Exploring the history of Solomon Northup for Black History Month

In our Black History Month coverage, we revisit the story of Solomon Northup. His story was told in the 2013 film, “12 Years a Slave.”

He was a free Black man who was kidnapped into slavery.

There is an historic marker in downtown Saratoga Springs that tells the story of Northup.

Just further down the street on Broadway – near Congress Street – is where Northup was most likely kidnapped.

He met two men at a tavern who convinced him to travel with him to Washington, D.C. for a traveling circus.

The nation’s capital was a major slave trading city. He was sold to be a slave in Louisiana.

Through the help of others, he was able to regain his freedom. Once freed, he wrote the book “12 Years a Slave.”

David Fiske wrote three books about Northup. He says Northup’s autobiography really opened people’s eyes.

While we know a lot about Northup, there are still some mysteries. No one knows what happened to him after 1863. We don’t know when he died or where he was buried.

Solomon Northup Day is celebrated every July in the North Country.