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12 Years a Slave

Autor:   •  February 12, 2016  •  Essay  •  602 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,002 Views

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Throughout chapter one, Solomon Northup explains his family history to the readers. Northup was born a free slave in July 1808 in Minerva, New York. Grew up working as a farmer alongside his father. His father served a white family in New York until his owner killed him. Northup married Anne Hampton and moved into a home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Northup worked in different industries and became a good violin player while his wife Anne became a cook. Northup and Anne started a family.

Northup started to work in Saratoga Springs because he got unemployed in March of 1841, he met Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton, which whom tricked Northup into thinking that they could find him a job in New York City in a circus but when they arrived in New York City the circus was not there. The two men told Northup to join them down to Washington D.C which was slave territory at the time so the day after they arrived in Washington D.C, Northup felt sick and woke up in chains.  

 James Burch, a slave dealer in Washington, D.C and Ebenezer Radburn, Burch’s assistant woke up Northup. Northup is declaring his imprisonment, how he is a free man but Burch beats Northup with a wooden paddle. Northup is being held in Williams Slave Pen in Washington, D.C, he meets other prisoners Clemens Ray, Eliza Berry and Eliza’s children. Eliza has been a mistress and a slave to a wealthy white man; he promised upon his death that Eliza and her children would be free. However after his death, his son-in-law sold Eliza along with her children to Burch.

Burch and Radburn move all of the slaves to a steamboat on the Potomac River going down river to Richmond, Virginia. Slaves are then relocated to the pen of Mr. Goodin. Burch threatens to kill Northup for a second time. When Northup is at Goodin’s slave pen, he meets other African American captives including another free man named Robert, but he has been sold into slavery too. Burch took Clemens Ray and brought him back to Washington, D.C and Northup discovers that Clemens Ray escaped slavery and is free in Canada. However all of the other slaves are brought through Richmond and are forced to board brig Orleans and sail downriver.

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