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12 Years a Slave

The movie is based of the life and times of a man named Solomon Northup, who was born a free man in Minerva, New York, in 1808.In the movie, the book, and his life, little is known about his mother, because they never gave her name.However in all three we know of his father, a man named Mintus, who was originally enslaved to the Northup family from Rhode Island, but he was freed after the family moved to New York.

In the movie, a now young man, you saw that Northup helped his father with farming, chores and even worked as a raftsman on the waterways of upstate New York.

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He married Anne Hampton, a woman of mixed black, white, and Native American ancestry, on December 25th, 1829. They had three children together. During the 1830s, Northup became known as an excellent fiddle player. In 1841, two men offered Northup large sums of wages to join a traveling musical show, but unfortunately soon after he accepted it they drugged him and sold him into slavery! He was sold at auction in New Orleans in 1841.

Now Northup had to serve a number of masters, some of course were brutally cruel and others who were more humane. After several years of slavery, he met with an outspoken abolitionist from Canada who sent letters to notify Northup’s family of Northup’s current situation. A state agent was sent to Louisiana to reclaim Northup as a slave and he was successful through a number of chances. After he was finally declared a free man, Northup pressed charges of kidnapping against the men who had drugged him and sold him, but the length of the trial was dropped because of legal inabilities, and he received nothing for it. Little is known about Northup’s later life after the trial, but he is said to have finally passed away in 1863.

Twelve Years a Slave was recorded by David Wilson who is a white lawyer and legislator from New York who claimed to have presented. The story is sometimes believed to have been dedicated to Harriet Beecher Stowe and is even said to have introduced another key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Northup’s book was published in 1853 which was maybe less than a year after he was set free. It sold over 30,000 copies and is therefore not only one of North America’s many slave books, but also one of the most popular ones.

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