Solomon North Up Thesis

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A man with black skin was born with his God-given rights, yet this black skinned man also experienced the painful lash of slavery. Solomon Northup, who presumably died with the same freedoms he entered the world with, spent twelve years imprisoned in a system that he knew of, but was not familiar with. This southern slave institution proved to have infested southerners with a mindset dissimilar to the ideals of the Constitution, but rationalized it with their capitalistic and Christian culture. This same rationalization would send Northup “downriver” to a twelve-year purgatory, one he struggled to survive in at first, and ultimately adapted to against his will. Solomon resided in New York at the time of his unfortunate kidnapping. His friends and neighbors knew him as a family-oriented man, land-owner, farmer, and talented violinist. Solomon’s father was freed from slavery through the idea of gradual emancipation: a philosophy that flooded the New England area after the Revolutionary War. His mother was part white and, like her son, never had a first-hand experience with slavery. For Solomon, this all changed when two white men, presumably named Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton, gained Northup’s trust, betrayed him and proceeded to sell him into slavery. Northup’s reality was he had a life back in New York and because of this adjusting into a life of slavery would prove to be an arduous task. Back at home, Solomon had a small family that relied on him. A wife and three

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