Solomon Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery over 150 years ago, and the Times was on it. Northup, the subject of the Best Picture-crowned 12 Years a Slave, "excited so high a degree of interest" in his story that in 1853 the New York Times dedicated an entire page to his experiences
"THE KIDNAPPING CASE," the headline shouts. "Narrative of the Seizure and Recovery of Solomon Northrup. INTERESTING DISCLOSURES."
The 161-year-old summary of Northup's experiences, during which he was kidnapped and spent 12 years in slavery on a Louisiana plantation before finally escaping and reuniting with his family, is well worth a read. The Times claims to be the first paper to publish the story in its entirety, and if you don't see movies because you prefer reading, but don't like reading enough to finish Northup's autobiography, this is a good place to start.
Even for those who haven't seen 12 Years, it's been talked about enough that most of the story is already familiar: the drugged kidnapping, the brutal punishments and working conditions. But despite Northup's relatively happy resolution to his years of turmoil, the story doesn't end on a light note:
When Solomon was about to leave, under the care of Mr. Northrup, this girl came from behind her but, unseen by her master, and throwing her arms around the neck of Solomon congratulated him on his escape from slavery, and his return to his family, at the same time in language of despair exclaiming, "But, Oh, God! what will become of me?"
By the laws of Louisiana no man can be punished there for having sold Solomon into slavery wrongfully, because more than two years had elapsed since he was sold; and no recovery can be had for his services, because he was bought without the knowledge that he was a free citizen.
Here's the full story:
[Image via AP]