Auburn connection to ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ discussed by Solomon Northrup descendant

Solomon Northrup’s great-great-great-granddaughter Melissa Howell delivered a presentation on Sunday about the hidden figures who played a role in the publishing of Northrup’s memoir, “Twelve Years a Slave,” in 1853.

Howell presented “A freedom narrative’s coming of age: the hidden figures who brought ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ to publication,” at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park visitor center in Seneca Falls. The content shared the journey of how Northrup’s narrative of his twelve years in slavery came to be published in Central New York.

Solomon Northrup was born a free man in Minerva in 1808, and earned a living as a farmer and professional violinist in New York before he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 (despite slavery being abolished in the state of New York in 1827). He was held captive 12 years before he was rescued from a cotton plantation in Louisiana on Jan. 4, 1853. He was then reunited with his family in Glens Falls on Jan. 22. Last month, both of these dates were proclaimed as local holidays.

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