the incident, Matthias took it upon himself to correct his son. Trying to help Sojourner-Truth, quote. ‘Undertook to intercede, which was offensive to Matthias, as it was a female intercessor, possessed of a sick devil within, upon which he (Matthias) quickly lashed her with his cowhide.’ During this assault, Matthias, uttered the words, quote. ‘Shall a sick devil undertake to dictate to me?’ Attempting to defend herself verbally, Sojourner-Truth responded by denying that she was sick. Upon hearing these words, Matthias ceased his whipping, dropped his rawhide, then looking at Sojourner-Truth commanded her to go upstairs to quote. ‘Testify that the sick devil had departed.’ (Ref: C179.)

In his delusion, desperation, and dictatorial state of mind, Matthias, the so-called Prophet, has no qualms using violence to achieve his goals. Unfortunately for them, Matthias has no shame in beating Sojourner-Truth and his daughter Isabella Laisdell. In the Zion of Matthias, this community must obey him as he governs a theocracy rather than a democracy. 

As a closing side note, and according to Sojourner-Truth, we find that Charles Laisdell attempted on several occasions to make contact with the children. After three days, a concerned Sojourner-Truth sent a letter to Prophet Matthias and his entourage at their townhouse in New York. (Ref 35) Matthias and Mr. Pierson decided to leave Benjamin and his new spiritual wife Isabella in New York, while they return to Mount Zion. Upon their arrival, inside the house, Matthias speaks out and addresses Sojourner-Truth, who was quote. ‘Seriously scolded for not treating Laisdell more severely and for sending for them.’ Dogmatically Matthias is controlling all aspects of this situation, and it seems Sojourner-Truth is unable to do anything right in his eyes!

Isabella Van Wagner Pseudonym. 

During the years of 1843 and 1850: the evidence, both direct and indirect, confirms the evolution of Isabella’s name; from Sojourner into SOJOURNER-TRUTH.’ Mr. Oliver Gilbert, in 1850, penned the name Sojourner-Truth. When Gilbert wrote this name, he placed a space between the SOJOURNER and the Truth. Moving forward, the accepted name for Isabella is now SOJOURNER-TRUTH. The name of SOJOURNER-TRUTH is a symbol of justice and freedom for all, regardless of nationality, gender, or religion!’ 

After enduring her time in the Zion of Prophet Matthias, Sojourner-Truth like a rolling stone wanted to move forward with her life. Saying her farewells to her friends, she re-named herself, quote. ‘Sojourner,’ in the year of 1843. A sojourner was and is a term used for a person who resides temporarily in a place. Consequently, there are two original historical records confirming Isabella calling herself Sojourner. The first was with Mrs. Whiting, her landlady, and the second was when Isabella became concerned about her chosen name of Sojourner. Interestingly after conversing with a Jewish woman, she added ‘Truth’ to this her third name change. The name Sojourner-Truth is a pseudonym adopted after her departure from New York in 1843. After 1843, on all other occasions, it safe to say, her name was Sojourner-Truth.

Sojourner-Truth, through her actions and words, is considered a heroine, as she is famous for her ability to stand her ground both verbally, and physically. Her ability to work, adapt, and change her world has made her crucial in American history. Understanding the name of Sojourner-Truth is essential in accepting the person behind this famous title name.

Margaret Matthews is, as we know, the abandoned wife of Prophet Matthias. Her written account provides missing sections of the intriguing story of Sojourner-Truth and the unforgettable American Prophet Matthias! Contained within Margaret’s unique written statements from 1835 is the original information stating the current and pending course of action of Sojourner-Truth and Prophet Matthias. After years of research, I, Mike Wilkins, present all the evidence, exposing for the first time the entire unfortunate horrors endured by Sojourner-Truth and American Christians.

The full unrestricted story of Sojourner-Truth with the notorious Matthias is in the book Matthias & Smith Clash of the Prophets. 

Sojourner-Truth Rejected & Almost Defeated. 

We present information from public domain documents that are almost two hundred years old. This vitally important information is presented in Bold Black Text.

Rejected, confused, and almost defeated, the events of the past few weeks have not been kind to Matthias, Ann, Benjamin, or Sojourner-Truth. Their world has been invaded and nearly destroyed from the pressures of immorality, and the fear of religious confusion. In this moment of dark despair, life must continue; however, circumstances can on times turn from desperation into destruction!        

In the newspapers, we find what I like to call the coffee story. Within the American Advocate, we read the quote. ‘Upon the morning of that day, Matthias partook of, but very little breakfast and secretly tasted the coffee saying as the excuse, that he was unwell. Immediately after breakfast, Mr. Folger, his wife, and the children were taken violently sick. Mr. Folger did not suspect the cause of the sickness until after the villain had left the city; when upon examination, he learned that the black woman (Sojourner-Truth) who had done the cooking for the family, had also abstained from the use of the coffee upon that morning, and from other circumstances, he became confirmed that the woman (Sojourner-Truth) was bribed by Matthias to poison the family.’ (Ref: 254.) Most Americans enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, just as most British people enjoy a good cup of tea at any time of the day. So how can a drink of coffee develop into allegations of attempted murder?     

In our previous chapter, you will remember that Matthias, in a fit of rage, stamped his feet and pronounced damnation, and a curse on Ann, the rejected mother of the house. Surprisingly with each passing hour, Ann is growing in confidence as she has not died, nor is she showing any signs of ill health! Turning to the words of Mr. Stone, we find the story continuing to unfold we read, quote. ‘But finding that she outlived one curse, she felt encouraged to urge her husband, when he came home in the evening, to be more prompt in effecting the dismissal of Matthias. And on the following morning, she proposed that he should leave her upstairs and say to Matthias distinctly that he should have no more opportunity of preaching to her and insist upon his leaving that day. This was done, and he (Matthias) promised to go but requested that the family might dine together once more. Mr. Folger took Mrs. Folger’s breakfast up to her room, and she drank freely of the coffee.’ (Ref: C214.)

Turning to Isabella, we find a most interesting twist to this very same event, as we are informed. ‘In the morning, when Catherine left Mr. Folgers’s (Benjamin’s) room, Mrs. Folger went into it and did not come down to breakfast, but Mr. Folger took her up coffee: no regular breakfast was taken that morning. The confusion of the night and the irritated state of the feelings of the party took away the appetite; Matthias scarcely ate anything, Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) very little’ (Ref: H93.)

Within these versions of events, we find two different stories. In statements issued by the Folger encampment, we find Ann in bed in Mr. Folger’s room; and they give no reference to the activities of a few hours previous when Matthias rejected Ann. Additionally, there is also no mention made of Benjamin sleeping with Catherine, nor do we have the information that Ann in the morning entered Benjamin’s bed after Catherine had left it! Undoubtedly the Folger encampment knows how to spin a good yarn, and they are perfect in their ability to promote and protect the Folger position!   

With Ann ensconced in her room, and drinking coffee in bed, events continue to escalate as she wants to talk with her six-year-old daughter. On entering her mother’s bedroom, the child has some important news; she said quote. ‘Mother, Mr. Matthias said, that was not the Lord’s table they ate at this morning, but the devils.’ Continuing with her news she then said. ‘Mr. Matthias did not eat any breakfast,’ after which she informs her mother, who has either finished or is still drinking her coffee, that quote. ‘The coffee was not good, and that she could not drink it.’ Ann ignored the information from her six-year-old daughter and blissfully continues to drink her coffee.

As usual, Benjamin is downstairs, only this time he is attempting to move furniture so that it can be sold at auction, as required by the Pierson relatives via the courts! While descending the stairs, Ann encounters her son, who is about ten years of age, after which he tells her, quote. ‘Mother, the coffee was so bad this morning I could hardly drink it.’ Without giving this matter any consideration, Ann replied quote. ‘Why did you drink it then?’ At this stage in the coffee story, Ann has enjoyed her coffee, while all other members of the house have experienced something strange in the taste of this morning’s drink! (Ref C214.)

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 108.

Working together, Ann and Benjamin continue organizing the furniture. In his usual manner, Matthias has moved into the kitchen, where he is preaching, and renewing his threats towards Ann. Attempting to avoid each other, and with this apparent divide between Ann and Matthias continuing to widen, he now views her as an evil creature from the depths of hell. She is currently the enemy from within, and Matthias wants nothing to do with her!    

From our understanding of Sojourner-Truths viewpoint, it is apparent that Ann has also irrevocably changed her opinion of Matthias; it is reported quote. ‘Mrs. Folger appeared again in the family, but with an altered tone. She now called Mr. B. Folger, husband, a term which she formerly used, but which had been dropped since she was called mother, and she especially informed Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) that she wanted Mr. Folger to be obeyed. her tone towards Matthias was altered, and her beautiful soft voice seemed to have acquired a harshness.’ Sojourner-Truth then reiterates the point when she reports quote. ‘Matthias was no longer the favorite, and Mr. Folger was again taken to be her husband, and Matthias’ physical powers even were now depreciated.’ With his earthly and heavenly standing in jeopardy, Matthias and his position as a Prophet seem diminished. Surprisingly the physical powers of Matthias are also questioned by Ann, the mother of this failing house!      

