Commemorate the Life of Solomon Northup

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Date: February 5, 2018
Contact: Elizabeth Hokanson, 315-568-2991 ext. 3007

Seneca Falls, NY- Women’s Rights National Historical Park announces a unique opportunity to learn about the remarkable life and legacy of Solomon Northup. On February 18th, the park will host a special talk with Melissa Howell, a great-great-great granddaughter of Northup. Ms. Howell will share a glimpse into the lives of the men who played a role in Solomon Northup's "Twelve Years a Slave" as she presents "A Freedom Narrative's Coming of Age: Hidden Figures of 'Twelve Years a Slave's' Publication" in honor of its 165th anniversary. Before the 2:30pm talk, the park will show the film “Twelve Years a Slave” at the visitor center at 12:00pm.
In 1841, Solomon Northup, a free person of color living in New York was lured by human traffickers to Washington D.C. where he was subsequently enslaved. He would not regain his freedom until 1853. After returning home, Northup would publish memoirs detailing his time in slavery entitled, “Twelve Years a Slave.” This year marks the 165th anniversary of Northup’s return to freedom; and the publication of his memoirs.
Ms. Howell, along with Irene Northrup-Zahos, a great-great granddaughter of Solomon Northup, have co-partnered in an effort to perpetuate the family legacy in their home state of New York. Sharing their vision to preserve our nation’s history at a local level, and emphasizing the important role Central New York played in the anti-slavery movement, the 'Solomon Northup 165th Anniversary Year Project' was conceived.
Throughout 2018, the anniversary project will mark significant dates, events and people with historical connections to Solomon Northup through a variety of mediums and over the course of several phases. "We behold a legacy with vast importance. The support demonstrated to our project thus far emphasizes the relevance of Solomon’s story 176 years since his enslavement and the 210 years since his birth. Our vision to mark the year’s events is to ensure Solomon’s seat at the table and his voice and his experience is present in today’s writing of our history for future generations."
This event is free and open to the public. The film “Twelve Years a Slave” is rated ‘R’ due to graphic content, and is not appropriate for all audiences.
For more information about Women’s Rights National Historical Park, including hours and upcoming programs, please visit our website at or call (315) 568-0024. Follow us on Facebook (@WomensRightsNPS) and Twitter (#WomensRightsNPS). If you would like to receive email announcements about other upcoming events, send an email to e-mail us to subscribe.


Last updated: February 13, 2018

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