In 1853, Solomon Northup, a free black man, returned home to the Glens Falls area. For nearly twelve years, he had lived the life of a slave in Louisiana, having been kidnapped from Saratoga Springs and sold into slavery in 1841. The freedom he had enjoyed as a resident of New York counted for nothing in the remote region where he was enslaved. He toiled with the other slaves, shared their miserable lifestyle, and suffered the same cruelties that they did. His life was put at risk several times by his keepers. Shortly after his return, he wrote a book, Twelve Years A Slave, which detailed his life and experiences. This book was widely read, and was instrumental in exposing the truth about the practice of slavery.
After the publication of his book, Northup participated in the anti-slavery cause, traveling around the Northeast giving speeches. He was also involved with some theatrical productions based on his life. In addition to helping educate the public about slavery, he helped fugitive slaves get to Canada thanks to his work on the Underground Railroad
Mr. Fiske's talk will be illustrated with portraits of Northup and other figures in his story, and images of relevant documents and newspaper articles.
Fiske has spent a number of years researching Northup’s life in New York State. In 2012, he published a book, Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery, based on that research (signed copies will be available for purchase). He is presently working on a complete biography of Northup titled, Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave.
For more information on Solomon Northup, see Mr. Fiske's web page:
Please register for this program by calling the library at 518-388.4511