Twelve Years a Slave
Solomon Northup was a free man, then lured to Washington D.C. and put into slavery from 1841 to 1853. His father, Mintus Northup, was owned by a family named Northup, who came from Rhode Island to New York. Henry B. Northup was a relative of that family. After the owner of Solomon’s father dies, his father is now a free man. Shortly after, his father moved to Essex county, N.Y., where Solomon Northup was born on July, 1808.
Solomon Northup married Anne Hampton, and had three children: Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. In March 1834, they moved to Saratoga Springs and lived in the U.S. Hotel. Solomon Northup was an excellent and well-known violin player. While walking on the corner of Broadway and Congress Street, he was met by two strangers: Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. They had heard about his violin skills, and asked him to take part in their circus company. They were to travel around and perform. He was offered large amounts of money and a quick return. After taking the offer, they traveled around and Northup made a good bit of money. One day they offered to go to Washington D.C., a slave state at the time. He was promised to be taken care of and nothing would happen as long as he had his Free Papers. While Brown and Hamilton stopped at various saloons and were drinking, he became very ill. At the time, they were staying in the Gadsby’s Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave. While resting in his room, several people entered and were advising him that he needed to go see a doctor now. While walking with them on the streets of Washington, he was suddenly kidnapped and chained in a basement. The next day he awoke and met by James H. Burch and Ebenezer Radburn. He was in the Williams’ slave pen in Washington, right next to the White House. There he met Eliza and her two children Randall and Emily, who were also slaves. Northup ended up being taken to Richmond, Virginia where he was put in Mr. Goodin’s slave pen by...