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12 Years a Slave: Illustrated Edition (Includes Additional Slave Narratives, including Uncle Tom's Cabin) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Solomon Northup , Harriet Beecher Stowe , Frederick Douglass , Harriet Ann Jacobs , Booker T. Washington , Maplewood Books
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Twelve Years a Slave

CHAPTER 1


Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State-and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years—it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.

Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the Northern States, in regard to the subject of Slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.

I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation—only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or a severer bondage.

As far back as I have been able to ascertain, my ancestors on the paternal side were slaves in Rhode Island. They belonged to a family by the name of Northup, one of whom, removing to the State of New York, settled at Hoosic, in Rensselaer county. He brought with him Mintus Northup, my father. On the death of this gentleman, which must have occurred some fifty years ago, my father became free, having been emancipated by a direction in his will.

Henry B. Northup, Esq., of Sandy Hill, a distinguished counselor at law, and the man to whom, under Providence, I am indebted for my present liberty, and my return to the society of my wife and children, is a relative of the family in which my forefathers were thus held to service, and from which they took the name I bear. To this fact may be attributed the persevering interest he has taken in my behalf.

Sometime after my father’s liberation, he removed to the town of Minerva, Essex county, N. Y., where I was born, in the month of July, 1808. How long he remained in the latter place I have not the means of definitely ascertaining. From thence he removed to Granville, Washington county, near a place known as Slyborough, where, for some years, he labored on the farm of Clark Northup, also a relative of his old master; from thence he removed to the Alden farm, at Moss Street, a short distance north of the village of Sandy Hill; and from thence to the farm now owned by Russel Pratt, situated on the road leading from Fort Edward to Argyle, where he continued to reside until his death, which took place on the 22d day of November, 1829. He left a widow and two children —myself, and Joseph, an elder brother. The latter is still living in the county of Oswego, near the city of that name; my mother died during the period of my captivity.

Though born a slave, and laboring under the disadvantages to which my unfortunate race is subjected, my father was a man respected for his industry and integrity, as many now living, who well remember him, are ready to testify. His whole life was passed in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, never seeking employment in those more menial positions, which seem to be especially allotted to the children of Africa. Besides giving us an education surpassing that ordinarily bestowed upon children in our condition, he acquired, by his diligence and economy, a sufficient property qualification to entitle him to the right of suffrage. He was accustomed to speak to us of his early life; and although at all times cherishing the warmest emotions of kindness, and even of affection towards the family, in whose house he had been a bondsman, he nevertheless comprehended the system of Slavery, and dwelt with sorrow on the degradation of his race. He endeavored to imbue our minds with sentiments of morality, and to teach us to place our, trust and confidence in Him who regards the humblest as well as the highest of his creatures. How often since that time has the recollection of his paternal counsels occurred to me, while lying in a slave hut in the distant and sickly regions of Louisiana, smarting with the undeserved wounds which an inhuman master had inflicted, and longing only for the grave which had covered him, to shield me also from the lash of the oppressor. In the church yard at Sandy Hill, an humble stone marks the spot where he reposes, after having worthily performed the duties appertaining to the lowly sphere wherein God had appointed him to walk.

Up to this period I had been principally engaged with my father in the labors of the farm. The leisure hours allowed me were generally either employed over my books, or playing on the violin—an amusement which was the ruling passion of my youth. It has also been the source of consolation since, affording, pleasure to the simple beings with whom my lot was cast, and beguiling my own thoughts, for many hours, from the painful contemplation of my fate.

On Christmas day, 1829, I was married to Anne Hampton, a colored girl then living in the vicinity of our residence. The ceremony was performed at Fort Edward, by Timothy Eddy, Esq., a magistrate of that town, and still a prominent citizen of the place. She had resided a long time at Sandy Hill, with Mr. Baird, proprietor of the Eagle Tavern, and also in the family of Rev. Alexander Proudfit, of Salem. This gentleman for many years had presided over the Presbyterian society at the latter place, and was widely distinguished for his learning and piety. Anne still holds in grateful remembrance the exceeding kindness and the excellent counsels of that good man. She is not able to determine the exact line of her descent, but the blood of three races mingles in her veins. It is difficult to tell whether the red, white, or black predominates. The union of them all, however, in her origin, has given her a singular but pleasing expression, such as is rarely to be seen. Though somewhat resembling, yet she cannot properly be styled a quadroon, a class to which, I have omitted to mention, my mother belonged.

