12 Years A Slave

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In the memoir, 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup details his journey from a free African American man living in the North, who on a business trip is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Antebellum South. Solomon Northup was the son of a freed slave who lived and worked in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he resided with his wife and three children. Northup primarily worked as a farmer and a violinist, and in 1841 he journeyed with two men to Washington D.C. to play at a circus. Northup was subsequently drugged, kidnapped, beaten, transported to New Orleans, and sold into slavery in the Red River region of Louisiana. For the next twelve years, Solomon Northup toiled as the human property of a multitude of slave masters, ranging from the kind and benevolent Master Williams, to the cruel and sadistic, Master Epps. In January of 1853, Northup’s letters for freedom were answered by a friend from New York who rescued him and helped him return to his friends and family. This memoir deals with a dark period of time in United States history, specifically from 1620 to 1865, where one human being could consider another human being his property,…show more content…
This book also allows the reader some insight on the relationship between a slave and a slave master and the mentality which slave masters held to justify the need to hold another human being as property. Lastly, this book allowed the reader to gain a better understanding and appreciation on just how valuable liberty and freedom are to a person. This is evidenced by the quote,” So we passed, handcuffed and in silence, through the streets of Washington — through the Capital of a nation, whose theory of government, we were told, rests on the foundation of man’s inalienable right to life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness” (Northup
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