Книга: Solomon Northup «Twelve Years a Slave»

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was born a free black man in upstate New York in 1808. By 1841, he had become a husband, a father, a raftsman, and a talented fiddle-player. That year, while his family was away, he agreed to accompany two men to Washington DC, on what he thought would be a brief trip performing for a circus. Instead, these new employers turned out to be con men, and Northup was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Northup was transported to New Orleans and remained a slave for the next twelve years, working for a number of masters in Louisiana-some brutal, some kind. Although Northup never stopped longing for home and thinking about how he could escape, it seemed impossible to trust anyone with the facts of his life. He remained a slave for a dozen years, until he finally met a Canadian abolitionist who was able to get a letter to his family and eventually gained his freedom. After his release, Northup told his story to David Wilson, an upstate New York-based white lawyer...

Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (2013)

ISBN: 9781429093378

Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup (1808 - unknown: disappeared in 1863) was a free-born African-American mulatto from New York, best known for his 1853 autobiography, "Twelve Years a Slave".

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Solomon Northup was born in New York. His father, Mintus Northup, had spent the early part of his life as a slave to the Northup family of Rhode Island. It is from that family that he derived the last name for his own family as most slaves often took the last name of their owner.

The white Northups subsequently relocated to Hoosic, in Rensselaer County, New York. Upon the death of the family patriarch, Mintus Northup, father of Solomon, he was emancipated by will. As a young boy, Solomon had spent most of his time working on his father's farm, reading books and practicing the violin.

He married Anne Hampton in 1829 and they had three children. Solomon was a hard worker and he was constantly trying to achieve a better life for his family. It was through this pursuit for prosperity that he fell into the worst situation of his life. Solomon Northup eventually relocated his family to Saratoga Springs, New York, where he worked as a farmer/peddler/cook.

Then Solomon met two white men by the names of Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. The two men heard Solomon playing his violin and approached him. They offered Solomon a job in a travelling circus, offering to pay the princely sum of one dollar per day and three dollars per musical performance. They convinced Northup to travel with them to Washington D.C. where the circus was. Once there he was put up in a hotel and later was presumably drugged. He was in and out of consciousness for days, but when he finally awoke he was no longer a free man. He was in a basement bound by chains. He eventually learned that he was now the slave of James H. Burch. Burch insisted that Northup was a runaway slave from Georgia and sold him as such. This was the beginning of 12 years of slavery. Eventually, a letter from Solomon reached his wife. She was able to find help from a lawyer who reviewed New York state laws. This lawyer, Henry Northup, was a member of the family that had once owned Solomon's father. He discovered that on May 14, 1840 the state of New York passed a law stating that if a free black resident was unlawfully captivated and used as a slave, they must be recovered. The governor of New York allowed for Henry Northup to travel to Louisiana to recover Solomon. On January 4, 1853 Solomon was no longer a slave.

Solomon Northup wrote an account of his experiences, "Twelve Years a Slave" (1853), became involved in the abolitionist movement and lectured on slavery in the North-Eastern US.

It has been suggested by some that he was also involved in the underground railroad but this has not been confirmed.

No known records on Northup exist after 1863 and the date, location and circumstances of his death are unknown.

Enigma of his death

Northup was reportedly mentioned in the 1860 Federal US census with the following address:

Town: Queensbury,County: Warren,State: NY,P.O. Glens Falls.

He was absent from the 1865 New York census but his wife Ann was reportedly still living at the same address at that time.

The best available evidence indicates that he disappeared in 1863 while staying in Boston, Massachusetts to give lectures. Many of those researching his disappearance have formed the opinion that Northup may have been kidnapped or killed by persons unknown while in Boston. Others feel that the sudden disappearance of a well known public figure would have been noticed and since his health was probably declining due to his years of captivity under harsh conditions, he may well have simply died of natural causes.

Bibliography

* "Twelve Years a Slave", 1853

External links

* [http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/northup/northup.html Text of Northup's book, "Twelve Years a Slave"]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20051016085440/http://innercity.org/columbiaheights/newspaper/kidnap.html Archive of 1999 "Washington Post" newspaper article]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088148/ "Solomon Northup's Odyssey" - a 1984 made-for-TV movie]
* [http://www.geocities.com/old-history/p-1.jpgGenealogy of Solomon Northup's 4th generation ancestor, Joseph M. Linzy Sr. - Chart 1]
* [http://www.geocities.com/old-history/p-2.jpgGenealogy of Solomon Northup's 4th generation ancestor, Joseph M. Linzy Sr. - Chart 2]
* [http://www.ustrek.org/odyssey/semester1/112900/112900nicksolo.html Snatched Up and Sold Into Slavery: The Story of Solomon Northup]
* [http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/es/ny/slave_1 America's Story: Solomon Northup Day]
* [http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/narratives/bio_northrup.htm Solomon Northup: From Freedom to Slavery to Freedom Again]

Источник: Solomon Northup

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