I had just now passed the period of my minority, having reached the age of twenty-one years in the month of July previous. Deprived of the advice and assistance of my father, with a wife dependent upon me for support, I resolved to enter upon a life of industry; and notwithstanding the obstacle of color, and the consciousness of my lowly state, indulged in pleasant dreams of a good time coming, when the possession of some humble habitation, with a few surrounding acres, should reward my labors, and bring me the means of happiness and comfort.

From the time of my marriage to this day the love I have borne my wife has been sincere and unabated; and only those who have felt the glowing tenderness a father cherishes for his offspring, can appreciate my affection for the beloved children which have since been born to us. This much I deem appropriate and necessary to day, in order that those who read these pages, may comprehend the poignancy of those sufferings I have been doomed to bear.

Immediately upon our marriage we commenced house-keeping, in the old yellow building then standing at the southern extremity of Fort Edward village, and which has since been transformed into a modern mansion, and lately occupied by Captain Lathrop. It is known as the Fort House. In this building the courts were sometime held after the organization of the county. It was also occupied by Burgoyne in 1777, being situated near the old Fort on the left bank of the Hudson.

During the winter I was employed with others repairing the Champlain Canal, on that section over which William Van Nortwick was superintendent. David McEachron had the immediate charge of the men in whose company I labored. By the time the canal opened in the spring, I was enabled, from the savings of my wages, to purchase a pair of horses, and other things necessarily required in the business of navigation.

Having hired several efficient hands to assist me, I entered into contracts for the transportation of large rafts of timber from Lake Champlain to Troy. Dyer Beckwith and a Mr. Bartemy, of Whitehall, accompanied me on several trips. During the season I became perfectly familiar with the art and mysteries of rafting—a knowledge which afterwards enabled me to render profitable service to a worthy master, and to astonish the simple-witted lumbermen on the banks of the Bayou Boeuf.

In one of my voyages down Lake Champlain, I was induced to make a visit to Canada. Repairing to Montreal, I visited the cathedral and other places of interest in that city, from whence I continued my excursion to Kingston and other towns, obtaining a knowledge of localities, which was also of service to me afterwards, as will appear towards the close of this narrative.

Having completed my contracts on the canal satisfactorily to myself and to my employer, and not wishing to remain idle, now that the navigation of the canal was again suspended, I entered into another contract with Medad Gunn, to cut a large quantity of wood. In this business I was engaged during the winter of 1831-32.

With the return of spring, Anne and myself conceived the project of taking a farm in the neighborhood. I had been accustomed from earliest youth to agricultural labors, and it was an occupation congenial to my tastes. I accordingly entered into arrangements for a part of the old Alden farm, on which my father formerly resided. With one cow, one swine, a yoke of fine oxen I had lately purchased of Lewis Brown, in Hartford, and other personal property and effects, we proceeded to our new home in Kingsbury. That year I planted twenty-five acres of corn, sowed large fields of oats, and commenced farming...

Revue de presse

“I could not believe that I had never heard of this book. It felt as important as Anne Frank’s Diary, only published nearly a hundred years before. . . . The book blew [my] mind: the epic range, the details, the adventure, the horror, and the humanity. . . . I hope my film can play a part in drawing attention to this important book of courage. Solomon’s bravery and life deserve nothing less.” —Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave, from the Foreword

“Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup’s story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., from the Afterword
 
“For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup’s tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement.” —Ira Berlin, from the Introduction

“If you think the movie offers a terrible-enough portrait of slavery, please, do read the book. . . . The film is stupendous art, but it owes much to a priceless piece of document. Solomon Northup’s memoir is history. . . . His was not simply an extraordinary story, but an account of the life of a great many ordinary people.”The Daily Beast

“An incredible document, amazingly told and structured. Tough, but riveting. The movie of it by Steve McQueen might be the most successful adaptation of a book ever undertaken; text and film complement each other wildly.” —Rachel Kushner, The New York Times Book Review

“The best firsthand account of slavery.” —James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, in The New York Times Book Review

“Northup published a memoir of his 12-year nightmare in 1853, the year after Uncle Tom’s Cabin came out, and it was so successful that he went on to participate in two stage adaptations. The book dropped from sight in the 20th century, but the movie tie-in will certainly reestablish its virtually unique status as a work by an educated free man who managed to return from slavery.”The Hollywood Reporter

Détails sur le produit


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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Epoustouflant ! Tremendous ! 18 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Non, ce ne sont pas les esclaves d'"Autant emporte le vent". On savait que l'esclavage était dur, inhumain, mais là...là cette histoire vous prend aux tripes. Oui, des humains ont fait"ça" à leurs semblables. Sans compter la ségrégation qui a suivi et qui a eu tant de mal à s'effacer. IL FAUT LIRE CE LIVRE ! Je ne sais pas s'il a été traduit. Je n'ai pas vu le film encore, mais je pense que même ceux qui l'ont vu, devraient lire le livre.
C'est écrit dans un anglais un peu archaïque, mais on comprend très bien.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 est ce un livre? 29 juin 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Le texte n'est évidemment pas en cause mais le format est celui d'un opuscule long et étroit et la typographie est minuscule, rendant la lecture pénible.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  474 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 12 Years a Slave 13 février 2014
Par Kashedra Logan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Ok, so of course the heaviness of the book is nothing you would say is "good" to read about but it's very captivating. I saw the movie first and then became obsessed with finding out his whole story. I really wanted to know all that happened during his time being enslaved. The movie very closely mirrors the book with the exception of some details. Like, in the movie they don't tell you that the non-respected loser Tibeats was Solomon's master after William Ford. Which had to suck because he was very hateful and was always trying to provoke Solomon or flipping out for absolutely no reason at all. I got a better idea of the characters from reading the book. The way Solomon talked about Ford I could tell that he really had strong admiration for him and he definitely wasn't as bad a "master" as others that he would encounter. Michael Fassbender who played Edwin Epps did a great job in the movie but the book gives a very clear depiction(as a drunk, sadistic, crazy fool) of this Epps character and it's 10 times worse then the movie version of him. I would say if you want to know what really happened and what was going on in his head during his time down in Louisiana read this book. It will make you sad just like the movie because its a very sad topic but I liked that it was Solomon's words telling me his story so it was worth the read.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful writing style 7 janvier 2014
Par Jill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The writing style is superb, lyrical and robust. The way that Northrup uses one word to eliminate entire phrases we now use in language. For example Northrup owned land sufficient to obtain suffrage in NY State in the 1840s. Beautiful!

He talked of his collusion with the other slaves so as a driver when he "whipped them" he never touched them but they made sure to writhe and scream. He wanted to live to see his family and never was turned to the evil side.

The book parallels today's society. To quote Plato "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." If we do nothing, evil will prevail.

I highly recommend reading this amazing real life story.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An inspirational an gutwrenching story! A must read... 17 décembre 2013
Par Lauren Boucher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is an inspiration story that takes you through one of the darkest periods in US history. Northup was held as a slave for 12 years in the two decades leading to the Civil War. His candid account about what happened to him while in captivity, is a testament to human perseverance. At the end of each chapter, I was eager to continue reading, to find out what became of Northup. At one point, he is left under a tree, with a noose around his neck for hours. At another point he is chased into the woods by hunting dogs, that have been known to kill runaway slaves. I felt myself routing for Northup at every turn, and looking forward to the point in the story where he is delivered from slavery.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Harsh reality - paints a picture of the past and explains the present 7 décembre 2013
Par David - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
For many, the picture of the South and slavery springs from "Gone with the Wind" or the Chevy Chase scene on the porch of his character's plantation. The contrast between those images and the reflections of Solomon Northup is harsh. Not for the squeamish, this book will put hair on your chest and dirt under your fingernails. When I finished this book, I said to myself, "Got it." This story documents slavery through the Civil War, explains the resistance to equal rights (civil rights), and documents the plights of the descendants of the black and white people of the South.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good content; poor print 25 novembre 2013
Par Paulette Horn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The content of the book is wonderful, but the book itself is full of errors. Some pages have repeated passages, missing punctuation, etc.
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