Cover image for Solomon Northup : the complete story of the author of Twelve years a slave
Solomon Northup : the complete story of the author of Twelve years a slave
Fiske, David (David A.), 1954-
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, California : Praeger, [2013]
Physical Description:
xvii, 225 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Twelve years a slave: an overview -- Early life -- Kidnapped -- The journey south -- Survival -- Rescue -- Sharing the story -- The kidnappers: arrest and trial -- Financial problems, the Underground Railroad, and the mystery of Northup's Fate -- Appendix A: notices of appearances by Solomon Northup -- Appendix B: Solomon Northup's family -- Appendix C: publishing history of Twelve years a slave.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E444.N87 F57 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A companion to the classic African-American autobiographical narrative, Twelve Years A Slave , this work presents fascinating new information about the 1841 kidnapping, 1853 rescue, and pre- and post-slavery life of Solomon Northup.

* For the first time, a book documents the full story of Northup's life--the basis of the 2013 movie, Twelve Years a Slave , starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Paul Giamatti

* Supplies detailed coverage of Northup's pursuits after his release from slavery: educating the public via his book, his lectures, and dramatic presentations; and his efforts to help others gain freedom through his work on the underground railroad

* Provides a list of more than two dozen places and dates where Northup appeared following the publication of his book

Author Notes

David Fiske , MLS, is a writer and independent researcher. He was previously senior librarian at the New York State Library.

Clifford W. Brown , PhD, is Robert Porter Patterson Professor of Government at Union College.

Rachel Seligman , MFA, is Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A national sensation when it first appeared in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave remained a staple of slave narratives for its intense evocation of slavery from the point of view of a literate, "free" man. Any concerns about its authenticity have long abated, so that the historical illuminations here are primarily to make obscure material generally accessible. The most important of the expansions are, first, the fine-grained offerings on the legalities of Northup's attempts to find satisfaction through the law in prosecuting the conspirators against him and, second, the lingering question of what, exactly, became of Northup after his disappearance in 1857. The demoralizing realization that Northup was never to receive redress on the first issue is balanced by the encouraging news that his nearly certain, if secret, involvement in the underground railroad accounted for his sudden drop from sight. The authors missed an opportunity to examine why, exactly, it still passes as worse for a "free" man than a born slave to have been in chains, but the work is useful for anyone looking deeply into background information on Solomon Northup. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. A. Mann University of Toledo

Table of Contents

Carol Linzy Adams Sally
Maps and Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
1 Twelve Years a Slave: An Overviewp. 1
2 Early Lifep. 19
3 Kidnappedp. 43
4 The Journey Southp. 55
5 Survivalp. 67
6 Rescuep. 89
7 Sharing the Storyp. 111
8 The Kidnappers: Arrest and Trialp. 125
9 Financial Problems, the Underground Railroad, and the Mystery of Northup's Fatep. 143
Appendix A Notices of Appearances by Solomon Northupp. 155
Appendix B Solomon Northup's Familyp. 159
Appendix C Publishing History of Twelve Years a Slavep. 167
Notesp. 171
Bibliographical Notep. 213
Indexp. 221
About the Authorsp. 226