12yearsaslave cover

Front cover of an edition of Twelve Years a Slave.

Twelve Years a Slave is a non-fiction book by Solomon Northup. It recounts the story of Northup's life, as told to and edited by David Wilson.


Solomon Northup, a skilled carpenter and fiddler, was a black man who was born free in New York state but was then kidnapped when made a fake job offer. He was sold into slavery and kept in bondage for twelve years in Louisiana before the American Civil War. Northup's memoir provides a first hand look at slavery, including details about slave markets in Washington, DC and about cotton farming on major plantations in Louisiana.

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