Ann’s position is dramatically changed; she is out of favor with both her husband Benjamin and the so-called ‘father of the house’ Matthias. Her reputation and social standing amongst her peers and friends are in tatters as we see daily reports flooding the newspapers exposing life within the Zion of Matthias.

The good fortune of fate and family breading has dimmed into the darkness of pending bankruptcy, and family turmoil. Attempting to move forward, Ann, like Matthias, appears to have limited options. After only a few hours, Ann decides to make her innermost feelings known: she turns away from Matthias and using her charms, and soft words, positions herself back into Benjamin’s favor! If ever there was a chance for Benjamin to break free from his home and life invasion, then this is it. The only questions are; will Benjamin take it, and if so, will he be successful. With the stakes of family and personal life paramount, Benjamin, quote. ‘Became urgent with Matthias to leave.’ Interestingly the pressure was passive aggression as we read quote. ‘Still, there was no direct quarreling, and Matthias did not leave that day.’ (Ref H93.)

Eventually, with the arrival of food and with appetites diminished, the pending bleakness of Matthias’ self-induced situation hits him hard as quote. ‘Matthias did not eat any dinner, but wept while the rest were eating.’ The idea of Matthias crying tears around the table is surprising, as these tears, according to the Folgers, were real tears. (RefC215)

Side note. We have no independent witness confirming this fact; hence the reliability of this information must be called into question, as the idea of Matthias showing a weakness does not conform to his usual method of dealing with stressful situations!

With the meal finished and tables cleared, Ann took the children into her bedroom chamber. Against all the odds, once again, rain renders unfavorable conditions for departure, enabling Matthias to stay for one more night of mayhem and confusion! Hours later, and with supper on the table, attention turns once again towards Matthias and his pending departure. We have no information regarding the feelings of Benjamin, Ann, Catherine, or Isabella, as all the attention becomes focused on Prophet Matthias. Even the children’s futures seem connected with Matthias and his willingness to depart. Sitting at the table Matthias refuses to eat, he is there for a reason, and he wants to talk, and when Matthias speaks, he expects others to listen. True to his character, he verbally attacks his former disciples, blaming them for the current disastrous situation. Stepping forward, once again, Benjamin quote. ‘Forbade his preaching anymore to his family, and he (Matthias) was silenced for the time.’          

Almost broken and defeated, the ironclad rule which Matthias wielded over his disciples has faltered, and the idea of his perfect Zion is a far distant dream! Matthias has lost control; he no longer commands respect apart from perhaps his children, and Sojourner-Truth. Turning to the children, Benjamin quote. ‘Asked him (Matthias) if he should send his sons to their mother in Albany; Matthias replied he would as soon send them to hell, but in the same breath said he wished he would.’ With ever-diminishing opportunities, Matthias attempts to imply that he will take the children and himself to an undisclosed quote. ‘House somewhere in New- York.’ Thinking and acting quickly, possibly disliking the idea of Matthias being a neighbor in the city of New York, Benjamin informs Matthias that he had quote. ‘Promised their mother that if they were to leave his family, he would send them to her.’ Firmly he then told Matthias that he must send the children to Margaret in Albany, as the idea of having Matthias remaining in New York City has never been in the game plan of the Folgers. (Ref C215.)

After a final restless night’s sleep, we have two options to consider. Focusing on the details of these two different plans is vitally important, as the correct information is power.  

The First original plan presented by the Folgers is finding a farm and new home in the west.

A second revised plan presented by Prophet Matthias is finding new accommodation in New York City.                                                                    

Before moving forward in our final series of events we need to reacquaint ourselves with Catherine Galloway as she will play a part in events yet to come. Still mourning the loss of her husband, from the so-called Matthias curse, Catherine Galloway is distressed at the additional loss of Benjamin her matched spirit. In one statement, we read the quote. ‘Catherine was restless, for she had just lost her spouse lately taken from her forever; on that day she had cried and wrung her hands at her loss, till comforted by Mr. B. Folger, who promised to protect her.’ (Ref: H100.) The promise to help Catherine is impressive. One wonders if Benjamin’s feelings, and need to help Catherine, are driven by guilt, and the acknowledgment that the conduct of the Folger family has caused Catherine’s desperate situation.   

