A testimony of personal strength and a telling portrait of American slavery in the pre-Civil War South. When Solomon Northup, born a free black man in Saratoga, New York, was offered a short-term job with a circus in Washington, D.C., in 1841, he jumped at the opportunity. But when he arrived, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Finally, with the help of a Canadian abolitionist, he was rescued and reunited with his family in New York. In this memoir published in 1853, Northup tells the incredible story of his twelve years as a slave.