Twelve Years a Slave Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Twelve Years a Slave.
This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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Twelve Years a Slave Summary & Study Guide Description

Twelve Years a Slave Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.

“Twelve Years a Slave” is the autobiographical account of Solomon Northup’s years spent as a slave in Louisiana. Solomon Northup is born a free man in upstate New York in July of 1808. There, he aspires to work and raise a family as any ordinary American might do. While looking for work, his skills as a violinist are sought by two white men, who later arrange for Solomon to be kidnapped and sold into slavery. Solomon is transported to New Orleans, where he is sold to William Ford, whom Solomon describes as deeply religious and kind, though blinded to the evils of slavery based on his upbringing. Ford protects and cares for Solomon until Ford’s finances force him to sell Solomon, where he ultimately ends up in the hands of Edwin Epps, a disgusting, cruel, and vile man who routinely beats his slaves for even the slightest offenses. It is under Epps that Solomon labors for ten years until a crew of white men come to construct a house on the Epps property. One of the laborers, a transplanted Canadian named Bass who favors abolition, writes to New York on Epps’ behalf, securing the services of Henry B. Northup, a local white New York lawyer from whom Solomon’s family has taken their last name. Northup takes Solomon’s case to the Governor of New York, from where Northup travels to Washington, D.C., to gain letters of support. From there, he travels to Louisiana and has Solomon freed. Solomon then returns to his grown children and loving wife in New York. He vows to enjoy the rest of his life.

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This section contains 276 words
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