In 1817, the New York legislature passed a law granting freedom to slaves born before July 4, 1799. This law, however, declared that those slaves could not be freed until July 4, 1827. As the date of her release came near, she realized that her master, John Dumont, was plotting to keep her enslaved. In 1826, she walked away from his estate, carrying only her baby Sophia, and a supply of food and clothing so meager that if fit in a cotton handkerchief. About five miles away, she found refuge on the Wagendaal (now Bloomington, in the town of Hurley) farm of her long-time firends, Maria and Isaac Van Wagenen, who gave her shelter and purchased her freedom ($20 for Isabella, and $5 for the baby) from Dumont. Issac told her that "God is no respecter of persons; before God, all of us are equal". Isabella (later known as Sojourner Truth) adopted the Van Wagenen name as her own, and spent the rest of her life marching under Isaac's words.

Begun two hundred years later, the now-shuttered vanwagenen.org website was a site for the descendants (including Isaac) of Jacob Aertsen Van Wagenen of Wageningen, Holland.

We've had a good run.

r...@vanwagenen.org




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