Twelve Years a Slave (Annotated): The Original 1853 Manuscript - 12 Years a Slave
Independently Published, Oct 15, 2019 - 194 pages
Solomon Northup was born as a free man in either July 10, 1807 or 1808 in Minerva, New York to a father named Mintus, who was a freed slave and a mother who was a free woman of color. He grew up, working on his family farm with his father and older brother, Joseph. He loved reading books and playing music on the violin.
On December 25, 1829, he married Anne Hampton and together, they had three children named Elizabeth, Margaret and Alonzo. They owned and worked a farm. Solomon was well-known as an accomplished fiddler and his wife was well-known (and paid) for her cooking.
In 1841, while looking for employment, Northup was convinced by two men to travel to Washington D.C. They claimed to be affiliated with a circus. In Washington D.C. Northup was drugged, beaten severely, kidnapped and then sold into slavery. This began 12 of the most challenging years of his life. His name was also changed to Platt Hamilton.
He was first sold to a more benevolent slave owner named William Prince Ford. A difficult financial situation forced Ford to sell him to John M. Tibaut, who was extremely brutal to Northup. After almost getting hung by Tibaut, Northup fled to Ford for protection. Tibaut and Ford sold Northup to a man named Edwin Epps, where Northup remained for about a decade. He spent time on Epps' plantation being lent out to others, and also as a driver to help manage other slaves. He spent his 12 years in slavery in Louisiana.