Read 12 Years a Slave: A True Story by Solomon Northup Free Online
Book Title: 12 Years a Slave: A True Story|
The author of the book: Solomon Northup
Date of issue: March 5th 2014
ISBN 13: 9780007580422
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.67 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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Why had I not died in my young years - before God had given me children to love and live for?
What unhappiness and suffering and sorrow it would have prevented. I sighed for liberty; but the bondsman's chain was round me, and could not be shaken off
1841: Solomon Northup is a successful violinist when he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Taken from his family in New York State and forced to work on the cotton plantations in the Deep South, he spends the next twelve years in captivity until his eventual escape.
First published in 1853, this extraordinary true story proved to be a powerful voice in the debate over slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. It is a testament to one man's courage and conviction in the face of unfathomable injustice and brutality: it's influence on the course of American history cannot be overstated.
Also features 'Life & Times' - a fascinating insight into the author, their work and the time of publication.
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Read information about the authorSolomon Northup was a free-born African American from Saratoga Springs, New York. He is noted for having been kidnapped in 1841 when enticed with a job offer. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him into slavery. From Washington, DC, he was transported to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner from Rapides Parish, Louisiana. After 12 years in bondage, he regained his freedom in January 1853; he was one of very few to do so in such cases. Held in the Red River region of Louisiana by several different owners, he got news to his family, who contacted friends and enlisted the New York governor in his cause. New York state had passed a law in 1840 to recover African-American residents who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Northup sued the slave traders in Washington, DC, but lost in the local court. District of Columbia law prohibited him as a black man from testifying against whites and, without his testimony, the men went free. Returning to his family in New York, Northup became active in abolitionism. He published an account of his experiences in Twelve Years a Slave (1853) in his first year of freedom. Northup gave dozens of lectures throughout the Northeast on his experiences as a slave, in order to support the abolitionist cause.
In the early 1860s, Northup, along with another black man, aided a Methodist minister in Vermont in helping fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. The circumstances of Northup's death are uncertain.
Solomon Northup's memoir was reprinted several times later in the 19th century. An annotated version was published in 1968, edited by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon. The memoir was adapted and produced as a film in 2013 by Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup. Previously, a TV movie had been made of Northup's story, Solomon Northup's Odyssey (1984), directed by Gordon Parks. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove wrote her poem "The Abduction" about Solomon Northup (published in her first collection, "The Yellow House on the Corner", 1980.)
Since 1999, Saratoga Springs, New York, has celebrated an annual Solomon Northup Day.
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