Surprisingly Ann and Catherine, during the final hours of their involvement with Matthias, stand united together! In their attempt to move forward, the remaining disciples in the crumbling Zion of Matthias have now divided into two small factions! In the first, we have Benjamin, Ann, Catherine, the Folger children, and surprisingly the two sons of Matthias. In the second, we have Matthias and Isabella Van Wagener, who re-named herself Sojourner-Truth.         

During the final events of the last night together, we find Benjamin out for a few hours on business. Almost as if it was the final act of fate, we are informed that Matthias and Sojourner-Truth move down into the kitchen, as they need to talk. Ann and Catherine also gravitate to the kitchen, at which point they find themselves face to face with Matthias and Sojourner-Truth. As the conversation progresses, Matthias and Sojourner-Truth only wish to talk with the easy-going, slightly vacuous Catherine Galloway! We read quote. ‘Matthias and the colored woman (Sojourner-Truth) began to persuade her (Catherine) to join them in keeping house.’ Arriving home, Benjamin missed the conversation in the kitchen, however, Catherine has made her decision, and she is remaining loyal to Benjamin, her desired match spirit partner. In one vitally important sentence, we find out why Catherine refused to join with Matthias and Sojourner-Truth, we read quote. ‘And they no doubt would have induced Catherine to go with them, but for the advice of Mr. and Mrs. Folger.’ (Ref C216.)

Eventually, each adult retires to their bedroom, where they attempt to sleep, as the following day must surely be the final day for Matthias!

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 109.

Awakening the next morning, the divisions in this unhappy household are visually apparent. We have Ann, Benjamin, Catherine, and the Folger children, enjoying breakfast in the parlor. Together downstairs in the kitchen, we find Sojourner-Truth, Matthias, and his children who have apparently switch allegiance!       

Before breakfast commenced, Ann and Catherine had a most unusual conversation while reflecting on the events of the previous twenty-four hours. This information written in hindsight appears to be correct, as both encampments report the same facts in alarming detail, most of which dovetail together exceptionally well, we read quote. ‘Mrs. Folger then remembered the children’s complaint about the coffee, and Matthias not eating when they did. In consequence of this, she told Catherine in the morning to get breakfast separately for us, to be sure they washed everything to be used, and not to use any of the provisions then in the house.’ The words and actions of Ann are alarming and quite damning; she has judged and condemned Matthias and Isabella! There are two factions at play here, there is the spiritual curse metered out by Matthias to Ann, Benjamin, and the rest of the house, but there is also the burgeoning idea that the coffee partaken by some of the household was tampered with and tainted! As the conversation continues in innuendo, speculation, and annoyance, we read that Catherine, quote. ‘Mentioned to Mrs. Folger, that she had observed the coffee was bad the morning before, had a strange taste, and had something white in it.’

Continuing with the story, Catherine then said that she has talked to Sojourner-Truth about the coffee, who replied that quote. ‘She could not expect to have good coffee, or any blessing, while her Father was offended.’ Remaining loyal to Matthias, Sojourner-Truth believes the coffee is bad because of divine spiritual intervention! Using the same words, Sojourner-Truth is seeking to show her belief and faith in Matthias. She is inferring a spiritual response on behalf of Matthias. She states, the withholding of blessings will remain if the Folgers continue their planned course of action, by instructing Matthias to leave his accommodation at eight Third Street, New York. In the additional notes from Isabella, we read that Sojourner-Truth quote. ‘Observed that the curse of God was on that house.’ (Ref H100.)     

Surprisingly, whichever way we look at it, the Folgers in their comments are attempting to portion blame on Sojourner-Truth!

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 110.

Finishing the conversation, Ann remains within her bedroom, while Catherine sets about preparing breakfast as instructed. After breakfast, Benjamin tells Matthias that quote. ‘He must be off immediately, that he (Benjamin) should not leave the house until he had gone, that as for his sons, they should be sent to their mother.’ (Ref: C217.) Working towards his perceived objective, Benjamin is in full control, as he wants no further delay, Matthias must depart, and it must be today as it has stopped raining, we presume! In the closing hours of their time together at eight Thirst Street, a most remarkable conversation occurs between Matthias and Benjamin. The communication is about money, and Benjamin is prepared to give a lot of it to Matthias: we read, quote. ‘He offered Matthias any quantity of money, anything to get rid of him. He saw that the disaffection of his wife was a favorable opportunity, and he pressed it, as Matthias told us; he said that Mr. Folger was with him, as Pharaoh with the children of Israel. Anything to get rid of them, and then to pursue them, as in his case. Matthias, in reply to the offer of money, remarked, that if he, Mr. B. Folger, felt as though he had money which belonged to God, he might give it him; and Mr. B. Folger gave Matthias $500 on the day of his departure.’ (Ref: H94)  

