Solomon Northup (1808–ca. 1863) was a free African American who was kidnapped into slavery as a young man. Northup was born to parents who were former slaves and raised in upstate New York. In 1841, while living in Saratoga Springs, New York, Northup was kidnapped by two men and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years as a slave in Louisiana before finally regaining his freedom in 1853. Later the same year, he published an account of his ordeal, Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, which drew attention to the plight of free blacks kidnapped into slavery and helped in identifying Northup’s kidnappers, though they were never convicted.

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