National Geographic: Stolen Into Slavery

Stolen into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man


Summary/Reviews: Stolen into slavery

Solomon Northrup was born a free black man in Saratoga Springs, New York. But one night, he is brought to Louisiana as a slave. With his name changed to Platt, Solomon is desperately trying to get back to New York. After so many failed attempts, a letter finally saves his life. This is the story of Solomon "Platt" Northrup, one of the many people that were stolen into slavery.

Fradin, Judith, and Dennis Fradin. Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2012.

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According to the afterward, the authors wished to explore a little-known element of history. Solomon Northup was one of thousands of free-born blacks who were stolen into slavery pre-Civil War. His particular story was chosen because – unlike many of those stolen – Northrup returned and then both spoke and wrote extensively about his case, including a memoir published in 1853.

Stolen into Slavery is about a young man named Solomon Northup who is a free African American who has many jobs, including playing the violin. This particular day two men trick him into driving them to Washington D.C (which is where slavery also took place) claiming that they need a violinist to help attract customers to the small circus peformances. When they offered money, he quickly accepted. As they came to the end of their journey, they gave Soloman $43 which now is about worth $43,000, they invite him to attend President Harrison’s funeral and Solomon not accoustomed to drinking soon became drunk. When he woke up later that morning he was in a cell. After that, the book talks about how he went through his journey as a slave on different plantations and had several different names. The book was very real and you really get the picture. The book teaches you about the importance of our history. I am now happy that I know a little more about my African American history. The pictures really gave you a very good descripton of what it was like back then. My favorite part about the book was when his daughter and wife came to the door they all started hugging and kissing.