When business people of wealth and power start throwing away large amounts of cash, they are usually attempting to achieve what they desire, so what is it that the Folgers require, let’s investigate further and find out, we read quote. ‘Thus we have already related that Mr. B Folger gave Matthias $500 in gold and silver, on the eve of his departure when both he and his wife expressed an unfriendly feeling. This too was deliberately done, and Catherine and Isabella were called as witnesses; Isabella too was paid $25. This gift of money was accompanied with some curious advice, as we before related. Matthias was advised to let Isabella take charge of the gold, assuming that she and Matthias would travel together; and Matthias was further advised, when he arrived at the end of his destination, to put the money in a bedpost.’ (Ref: H107.)            

The idea of Benjamin giving Matthias $500 before his departure is on the surface difficult to comprehend, however as this narrative continues to expand, the historical facts present the reason for it! Unquestionably, this amount of funding will help Matthias keep all his options firmly within his control! He can follow his plan, and move into accommodation within the city of New York: or he can support the Folgers plan, and move into a farmhouse in the wilderness of the west. Whichever strategy Matthias implements requires him to pack his bags and move out of his luxurious accommodation.        

Understandably as Prophet Matthias continues his preparations for departure, all eyes are upon him. Unable or unwilling to change his position, Benjamin continually refuses Matthias’ requests for items from within the house, as quote. ‘The spell was broken, and his day had passed. He was soon silenced, upon being assured that if there was any further trouble with him, Mr. Folger would step to the police-office and get assistance.’ (Ref: C217.) Facing the final threat of police action, we then read that Matthias quote. ‘Obtained a Cartman, sent away his baggage, and departed himself about noon, on the 18th or 19th of September 1834.’

Side Note. In an overview of their current position, we find the Folgers under pressure in the following areas.

(1) The courts.

(2) The newspapers.

(3) Family and friends.

(4) Neighbors.

(5) The Christian community.

Unceremoniously eventually Matthias departs, after which we read that Ann and Benjamin attempted to find a better place which they could call home. Perhaps it was the fear of Matthias returning that prompted Benjamin and Ann to search for a new home, or maybe it was the need to downsize to reduce expenditure. It could have been the bankruptcy looming on Benjamin’s horizon, or perhaps it was a combination of all these factors along with the need for the Folgers to begin rebuilding their shattered lives! With these kinds of general questions considered, there is yet another version of events that we must investigate. (Ref H101.) This information offers an entirely different reason as to why the Folgers have removed furniture over the past few days. With this information, the dynamics and implications of the Folger situation are better, and more easily understood! Let’s once again return to the newspapers, where we read, quote. ‘Taken back to Mr. Pierson’s home at 8 Third Street.’ Without wishing to turn this investigation into a history book full of dates, business information, and legal jargon, we must now leave this line of inquiry with the general understanding that 8 Third Street has been the communal home of the late Mr. Pierson. (Ref: 254.)      

Correctly the Folgers as friends and business associates were laboring under the illusion that this home was common property within the Zion, which they were attempting to build together! In Chapter twenty, we have learned. ‘It was conveyed to him (Matthias) for ninety-nine years, at the nominal rent of one dollar per annum.’ (Ref 25 & 26.) Undoubtedly Matthias had the legal possession of the property via the agreed documentation; however, on this occasion, the elite members of New York Society, along with the courts, judged and evicted Matthias from Sing Sing, then New York City, by the use of legal, moral, and social enforcement. The removal of Matthias from eight Third Street and the pending departure of the Folgers looks more like squatters vacating the property before the long arm of the law comes a-knocking at the door! Clothed by his wealth, and claimed respectability, once again Mr. M. Pierson, the brother of Elijah, has won this day, and eight Third Street!

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 111.

Shockingly, with no home to call her own, Ann is due to give birth to her holy child; the only question is, will this child be the son which Matthias has promised her?       

In time Matthias will find himself reunited with Benjamin and Ann Folger! Bound together by family blood and cash funding, the fanatical spiritual bonds are challenging and almost impossible to escape. After all, Matthias received $500.00, which in 1835 was a small fortune! We have details regarding this funding, which are vital to our storyline. Eventually, events will revolve around this funding, and the coffee served approximately twenty-eight hours before Matthias departed the communal home, we read quote. ‘There is something very curious with this gift of money to Matthias and Isabella, with after circumstances. The money was given partly in silver and partly in gold, and Mr. B. Folger urged that Isabella should take the charge of the gold; but she declined, and, like a great fool, added her money, received as wages, (to that which was) given to Matthias, for the good, we suppose, of the kingdom.’ The $25.00 gift of Isabella’s hard-earned wages to Matthias is an outward expression of her loyalty and support. Interestingly, after the conversation the night before in the kitchen, Sojourner-Truth knows Matthias’ plan; and she is happy to go along with it! In simple terms, Sojourner-truth and Prophet Matthias are working together, united in their endeavors to move forward into a brighter future, leaving the darkness and unwanted attention of what Matthias considers the devils of the gentile world behind them!         

