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According to Anderson, Thomas had hired him in New York for a job in Pennsylvania, but had instead taken him to Richmond and sold him. They left New York by train, but did not stop at Newark. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. During the trip, the man insisted he pretend to be his slave while traveling. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Moore was gagged and held in the ship’s hold for several days.

Subscribe! Northup’s victimization was not unique, however, and there were numerous cases–in New York State alone–of free blacks being kidnapped for the purpose of being sold as slaves.

Some of these […] In August 1858, teenager Isaac Moore was grabbed while walking along Houston Street, and carried aboard a schooner docked in the East River.

He is widely known for 'Roots' and 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Alex Haley was a writer whose works of historical fiction and reportage depicted generations of African American lives. He was lured south and kidnapped in 1841 and enslaved for more than a … He accepted, not suspecting that these men had evil intentions. It reads: SOLOMON NORTHUP: Born 1808 a free man, lured from Saratoga, kidnapped and sold into slavery, 1841; Rescued, 1853. Today, there is an historical sign commemorating Northup at the very place he was abducted. One went undercover as a postal clerk and identified the culprits, who were taken back to New York. While seeking employment in March 1841, Northup met two men who said they were affiliated with a circus. When police went to investigate, they found that the ship had sailed, probably heading towards its home port in Virginia. Initially only intending to accompany the men to New York and provide violin accompaniment for their act, Northup was convinced to travel with them further south to Washington, D.C. And at the end of the millennium, Saratoga Springs resident Renee Moore established the event "Solomon Northup Day: A Celebration of Freedom," which was set up by the city as an annual occurrence in 2002. Knew about Prue’s service, but hadn’t found much about Armstrong, post-kidnapping. They were incarcerated, indicted and tried. In the capital, slavery was still legal at the time, meaning that Northup's freedom could easily come under question. Please confirm business hours in advance. Northup subsequently gave lectures on his experiences and worked with the Underground Railroad in helping those fleeing slavery to reach Canada. On Christmas Day in 1829, Northup wed Anne Hampton, a woman of multi-racial descent. Solomon and Anne established a farm in 1832 in Kingsbury, with Northup also having a reputation in the community as the most excellent of fiddlers. We strive for accuracy and fairness. Please alert us if there is any inaccurate information here. Follow, like and subscribe to saratoga.com on social media. Also, I’ve enjoyed reading your book “Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author os Twelve Years a Slave” – incredible story! The book was recently adapted to the Oscar winning film of the same name and starred some of the decade's best actors, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, and Lupita Nyong'o, who won an Oscar for her role as a young slave and friend of Solomon, Patsey. Northup’s victimization was not unique, however, and there were numerous cases–in New York State alone–of free blacks being kidnapped for the purpose of being sold as slaves. It is not entirely clear what punishment was given to the woman involved. A witness suspected they were “tampering with slaves,” via the Underground Railroad.

Solomon Northup grew up a free man, working as a farmer and violinist while having a family.

In its first annual report in 1837, the committee stated it had assisted over 300 blacks who were accused of being runaway slaves, and therefore in danger of being taken away by slavecatchers. Cases of New York kidnappings following these actions by the Federal government are not hard to uncover. Through a collaborative effort lead by a Canadian man and Northup's wife (garnering support from residents of Saratoga, neighboring communities and Louisiana), Northup's freedom was eventually won in court, and he returned home.

Armstrong was represented by counsel, and Watertown resident John A. Haddock went to Washington and testified that Armstrong was a free man whom he had known for 15 years. There he was drugged by the men, held captive, severely beaten and sold into slavery in Louisiana.

Northup was born in July 1808 in Minerva, New York. Having trouble using this site? He was beaten and sold into slavery in Louisiana, where he would remain for 12 long years before being rescued. (Various city officials, as noted by Ruggles, were sometimes complicit in misidentifying free citizens as escaped slaves.) In 2013, the film 12 Years a Slave, based on the book by Northup and directed by British filmmaker Steve McQueen, was released. SARATOGA SPRINGS NY - The author of the autobiography (and later the subject of the Oscar winning movie of the same name), Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup was born in Minerva in 1808 and later lived in Saratoga as a free black man with his wife and family. He was lured south and kidnapped in 1841 and enslaved for more than a decade, enduring horribly violent conditions.

