Imagine that it is the year 1841 in Saratoga, New York and blossoms of the dogwood tree are swirling around your face as the wind gently tousles your hair. All seems well in the world, and, to Solomon Northup, great opportunities are coming his way. Two men, by the names of Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton, had offered a dream job to Solomon. They had asked him to join them in a circus, playing the fiddle, an instrument Solomon had mastered. However, these men were not as honest as they seemed. Brown and Hamilton later drugged and kidnapped Solomon at a hotel one night during the tour. These men successfully forced Solomon into twelve years of slavery.
There were some ups and downs to ...view middle of the document...
Solomon was born in 1808, as a free man. On Christmas Day, 1829, Solomon was married to Anne Hampton, with whom he had three children: Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. They lived happily until the day Solomon was taken from their lives for twelve long years.
At the beginning of Solomon’s slavery, he was sold to James H. Burch, who beat Solomon harshly for admitting to being free. Northup was then sent, with a number of other slaves, to Theophilus Freeman, and sold to William Ford. Ford was a kind slaveholder, compared to many other slaveholders, such as Tibeats and Epps. Several times, Tibeats attempted to kill Solomon as revenge for the beating Solomon had given him. Epps was also a violent man. Epps would whip slaves for not bringing in enough cotton, talking back, or, if he was drunk, for fun. Mistress Epps was kind to all of the slaves, except for Patsey. Mistress was jealous of Patsey for catching the eye of her husband, and would often criticize of even throw objects at Patsey. Some people in Northup’s route of slavery were kind, some were vicious, and some were simply unpredictable.
Solomon was part of the path to freedom of all slaves. Although, Northup was not one of the slaves freed by the Civil War, he was a slave, so he understood the difficulties the sadness of being in bondage. His story was one aspect that sparked the fight against slavery. His story also inspired slaves to work hard and hope for freedom. However, Solomon was not always hopeful that he would be freed.
“I felt there was no trust or mercy in unfeeling man; and commending myself to the God of the oppressed, bowed my head upon my fettered hands, and wept most bitterly,” (Northup 17). This quote is taken directly from the initiation of Solomon’s voyage of bondage. He is unhopeful in escaping from this undeserving kidnapping, therefore he cries into his bound hands. Solomon does not trust nor give mercy to whoever put him into this position. Although at this point, Solomon had little faith in returning to his life in New York, there were other points at which he was outstandingly hopeful.
“I requested him to furnish me pen, ink and paper, in order that I might write to some of my friends. He promised to obtain them- but how I could use them undiscovered was a difficulty. If I could only get into the forecastle while his watch was off, and the other sailors asleep, the thing could be accomplished,” (Northup 40). This quote is taken directly from...