12 Years a Slave Short Summary

12 Years a Slave Short Summary
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“12 years a slave” is a memoir and also a narrative about slavery by Solomon Northup, telling it to David Wilson who edited it. It was published in 1853 in the United States. It is the story of a black man who was born as a free man and sold back to slavery.

A Quick Look Through of the Plot

Solomon lives in New York with his family. He has a wife and a daughter who work at a coffee shop 20 miles away. Two of his other children are with his aunt. Solomon wants to find a way to make more money. This makes him run into some white men who seem dignified – Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. Solomon is talented with the violin, and they promise to connect him with a circus in Washington. They ask Solomon to join them, and he would get paid daily for being a fiddle player. Solomon agrees but does not even tell his wife about it. The men had instead arranged for Solomon to be sold as a slave. He is taken to New Orleans and sold to religious William Ford. Ford cares for and protects Solomon until he is forced to sell him due to financial troubles. He is then sold to Edwin Epps, a cruel man who constantly beats slaves for slight errors. Solomon labors for Epps for ten years. A group of men arrives to build a house on the property. Among them is a Canadian by the name Bass who believes in abolition. He writes to New York on behalf of Epps, to secure the services of Henry Northup, a lawyer with whom the family of Solomon took the last name. Northup takes the case of Solomon to the New York governor. He travels to Washington and then to Louisiana and finally gets Solomon to walk free. Solomon gets back to his children, all grown now and vows to enjoy life.