In yet another twist to the intriguing tale, we find the quote. ‘Matthias, however, returned her money before he left the house.’ (Ref H95.) Attempting to make sense of these developments involving Matthias and his plans with Sojourner-Truth, we must remember the principle that knowledge is power.

On several occasions, Benjamin has informed Matthias that he is going to return Matthias’ sons to their mother, Margaret, in Albany. Reluctantly Matthias agreed to this proposed course of action; however, his stated plans are to either find a new home in the west or find and move into a new home in New York. During September of 1834, Prophet Matthias has another plan. Sensibly, he has decided to return to Albany, as the call of Margaret and his family, along with dreams of a better life, is beckoning him.  

Interestingly we are told by Mr. G. Vale quote. ‘At the same time, Mr. and Mrs. Folger were very particular in inquiring where Matthias and Isabella were going, and when, and by what conveyances. But at this time, neither of these persons (Matthias & Sojourner-Truth) could tell, for they had made no definite arrangements.’ At the same time, quote. ‘Catherine secretly advised Isabella not to go with Matthias, and to get back her money for that Matthias would be taken up.’ In response to Catherine’s attempt to help, surprisingly, we are informed quote. ‘Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) had then confidence in Matthias, and knew of no reason why he should be taken up; she, therefore, treated this advice with contempt.’ Surprisingly quote. ‘Matthias and Isabella left on Thursday, 19th September 1834, separately; without stating where they were going.’ (Ref: H107.)      

During their public departure from the Folgers, we find Sojourner-Truth and Matthias united in their agreed course of action; interestingly together, they have a plan which is funded by the Folgers. However, the historical documents make it clear that Matthias and Sojourner-Truth departed eight Third Street at different times.

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 112.

Within two days of leaving Third Street, Matthias will have left New York, traveling to Albany, on the first stage of his master plan to find a new place to live in the west, and re-build his Zion with any disciples who believe his doctrines!  Benjamin, on the other hand, after talking with Ann and Catherine and has decided to approach the Police and verbally report his version of events, which potentially places the hangman’s noose around the necks of both Isabella and Matthias!

Important side note for students.  By a stroke of luck or cunning anticipation, Matthias has out-maneuvered Benjamin. He has returned the $25.00 to Isabella after she refused to accept part of the gold and silver directly from Benjamin. Holding all the gold and silver, Matthias is either determined to move forward with the original revised plan to find a farmhouse in the west, or he is entirely on his own, looking for new accommodation in New York, while on the run from the Folgers. Students may, after consideration, conclude this information along with previous historical facts are worthy of a few words while preparing any end of term papers.

In one report, we read the quote. ‘It was very well that Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) did not take charge of this gold. For no sooner was Matthias and Isabella gone than Mr. Folger raised reports, not only of her having poisoned his family but excited suspicion that he had been robbed.’ (Ref: H95.)

With the law enforcement officers on his trail, the charges against Matthias are dangerous, as he, along with Sojourner-Truth, must answer the pending allegations. These charges are stoked and fueled into a newspaper frenzy due to the investigations into the mysterious death of the late Mr. Elijah Pierson.! Additionally, the accusations of stealing gold and silver from the Folgers are forthcoming in the American Advocate dated Wednesday, 8th October 1834, we read quote. ‘The express charge against him was, that he had left New York having in his possession a large amount of Mr. Folger’s property. But he has been guilty, it is asserted of many other mal-practices, some of them of the blackest character, and worthy of the most severe punishment. Death liberated Mr. Pierson, and a subsequent examination of the body, by three able physicians, resulted in the conviction that he had been poisoned. Certificates to this effect were drawn up and signed by these physicians and are now in New York. Who poisoned Mr. Pierson is to be determined by proper tribunal.’ (Ref: 254.)         

 Returning to the departure of Matthias and Sojourner-Truth from the lives of the Folgers it’s important to note the different methods of transport reportedly used by Matthias to complete his journeys because, quote. ‘Matthias was in such disfavor with the neighbors that he was not permitted to travel on the Hudson riverboats, but was compelled to make his trips from New York in his carriage.’ Typically, Matthias would travel from New York to Sing-Sing by wagon due to his disfavor with the operators of the riverboats on the Hudson. On this occasion, after he departed from the Folgers, we find Matthias was able to use the steam-boat, which indicates he was on his best behavior, as he purchased the tickets from New York to Albany. With dark clouds of pending troubles looming, Matthias’ quote. ‘Proceeded at once to join his lawful wife (Margaret) in Albany.’ (Ref: 273.)  

Arriving in Albany on Thursday morning, Matthias heads straight for the family home, where he once again comes in contact with his daughter Isabella who has been unwell and in confinement. The term confinement indicates that Isabella is unwell either due to pregnancy or having given birth! In Margaret’s words, we read the quote. ‘While I was at work one day with several others in cleaning the brick meeting house, Isabella came to the door; I was not expecting to see her, for she had not before been out since her confinement; I spoke to the woman next to me I said, there is a lady at the door, who wishes to see someone. She said to me, don’t you know your own daughter; I then recognized her. I observed that she was pale and agitated. I then suspected that Maria was dead, for I was fearful that she would not live long when I left home. I immediately inquired if it was so, and she said no, but that a greater evil had come upon us. I then asked if Matthias had come, and she said yes and that he appeared to be very pleasant and wished to see me; and that she wished I would come home and see him’. Hearing the surprising news, Margaret is unsure what to do: perhaps she thinks that Matthias wants or needs something from her. In her memoirs, Margaret revealed the following, and I quote. ‘I was very much surprised and in doubt, whether to go or not but those around me advised me to go for the sake of my children, saying that he might have something for them and that if he had as he was my husband and their father it was my duty to receive it. Accordingly, at noon I went, but we said very little to each other; and at one o clock, I returned to my work.’

Almost in silence, the first reunion meeting is disastrous, and with little or no information exchanged between Matthias and Margaret, we find ourselves transported to the second reunion day when Margaret said quote. ‘On the next day I asked Mr. Matthias what was the cause of his coming to Albany, and he said that he left on account of the election and that Isabella, the colored woman(Sojourner-Truth) would be there with the boys in the afternoon.’ (Ref: MW37.)  From this single sentence, we glean valuable information regarding Matthias and Sojourner-Truth working together. Undoubtedly united, they have met in New York, and they have agreed to meet once again in Albany, at Margaret’s house! This information is essential as it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a plan in place, with events not just happening haphazardly!   The circumstantial and factual evidence confirms the idea of Matthias and Sojourner-Truth visiting Albany to return the boys to their mother. Together they plan to depart into the west, in search of a new farmhouse, which they so desperately need for the re-establishment of Matthias’ Zion.      

We know from all the historical documents that Matthias has cash funding, along with gold & silver coins from Benjamin. Additionally, we know that Sojourner-Truth has a minimum of $25.00 given to her for services rendered to the Folgers.

Side note. Sojourner-Truth’s $25.00 in 1834 is equivariant to $750.00 in 2020.  Prophet Matthias’ $500.00 in 1834 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $15,006.69 in 2020, a difference of $14,506.69 over 186 years.

In review, we also have presented the accepted Folger plan to find a new place in the west, which Matthias now views as his plan. Turning to Margaret’s account, we read the following, from her written statement; she said quote. ‘Mr. Matthias came to Albany in consequence of the excitement about Mr. Pierson’s death, and was on his way to the west to obtain a place where Mr. Folger, his wife, and other followers could come to him, and carry on their plans.’ From this first-hand witness statement, the abandoned wife Margaret presents her understanding of the situation. She indicates that Matthias is trying to fulfill the original plan of Benjamin and Ann Folger, as he intends to look for their new home, their new Zion in the west!  With all the circumstantial evidence, the funding, and now with this written statement from Margaret, the purposes of Matthias’ actions are no longer in doubt! Continuing with her narrative, Margaret also then said quote. ‘He came along, and Isabella, the colored woman, (Sojourner-Truth) came after him in another boat. When I asked him why he left Sing-Sing, he said the kingdom was in darkness and must pass into the wilderness, and he must hide himself for forty days.’       

Interestingly we have a small insight into the motivations behind Matthias’ interaction with Margaret his first love, as she said, quote. ‘He called Mrs. Folger, (Ann) his Esther, and me (Margaret) his Vashti. In allusion to which, I asked him what had become of his Esther (Ann), he replied that it had become necessary for them to go into the wilderness for a season.’ (Ref: MW37.)        

