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Twelve Years a Slave is a memoir and slave narrative by Solomon Northup. Northup, a black man who was born free in New York state, details his being tricked to go to Washington, D.C., in 1841 where he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South. He was in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before he was able to secretly get information to friends and family in New York, who in turn secured his release with the aid of the state. Northup's account provides extensive details on the slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, and describes at length cotton and sugar cultivation and slave treatment on major plantations in Louisiana.