His experiences are the subject of the book and film 12 Years a Slave. Years later, filmmaker/photographer Gordon Parks released an American Playhouse film on Northup's life, Solomon Northup's Odyssey. Saratoga Springs also celebrates Solomon Northup Day. Solomon Northup was an African American farmer and musician who was taken hostage and sold into slavery in 1841. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an active abolitionist and the first female African American newspaper editor in North America. With his wife also able to earn income for her in-demand cooking skills, the couple did well and moved to Saratoga Springs in 1834, where Northup worked at the United States Hotel, among other jobs. His memoir, Twelve Years a Slave, was published in 1853 and is still in print and widely popular. Lawyer Henry B. Northup, who was part of the family from which Mintus and his clan took their name, travelled south and facilitated Solomon's release in 1853. Visit Saratoga.com For Everything Saratoga. Northup was forced to do a variety of tasks while in captivity and never revealed to his peers that he had once lived free for fear of him being sent farther away. The film “12 Years a Slave” is raising global awareness of Solomon Northup’s story of being kidnapped and sold into slavery before the Civil War. They instead went to Washington, D. C. Upon reaching that place, the couple began trying to sell Sarah to a slave trader (even though slave trading had been banned there in 1850). The man was sentenced to five years in prison, but was pardoned the following winter by Governor Edwin D. Morgan, and returned to his native Canada. Follow the New York Almanack each day via E-mail, RSS, Twitter or Facebook updates. Information is subject to change. Northup also came to know Patsey, who was targeted by the sexually abusive Epps while having to fear attacks from his hate-filled wife; her story represented the ordeals of many women subjugated in the slavery system. Back at home, he said that he had been enticed from Watertown in order to go see Washington and the South. Solomon Northup grew up a free man, working as a farmer and violinist while having a family. His father Mintus had once been enslaved but was released upon his former master's death, and hence Solomon and his older brother Joseph grew up knowing freedom. The standards under which Northup survived there were barbaric, with those enslaved forced to endure vile, horribly violent conditions. Prue, who had worked his way back to Columbus, was located quickly, and Hight was also found and released from a Louisville slave pen by (to his credit) Judge Graves. Under the American slavery system, it was not only the slaves who suffered. He later disappeared from public life and is thought to have died around 1863. See this entry on my blog relating to Civil War service of Northup’s family members: http://historywinks.tumblr.com/post/51233463879/sncivwar, Your email address will not be published. Author, "Twelve Years A Slave.". http://historywinks.tumblr.com/post/51233463879/sncivwar, Historian Spotlight: Ulster County’s Ken Hasbrouck, Reconsidering the Legacy of Alexander Hamilton, Slang, Stirrups, Paris in the 20s, and the Invention of the Bloody Mary, State Proposes Removal of Historic DeBar Lodge Great Camp For Day Use Area, Aerial Photos: New York Rural History From Above, DEC Proposes Expanded Deer Hunting for Southern Zone, A Ghost of American Patriot Colonel Jacob Griffin. The same year Northup published the narrative/memoir Twelve Years a Slave.

Required fields are marked *. His story is told in the film '12 Years a Slave.'.

Armstrong was released and he returned to Watertown with Haddock. In Northup's autobiography, he describes how the men he'd originally trusted drugged him, kidnapped him, and held in a slave pen in Washington D.C. According to the New York Herald, Sarah figured out that her companions intended to sell her, and “made so much trouble about it” that the couple “thought it best to decamp to Maryland.” Sarah returned home, and two New York officers proceeded to Baltimore. https://www.biography.com/writer/solomon-northup. Free blacks, in free state like New York, lived in the shadow of slavery, their liberty under constant threat from greedy criminals. Two developments ensured kidnappers had a comfortable environment to work in: passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 (which the New York Evening Post called the “law for the encouragement of kidnapping”) made it even harder for blacks to assert their free status; and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling, in the Dred Scott case, that no blacks–whether slaves or freemen–were entitled to standing in the federal courts. Thanks for this article. Based on St. John’s lead, Northup identified Merrill and Russell as his abductors. In July 1860, he was arrested north of Washington D.C., along with a white man. Solomon Northup, b. and later the subject of the Oscar winning movie of the same name. Accessibility is our goal, please contact or email us with site improvements. After the trip to New York, Northup agreed to continue to travel with them to Washington D.C. Filed Under: Adirondacks & NNY, History Tagged With: Abolition, Black History, Crime and Justice, New York City, Slavery, watertown. The day commemorates the triumph of the human spirit and is host to events at Skidmore College and throughout Saratoga. David Ruggles, the black publisher of an anti-slavery newspaper, was a vital and active member of this committee, and his activities led to his being jailed more than once. (On the same day he was sentenced, a horse thief received a sentence of four years.). He observed and later recounted the plight of others like Eliza, whose young son Randall was sold and taken away from her at an auction in New Orleans.

Without his free papers, Northup was considered an escaped slave. David Sedaris is a humorist and essayist best known for his sardonic autobiographical stories and social commentary. Special thanks to SaratogaPhotographer.com for many of the beautiful photos featured on this site. William Lloyd Garrison was an American journalistic crusader who helped lead the successful abolitionist campaign against slavery in the United States.

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