First Published in 1853 in the year after his release, Twelve Years a Slave is the personal narrative of Solomon Northup, a free man and violin player from New York, who also happened to be black. On a trip to Washington to earn money playing music he was kidnapped, brought South and sold into slavery, where he spent twelve awful years in bondage before his eventual rescue.
In this coruscating and unflinching memoir Northup reveals the true horrors of slavery from the perspective of a man who has lived his life in freedom, leaving a wife and family behind him. From the slave markets to the plantations, through a the differing regimes of a variety of slave-owners, Northup details the appalling treatment of his fellow human beings in a book that was quickly championed by abolitionist groups after it's publication in 1853.
This book has recently been made into a major motion picture.
- Full original text (including Appendices)
- Interactive Table of Contents for ease of Navigation