The idea of Margaret being Vashti, with Ann being Esther to Matthias, is intriguing as it confirms the belief in Matthias’ mind that Ann is still queen and mother of this fallen house: with Matthias enthroned king and father. Together their child is about to be born, and everything is progressing the way that Ann originally wanted it to progress. She has achieved her goal, as she is in New York with Benjamin: and Matthias is out looking for a new home to re-establish his fallen Zion! The overview of this information is in Appendix three: note two: of Margaret’s statement when she said quote. ‘Soon after, difficulties occurred of a strange character, and it was determined to seek another home. For this purpose, Mr. Folger (Benjamin) gave Matthias the money.’

 In a court of law, the testimony of one witness is good; however, the testimony of several witnesses is more effective, especially if they are all saying the same thing. All the evidence, which unfortunately has been overlooked by most researchers and reporters, confirms the fact that Matthias and Sojourner-Truth are working together attempting to find a new home in the wilderness of the wild west. By exposing additional historical facts in forthcoming chapters, we should, as the saying goes, prepare ourselves for more shocking revelations!

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 113.

Side note for American students. In closing this chapter, we should consider the following question. Could it be possible that the American Prophet Matthias is looking for his new home in the west as proposed and funded by Ann and Benjamin Folger; because he wants to re-establish control over Ann, his new house, and new Zion? From the written statements, actions, and circumstantial evidence, the answer is in all probability in the affirmative. However, as we shall soon discover, with Matthias, things never turn out exactly the way they were planned!

Sojourner-Truth or Bella.

Isabella Van Wagener, before she evolved into the icon of Sojourner-Truth, enjoyed the name of Bella. It is my personal opinion that  Bella was her favored name before 1843. I have chosen to use the name Sojourner-Truth: as a mark of my respect for Bella. Some other names are recorded as Belle, Belia, Bell, & Lil Bett.

On the Alyce Blue historical Art Web-page, you have the opportunity to read more information on Sojourner-Truth. American history is essential, especially when correlating the American art of famous trailblazers. In complete collaboration with the established American artist Alyce Blue, we are delighted to present the original portrait and the uplifting story behind the art, on the Alyce Blue webpage, which we host on our website.

The Clash of the Prophets book series, by Mike Wilkins, author, and researcher, presents the heart-breaking, shocking, emotional story of Matthias and Sojourner-Truth searching together for a better way of life.

As they approach the house, Sojourner-Truth springs into action. Showing great foresight, we are informed, quote. ‘Isabella ( Sojourner-Truth) knowing that Matthias and Mrs. Folger (Ann) were yet in bed, and together, and being unwilling as she expressed herself, that they should be caught in this situation for their connection though known to the kingdom, was not acknowledged to the world, or among the devils took drastic action.’ Unceremoniously, Sojourner-Truth in her attempt to help, enters the bedroom, as she was, and I quote. ‘Unwilling that they should be so caught.’ Inside the bedroom, Sojourner-Truth informs them of the approaching unexpected visitors. On hearing the news, and I quote. ‘Mrs. B Folger (Ann) hurriedly assumed her garments.’ Rushing from the master bedroom in the north wing, Sojourner-Truth runs to Benjamin’s bedroom, upon hearing the news, Benjamin knows what to do; he prepares himself then, quote. ‘He (Benjamin) and Mrs. B Folger (Ann) received their visitors.’ The unexpected guests were Mr. Voris, the local lawyer, and Mr. Prime, the local school teacher. In their desire to help, both men wanted to impart friendly advice to the Folger family, who were still at this juncture viewed within the village as being the victims of the despised Prophet Matthias. Seen as Gentiles or perhaps devils the two visitors Voris and Prime offered their advice. United in their action and words the community members, quote. ‘Considered their offers as obtrusive; and regarded advice out of the Kingdom, as the advice of devils.’ And the Folgers, quote. ‘Not very kindly, declined their services.’ Alone and returning to his bedroom Benjamin has lost two wives all within a few months. His first wife Ann is happy with her new lover and Prophet, while his substitute matched spirit wife Isabella, the daughter of Matthias, has been taken from him. Rising like a phoenix, Ann rekindles her influence over Benjamin’s life. Attempting to help, she concludes that Catherine Galloway, the housekeeper and cook is again a suitable match for the isolated Benjamin. Perhaps Benjamin was enjoying the company of Catherine when the two unexpected and untimely visitors Messer’s Voris and Prime visited. Could this help explain why both Ann and Benjamin were so unusually firm and unwelcoming to them!

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