12 Year a Slave Essay

1620 Words Sep 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Twelve Years A Slave Essay During a time of cruel punishment and harsh conditions of life as a slave in the 19th century South, there was a book that shed a light on the life of a slave unparalleled in past as well as in modern literature. That book was entitled Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. Northup was born a freeman that was obtained from his father after being freed by the Northup family due to loyal service. Growing up in the free state of New York, Solomon was allowed an education that was rare because of the sad disposition of the majority of his race. Solomon gained much knowledge of industry and hard work from his father. As a free man of color, he enjoyed various jobs and hobbies from timber raft building to playing …show more content…
Northup and others were to be shipped to New Orleans. New Orleans had the biggest slave market in the South. It was a place no slave ever wanted to encounter. Before arriving in New Orleans, they made frequent stops at other slave pens to resupply goods and acquire more slaves. Escape always came to mind while on the ship but never came to fruition, as opportunity was lost. Arriving in New Orleans Northup was given the name “Platt” and placed in another slave pen similar to that in Washington. While in the pen they were to be kept in a presentable manner, washed, shaved and dressed in a cheap suit everyday. Slaves were instructed in moving to their spots and “looking smart”. Each slave was to stand in their spot while potential buyers viewed and analyzed them thoroughly. Northup became well known for his violin skills, so much so that Freeman was able to exploit such skills in pricing. However, after being exposed to small pox earlier from another slave, Northup got deathly ill and was rushed to the hospital, decreasing his value. Though still weak, he returned to the slave pen where he was sold to Mr. William Ford. Many different masters owned Northup, but two to be discussed are William Ford and Edwin Epps. William Ford, a future Baptist preacher and owner of a lumberyard, purchased Northup in the New Orleans. Ford lived in the “Great Pine Woods” of Avoyelles Parish by the

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