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Northup descendants with mayor after presentation of historical marker, July 1999
Northup descendants assembled with Saratoga Springs Mayor O'Connell after presentation of Northup historical marker, July 1999.

Solomon Northup Day: A Celebration of Freedom

Solomon Northup was born a free man in Minerva, New York, in 1808. In 1841 he was kidnapped from Saratoga Springs, leaving behind a wife and three children. He was held in a slave pen in Washington, DC, and sold into slavery in Louisiana where he served three masters. Through the efforts of Samuel Bass, a Canadian, and both black and white citizens of New York and Louisiana, his freedom was restored in 1853, after which he returned to Saratoga. In 1999, in recognition of his ordeal and that of other African-Americans, July 24th was declared Solomon Northup Day in Saratoga Springs, New York. A commemorative marker and an exhibition panel were unveiled at a ceremony. Represented were a number of speakers from the community, clergy, elected officials and Northup descendants from four states. Northup, an accomplished violinist, carpenter and writer, published his autobiography entitled Twelve Years a Slave. Renée Moore founded and directs this multicultural, interfaith annual event.

Originally submitted by: John E. Sweeney, Representative (22th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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