Their two sons, Solomon and Joseph, were born free according to the principle of partus sequitur ventrem , as their mother was a free woman. From on, when it revised its constitution, the state retained the property requirement for black people, but dropped it for white men, thus expanding their franchise.
It is notable that Mintus Northup was able to save enough money as a freedman to buy land that satisfied this requirement, and registered to vote. A "woman of color", she was of African, European, and Native American descent. They had three children: Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. In his later memoir, Northup describes his love for his wife as "sincere and unabated", since the time of their marriage, and his children as "beloved". Northup held various jobs, including working as a raftsman.
He built a fine reputation as a fiddler and was in high demand to play for local dances. Anne became notable as a cook and worked for local taverns, which served food and drink. After selling their farm in , the Northups moved 20 miles to Saratoga Springs, New York ,  for its employment opportunities. He was busy during the summer, but work was scarce at other times.
He worked at an assortment of jobs, constructing the Champlain Canal and the railroad, and as a skilled carpenter. Anne worked from time to time as a cook at the United States Hotel and other public houses, and she was highly praised for her culinary skills. In , at age 32, Northup met two men, who introduced themselves as Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. Saying they were entertainers, members of a circus company, they offered him a job as a fiddler for several performances in New York City. They stopped so that he could get a copy of his "free papers", which documented his status as a free man.
The city had one of the nation's largest slave markets, and slave catchers were not above kidnapping free black people. Kidnappers used a variety of means, from forced abduction to deceit, and frequently abducted children, who were easier to control. It is possible that "Brown" and "Hamilton" incapacitated Northup—his symptoms suggest that he was drugged with belladonna or laudanum , or with a mixture of both  —and sold him to Washington slave trader James H. Birch then wrongfully presented Northup as a slave from Georgia.
Northup, upon reaching New Orleans, a letter that told of his kidnapping and illegal enslavement. The New York State Legislature had passed a law in to protect its African-American residents by providing legal and financial assistance to aid the recovery of any who were kidnapped and taken out of state and illegally enslaved. In , he led his congregation in converting to the closely related Churches of Christ , after they were influenced by the writings of Alexander Campbell.
In his memoir, Northup characterized Ford as a good man, considerate of his slaves. In spite of his situation, Northup wrote:.
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In my opinion, there never was a more kind, noble, candid, Christian man than William Ford. The influences and associations that had always surrounded him, blinded him to the inherent wrong at the bottom of the system of Slavery. At Ford's place in Pine Woods, Northup assessed the problem of getting timber off Ford's farm to market. He proposed making log rafts to move lumber down the narrow Indian Creek, in order to transport the logs more easily and less expensively than overland. He was familiar with this process from previous work in New York, and Ford was delighted to see his project was a success.
Northup used his carpentry skills to build looms , copying from one nearby, so that Ford could set up mills on the creek.
With Ford, Northup found his efforts appreciated. But the planter came into financial difficulties and had to sell 18 slaves to settle his debts. He sold 17 to a neighboring planter named Compton. Solomon could not pick cotton, however, so Ford found a buyer in a local tradesman. In the winter of , Ford sold Northup to John M. Tibaut,  [Note 6] a carpenter who had been working for Ford on the mills. He also had helped construct a weaving-house and corn mill on Ford's Bayou Boeuf plantation. Ford owed Tibaut money for the work.
Under Tibaut, Northup suffered cruel and capricious treatment. Tibaut used him to help complete construction at Ford's plantation. At one point, Tibaut whipped Northup because he did not like the nails Northup was using.
But Northup fought back, beating Tibaut severely. Enraged, Tibaut recruited two friends to lynch and hang the slave, which a master was legally entitled to do. Ford's overseer Chapin interrupted and prevented the men from killing Northup, reminding Tibaut of his debt to Ford, and chasing them off at gunpoint. Northup was left bound and noosed for hours until Ford returned home to cut him down.
Historian Walter Johnson suggests that Northup may well have been the first slave Tibaut ever bought, marking his transition from itinerant employee to property-owning master. Tibaut, who had a low reputation locally, decided at another point to kill Northup.
When the two men were alone, Tibaut seized an axe and swung it to hit Northup, but he again defended himself. With his bare hands, he strangled Tibaut to the point of unconsciousness. Northup ran away through swamps so that dogs could not track him, making his way back to Ford, with whom he stayed for four days.
The planter convinced Tibaut to "hire out" Northup to limit their conflict and take the fees he could generate. Tibaut hired Northup out to a planter named Eldret, who lived about 38 miles south on the Red River. At what he called "The Big Cane Brake", Eldret had Northup and other slaves clear cane, trees, and undergrowth in the bottomlands in order to develop cotton fields for cultivation. Epps held Northup for almost 10 years, until , in Avoyelles Parish. He was a cruel master who frequently and indiscriminately punished slaves and drove them hard. His policy was to whip slaves if they did not meet daily work quotas he set for pounds of cotton to be picked, among other goals.
Epps sexually abused a young enslaved woman named Patsey , repeatedly raping her. This led to additional severe physical and mental abuse prompted by Epps's wife, the mistress of the plantation. In , itinerant Canadian carpenter Samuel Bass came to do some work for Epps.
Hearing Bass express his abolitionist views, Northup eventually decided to confide his secret to him. Bass was the first person he told of his true name and origins as a free man since he was first enslaved. Bass did this at great personal risk as the local people would not take kindly to a person helping a slave and depriving a man of his property. In addition, Bass's help came after passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of , which increased federal penalties against people assisting slaves to escape.
Northup, the son of Solomon's father's former master.
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Henry B. Northup contacted New York Governor Washington Hunt , who took up the case, appointing the attorney general as his legal agent. In , the New York State Legislature had passed a law committing the state to help any African-American residents kidnapped into slavery, as well as guaranteeing a jury trial to alleged fugitive slaves. Once Northup's family was notified, his rescuers still had to do detective work to find the enslaved man, as he had partially tried to hide his location for protection in case the letters fell into the wrong hands, and Bass had not used his real name.
They had to find documentation of his free status as a citizen and New York resident; Henry B. Northup also collected sworn affidavits from people who knew Solomon Northup. During this time, Northup did not know if Bass had reached anyone with the letters. There was no means of communicating, because of the secrecy they needed to maintain, and the necessity of preventing Northup's owner from knowing their plans.
Bass was itinerant and had no local family. Unbeknownst to his friends in Louisiana, he had left a wife and children in Canada. Northup took the precaution of bringing with him the sheriff of Marksville , the parish seat, to enforce the law.
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In cooperation with U. Northup arrived in Marksville on January 1, Tracing Northup was difficult as he was known locally only by his slave name of Platt. Then Epps said, had he known that men were coming to take "Platt", he would have ensured they could never take the slave alive. Epps cursed the man unknown to him who had helped Northup, and threatened to kill him if he ever learned his identity.
Northup later wrote, "He [Epps] thought of nothing but his loss, and cursed me for having been born free. Northup convinced Epps that it would be futile to contest the free papers in a court of law, so the planter conceded the case. He signed papers giving up all claim to Northup. If he asks her for intimacy even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.
It was narrated that from Musawir Al Himyari from his mother that:. It was narrated that from Abdullah bin Amr that :. He said: 'O Messenger of Allah what kind of wealth should we acquire? It was narrated from Abu Umamah that:. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that:. Choose the religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust i. It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr that:. Do not marry them for their wealth, for it may lead them to fall into sin.