Below are the two main written versions of Sojourner’s speech, the original, on the left, was delivered at the Woman's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851. The full text of each speech follows the synopsis below so you can see the differences line by line. I have highlighted overt similarities between the two versions. While Frances Gage changed most of the wording and added the southern slave dialect to her 1863 version, it is clear the origin of Gage's speech comes from Sojourner's original 1851 speech. It is interesting to note that Marius Robinson and Sojourner Truth were good friends and it was noted that he and she went over his transcription of her speech before he published it. One could infer from this pre printing meeting, that even if he did not capture every word she said, that she must have blessed his transcription and given permission to print her speech in the Anti-Slavery Bugle.
The oldest account of Truth's speech that provides more than a passing mention of it was by published by Marius Robinson on June 21, 1851 in the Salem Anti-Slavery Bugle, a few weeks after the speech was given. This version was not the first published account of the Akron speech, but rather the first attempt to convey what Sojourner Truth said in full.
The most common yet inaccurate rendering of Truth's speech—the one that introduced the famous phrase "Ar'n't I a woman?"—was constructed by Frances Dana Gage, nearly twelve years after the speech was given by Sojourner at the Akron conference. Gage's version first appeared in the New York Independent on April 23, 1863.