In 1841, 33-year-old Solomon Northup was a free black man living comfortably in Saratoga, NY with his wife, Anne, and three children – Margaret, Elizabeth and Alonzo. After being lured with the promise of a job opportunity in Washington D.C., Northup was drugged and kidnapped, only to awaken chained in a dark dungeon, awaiting a fate of forced servitude in the harsh Confederate South. Once an educated and accomplished violinist living among those that admired him, Northup was stripped of his name and forced to work in the southern cotton fields of Louisiana as “Platt Hamilton.” His captors were paid $250 for his captivity.
Northup was born in either 1807 or 1808 in Minerva, Essex county, New York, to Mintus Northrup, a freed slave and Susannah Northup, a free woman of black and Indian heritage. He and his brother Joseph were raised near Granville, Washington County, until his father passed away in November 1829. That same year, on Christmas Day, Solomon wed Anne Hampton at age 21. The couple immediately bore children, and Solomon lived as a devoted husband and father until that day of April 7, 1841, when his entire life would change.
Throughout his years as a slave, Northup used his skill as a tradesman of many talents to survive. Forced to suppress his education, it was evident to slave masters that he was more exposed than the other slaves. This proved at a disadvantage to Northup. Within the span of three years, he had been bought and sold to three different owners: William Ford, John Tibaut and finally, Edwin Epps.
Finally, in 1852, with the help of a white Canadian carpenter that was hired by his last owner, Northup was able to get word to his friends and family back home in Saratoga of his whereabouts. His wife, Anne, knew he had been taken against his will, and had spent years looking for her husband. On January 3, 1853, Henry Northup, a friend of his father’s former slave owner, arrived on the Epps plantation to identify and vindicate Northup. Northup returned home to his family seventeen days later.
Though he attempted to go after his kidnappers, as a black man, he was unable to bring them to justice in court.
Now an abolitionist and assistant of the Underground Railroad, Northup recorded his experience in the book “12 Years a Slave” in 1853 with the help of attorney David Wilson. The autobiography would sell 17,000 copies in its initial release. The book contained intimate details of his capture and the unspeakable conditions endured by southern slaves.
On October 18, 2013, African American director Steve McQueen releases the film “12 Years A Slave”, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard and Kelsey Scott. The film is based upon the 1853 novel by Northup and is in select theaters nationwide.
View the “12 Years A Slave” trailer above.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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