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In this enhanced/authenticated edition by Dr. Sue Eakin of the riveting true slave narrative that reads like a novel, you are transported to 1840’s New York, Washington, D.C., and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and twelve years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War. It validated Harriett Beecher Stowe’s fictional account of Southern slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which significantly changed public opinion in favor of abolition. Now a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, you can sync this e-book with our Movie Tie-in Audiobook performed by Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr.
Northup’s harrowing true story was authenticated from decades of research by award-winning historian and journalist Dr. Sue Eakin, who rediscovered the narrative in 1931 as an adolescent and made it her life’s work. Dr. Eakin’s enhanced e-book includes the original narrative plus over 100 pages of fascinating new background information based on her research and photos. A portion of proceeds from this book supports organizations fighting modern-day slavery in the form of human trafficking. To enhance your book and movie experience see our website listed in the e-book’s sample pages, where you’ll find instructions for downloading your free PDF Collector’s Extra for your library.
Hard working Solomon Northup, an educated free man of color in 1841, enjoys family life with his wife and three children in Saratoga, New York. He delights his community with his fiddle playing and antic spirit, and has positive expectations of all he meets. When he is deceived by “circus promoters” to accompany them to a musical gig in the nation’s capital, his joyful life takes an unimaginable turn. He awakens in shackles to find he has been drugged, kidnapped and bound for the slave block in D.C.
After Solomon is shipped a thousand miles to New Orleans, he is assigned his slave name and quickly learns that the mere utterance of his true origin or rights as a freeman are certain to bring severe punishment or death. While he endures the brutal life of a slave in Louisiana’s isolated Bayou Boeuf plantation country, he must learn how to play the system and plot his escape home.
For 12 years, his fine mind captures the reality of slavery in stunning detail, as we learn about the characters that populate plantation society and the intrigues of the bayou – from the collapse of a slave rebellion resulting in mass hangings due to traitorous slave Lew Cheney, to the tragic end of his friend Patsey because of Mrs. Epps’ jealously of her husband’s sexual exploitation of his pretty young slave.
When Solomon finally finds a sympathizing friend who risks his life to secret a letter to the North, a courageous rescue attempt ensues that could either compound Solomon’s suffering, or get him back to the arms of his family.