He, his wife, and children enjoyed a modest prosperity in the upstate New York community of Saratoga Springs where his reputation as a clever jack-of-all-trades and an accomplished fiddler gained him the respect of white and black. But free status and admirable reputation meant little in a slave society, where the worth of black flesh was measured by labor transformed into dollars. While slavery may have been abolished in the North, kidnappers and their confederates-driven by the swelling demand for men and women to grow cotton, sugar, and other valuable commodities-roamed the land. The lack of respect for black humanity put all black people, no matter what their standing, at risk.
Little is known about his mother, whom his narrative does not identify by name. His father, Mintus, was originally enslaved to the Northup family from Rhode Island, but he was freed after the family moved to New York. As a young man, Northup helped his father with farming chores and worked as a raftsman on the waterways of upstate New York.
Film Review | 12 Years a Slave A 19th century slave narrative translated to screen, Steve McQueen’s Oscar frontrunner is a relentlessly grim and relevant film. Dec 17, · 12 Years a Slave is a period drama film and an adaptation of the slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. by two conmen, in and sold into slavery. • ‘12 Years A Slave’ was the first slave-narrative adapted for film to win the Scripter • Up to , ’12 Years A Slave’ was the 8th winner of the Scripter Award .
They had three children together. During the s, Northup became locally renowned as an excellent fiddle-player. He was subsequently sold at auction in New Orleans. Northup served a number of masters—some brutally cruel and others whose humanity he praised.
An official state agent was sent to Louisiana to reclaim Northup, and he was successful through a number of coincidences.
After he was freed, Northup filed kidnapping charges against the men who had defrauded him, but the lengthy trial that followed was ultimately dropped because of legal technicalities, and he received no remuneration. It sold over thirty thousand copies. It is therefore not only one of the longest North American slave narratives, but also one of the best-selling.
Their ruse is thorough: Northup is sold to the notorious Washington-based slave trader James H. Burch, who brutally whips him for protesting that he is a free man. While in the slave pen, he makes the acquaintance of several other slaves, including Eliza, whose sad history he relates in detail pp.
The slaves are handcuffed and transported together via cars and steamboats to Richmond and then to New Orleans. Their experience aboard the steamboat is a miserable one: Northup plans a mutiny with two of his fellow slaves, but the plan is foiled when one of them contracts smallpox and dies pp.
After surviving a bout of smallpox, Northup and Eliza are purchased by a Baptist preacher named William Ford. When Tibeats and two associates attempt to lynch Northup, a kindly overseer armed with pistols intervenes and saves his life.
Because he had not yet paid Ford the full amount for Northup, Tibeats is compelled to spare him for a time. Later, when he attacks Northup with a hatchet, the slave again bests the master, and this time he flees from the plantation, chased by hounds.
Around this time, Northup learns that Eliza has died of malnourishment and grief at the loss of her daughter pp. He provides detailed descriptions of the processes of planting, cultivating, and picking cotton pp. As he was periodically hired out to sugar plantations as well, Northup describes the methods of planting, harvesting, and processing the cane in similar detail pp.
Though his account reveals the misery and despair of field slaves, like many other slave narratives, it also reflects the wry humor with which Northup endured his situation. Twelve Years a Slave occasionally ventures into nature writing and ethnography, as Northup describes southern flora, fauna, and culture from the perspective of a northern traveler.
Remarkably, he compliments some aspects of white southern life: He also repeatedly notes the abilities of female slaves in a manner that suggests a sort of proto-feminist sensibility. Whether his subject is the Southern landscape or the Southerners themselves, Northup frequently writes with the bemused curiosity of an intellectual tourist.
However, Northup had been savvy enough to request the favor without entrusting the letter, so he is able to deny the allegation and convince his master that it is spurious.
Later, he meets a Canadian carpenter and outspoken abolitionist named Mr.
Bass, who agrees to mail several letters for him. Both men realize the significance of the act: After a lengthy delay that causes Northup to despair of ever being rescued, he is found and liberated by Henry B.Summary of 12 Years A Slave; Summary of 12 Years A Slave.
7 July Slavery; It is therefore not only one of the longest North American slave narratives, but also one of the best-selling. The first two chapters of Twelve Years a Slave relate the Northup family history, Solomon’s marriage to Anne, his employment as a raftsman, a farmer.
Lesson Plans and Resources for Twelve Years A Slave Excerpts from the book alongside an article discussing the genre of slave narratives, including questions for tactics, or even the radiant courage of the parties. Emerging from 12 Years a Slave, one fears the triteness of.
Twelve Years a Slave (Originally published in with the sub-title: "Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in , and rescued in , from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana") is the written work of Solomon Northup; a man who was born free, but was bound into slavery later in.
Three months later, Northup was back in the Times with news of his impending memoir, “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in.
Read "12 years a slave, or Twelve years a slave, or Narrative of Solomon Northup" by Solomon Northup with Rakuten Kobo. Twelve years a slace is a unforgettable memoir that was the basis for the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave.
A. The story of Solomon Northup is a bizarre and incredible one. Born a free black in New York State in , he was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in , and spent most of the next 12 years as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation.