Solomon Northup Essay

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U.S. History to 1870 Argumentative Essay Solomon Northup Solomon Northup’s narrative, Twelve Years as a Slave, provides great insight into the daily life of a slave to appropriately show that slavery was inhuman. The slave narrative was written to describe the life of Northup which included all the trials and tribulations that he endured in order for him to regain freedom. Even though in the early 19th century the life of a slave was insignificant and in turn not well documented. Twelve Years as a Slave opened the eyes of many white men, who were not aware of the pain and anguish African-Americans had to undergo as slaves. Therefore Northup’s book played a great deal in the abolition movement of slavery, because it simply provided an account of the true and complete tragedy of slavery. At a time when slavery was already a pressing moral issue, this narrative provided the spark needed to start the fire within the abolitionists’ movement to fight for the rights to freedom that African-Americans deserved. Not only did African-Americans deserve their freedom, but this narrative also shows that with their freedom slaves were capable of living constructive and prosperous lives, just as the whites. Within the first two chapters of the narrative, Northup is depicted as living a very normal, happy life with his wife, Anne, and his three children. “We always returned home from the performance of these services with money in our pockets; so that, with fiddling, cooking, and farming, we soon found ourselves in the possession of abundance, and, in fact, leading a happy and prosperous life.” (Northup, 24) Northup here shows that free salves had to ability to start a family and provide comfortable living when given the opportunity. Although Northup received an education at a level that was higher than the average free black, it doesn’t take away from the fact that free

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