Solomon Northup was the son of a freed slave and a free woman of color. In 1841, he was offered a traveling musician’s job and went to Washington, D. C. There he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold as a slave. Northup regained his freedom on January 3, 1853. He lectured on behalf of the abolitionist movement. He largely disappeared from the historical record after 1857.
About Solomon Northup in brief
Solomon Northup was the son of a freed slave and a free woman of color. In 1841, he was offered a traveling musician’s job and went to Washington, D. C. There he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold as a slave. He remained a slave until he met a Canadian working on his plantation who helped get word to New York. Northup regained his freedom on January 3, 1853. He lectured on behalf of the abolitionist movement. He largely disappeared from the historical record after 1857, although a letter later reported him alive in early 1863. His memoir was adapted and produced as the 1984 television film Solomon Northup’s Odyssey and the 2013 feature film 12 Years a Slave. The latter won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, at the 86th Academy Awards. The details of his death have never been documented, as he would have been considered too old to bring a good price. He died on November 22, 1829, and his grave is in Hudson Falls Baker Cemetery in Hudson County, New York, where he was buried with his wife, Anne Hampton, in 1828 or 1829. In his memoir, Northup describes his love for his wife as “since the time of their marriage, unabreated” and describes his children as “beloved” and “believed” to be of African descent, and Native American descent, since his wife was of African, European, and African American descent.
He also describes his mother as a quadroon, meaning that she was one-quarter African, and three-quarters European. His father Mintus was a freedman who had been a slave in his early life in service to the Northup family. After being freed by Henry Northup, Mintus adopted the surname Northup as his own. He and his wife had two sons, Solomon and Joseph, who were born free according to the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, as their mother was aFree woman. As boys, North up and his brother worked on the family farm in Rensselaer County, N.Y. They owned a farm in Hebron and supplemented their income by various jobs, including working as a raft man and a boatman. Between 1830 and 1834, the couple lived in Fort Edward and Kingsbury, small communities in Washington County, NY. They had three children: Margaret, Elizabeth, Alonzo, and Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alononzo Northup. The Northups died in 1829 and 1828, and last year, his wife died in Hudson River, New Jersey. The name appears interchangeably in records as Northup and Northrup. The couple had a son, Solomon, who was born on July 10, 1807 or in 1808; he died in November 1829; he was 87 years old. The book, Twelve Years aslave, was published in 1841; it was adapted as a TV film and a feature film in 2013.