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Solomon Northup

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  1. 8.5 hrs • Sep/28/2016 • Unabridged

    Twelve Years a Slave (Originally published in 1853 with the sub-title: “Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana”) is the written work of Solomon Northup; a man who was born free, but was bound into slavery later in life. Northup’s account describes the daily life of slaves in Bayou Beof, their diet, the relationship between the master and slave, the means that slave catchers used to recapture them and the ugly realities that slaves suffered. Northup’s slave narrative is comparable to that of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs or William Wells Brown, and there are many similarities. Scholars reference this work today; one example is Jesse Holland, who referred to him in an interview given on January 20, 2009 on Democracy Now!. He did so because Northup’s extremely detailed description of Washington in 1841 helps the neuromancers understand the location of some slave markets, and is an important part of understanding that African slaves built many of the monuments in Washington, including the Capitol and part of the original Executive Mansion.The book, which was originally published in 1853, tells the story of how two men approached him under the guise of circus promoters who were interested in his violin skills. They offered him a generous but fair amount of money to work for their circus, and then offered to put him up in a hotel in Washington D.C. Upon arriving there he was drugged, bound, and moved to a slave pen in the city owned by a man named James Burch, which was located in the Yellow House, which was one of several sites where African Americans were sold on the National Mall in DC. Another was Robey’s Tavern; these slave markets were located between what are now the Department of Education and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, within view of the Capitol, according to researcher Jesse Holland, and Northup’s own account. Burch would coerce Northup into making up a new past for himself, one in which he had been born as a slave in Georgia. Burch told Northup that if he were ever to reveal his true past to another person he would be killed. When Northup continually asserts that he is a freeman of New York, Burch violently whips him until the paddle breaks and Rathburn insists on Burch to stop.Northup mentions different kind of owners that Northup had throughout his 12 years as a slave in Louisiana, and how he suffered severely under them: being forced to eat the meager slave diet, live on the dirt floor of a slave cabin, endure numerous beatings, being attacked with an axe, whippings and unimaginable emotional pain from being in such a state. One temporary master he was leased to was named Tibbeats; the man tried to kill him with an axe, but Northup ended up whipping him instead. Finally the book discusses how Northup eventually ended up winning back his freedom. A white carpenter from Canada named Samuel Bass arrived to do some work for Northup’s current owner, and after conversing with him, Northup realized that Bass was quite different from the other white men he had met in the south; he said he stood out because he was openly laughed at for opposing the sub-human arguments slavery was based on. It was to Bass that Northup finally confided his story, and ultimately Bass would deliver the letters back to Northup’s wife that would start the legal process of earning him his freedom back. This was no small matter, for if they had been caught, it could easily have resulted in their death, as Northup says.

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    Twelve Years a Slave

    8.5 hrs • Sep/28/2016 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.1 hrs • Apr/26/2016 • Unabridged

    Twelve Years a Slave is the memoir of a freeborn African American from New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. After being held for twelve years on a Louisiana plantation, he is eventually freed and reunited with his family.

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    Twelve Years a Slave

    Read by Rob Board
    8.1 hrs • Apr/26/2016 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.7 hrs • Nov/07/2013 • Unabridged

    Twelve Years a Slave is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free-born black man in New York State who was sold into slavery after being tricked in 1841. Unable to convince anyone he is not a slave, Solomon spent twelve years in bondage before finally being set free.Northup’s memoir, recounting details of the slave markets and the harsh life on plantations, was used in the struggle to abolish slavery in the United States.

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    Twelve Years a Slave

    8.7 hrs • Nov/07/2013 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.8 hrs • Mar/15/2013 • Unabridged

    In this riveting landmark autobiography that reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York, Louisiana, and Washington, DC, to experience the kidnapping and twelve-year 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 had become the best-selling American book in history a few years earlier, and significantly changed public opinion in favor of abolition. A major motion picture based on the book and starring Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Fassbender released in 2013.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 everyone he meets. When he is deceived by “circus promoters” who ask him to accompany them to a musical gig in Washington, DC, his joyful life takes an unimaginable turn. He awakes in shackles to find he has been drugged, kidnapped, and bound for the slave block in the nation’s capital.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, maybe even 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 twelve years, his fine mind captures the reality of slavery in stunning detail, and listeners learn about the characters that populated 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 abuse of his friend Patsey, brought about by Mrs. Epps’ jealousy of her husband’s sexual exploitation of the 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.“[Screenwriter John] Ridley said he decided simply to stick with the facts in adapting Northup’s book for the film…[and] he was helped by voluminous footnotes and documentation that were included with Dr. Eakin’s edition of the book.”—New York Times (September 22, 2013) on the making of the film 12 Years a Slave

    Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental

    Twelve Years a Slave

    7.8 hrs • Mar/15/2013 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
  5. 7.3 hrs • Mar/26/2012 • Unabridged

    Twelve Years a Slave is the autobiographical account of Solomon Northup, an African American who was born free in New York in the early 1800s. In 1841, Solomon Northup was captured and forced into slavery for a period of twelve years. Northup’s autobiography is detailed in its account of life on a cotton and sugar plantation and the daily routine of slave life during the first part of the nineteenth century. The book describes the daily life of slaves in Bayou Beof, their diet, the relationship between master and slave, the means that slave catchers used to recapture them, and the ugly realities that slaves suffered.Comparable to the accounts of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, and William Wells Brown, Twelve Years a Slave is a captivating narrative of the life of freedom and slavery experienced by one African American man prior to the American Civil War.

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    Twelve Years a Slave

    Read by Sean Crisden
    7.3 hrs • Mar/26/2012 • Unabridged
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