What if Solomon Northup was never rescued?

Oct 2017
America 🇺🇸
What makes Solomon Northup’s memoir particularly special is the fact that it remains the only book length slave narrative by a kidnapped legally free person.

Two or three main scenarios here of course, first is that he would have died a slave, either through being killed or sick, second is that he would have escaped, either successfully or not, or long term or not, either to freedom or not. Solomon mentions plans of escape freqnetly in his memoir so seems very trigger or pedal friendly with that, so I’m quite inclined to believe he would have built upon & experimented with that a lot.

The Thirteenth Amendment was 24 years, a quarter of a century, after Solomon was kidnapped, the emancipation proclamation 2 years earlier of course, so actually within his potential lifetime. Union soldiers did actually pass by Epps plantation, taking the slaves along, according to documents & memoirs, so Solomon would likely have been part of that if he could make it that long. He could have been transferred to other masters & states as well, though less likely as Epps seemed to hold on to him with a firm fist.

Of course if he died a slave, his fate would never have been known, he wouldn’t have been known to history, perhaps at most slight mention of his disappearance by his family & home town officials, just as most kidnap cases are only known this way. As his memoir remains the most well known kidnapping case, our knowledge of the nature of kidnapping free colored people into slavery would be far less than it currently is. His case seems to serve as the main model to studying & understanding kidnapping free collided people. Without Solomon, it may be like that with rest of the americas, barely documented & known.

What are your thoughts?
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