- Grant Recipient
- 5 Morse Memorial Hwy, Olmstedville, NY 12857, USA
- 43.78786, -73.98005
Minerva Historical Society
FREE BLACK MAN BORN NEAR HERE
CA. 1808. FARMER, MUSICIAN,
CARPENTER. KIDNAPPED, SOLD
AS SLAVE 1841, RESCUED 1853.
WROTE “TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE”
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2020
Solomon Northup, born around 1808 in this locality, was an African American abolitionist and author. After a few years his family moved to Washington County, New York, where he grew up. As an adult, Northup farmed, and also worked as a laborer. He moved his family to Saratoga Springs, NY around 1834. In 1841, he was lured away and taken to Washington D.C. where he was sold into slavery. He was enslaved in Louisiana until 1853, when he was rescued and returned to New York State. He was known for his talent as a fiddler and carpentry work. His autobiographical book, Twelve Years a Slave, was published in the summer of 1853. Northup then traveled and gave lectures about slavery. The circumstances of his death are unknown.
Northrup’s memoir was adapted into a 1984 television drama called “Solomon Northup’s Odyssey”. In 2013 the book was made into a movie of the same name, “Twelve Years a Slave”, which earned many awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture.