In 1829, Northup married a mixed-race woman with whom he had three children. In 1841, while on traveling on business in Washington D.C.--Northup who was a skilled fiddler--was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He would not regain his freedom until 1853 after his family learned of his situation and was able to enlist the help of New York's governor. Northup was unable to get restitution from the slave traders because he was not allowed to testify against them. (Blacks were not allowed to testify against whites in court.)
He published a memoir of his ordeal Twelve Years a Slave and became an active abolitionist who helped others escape slavery on the Underground Railroad. Historians have not been able to determine when Northup died but he is believed to have died of natural causes.
Mixed Experience History Month is the annual blog post series created by New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow celebrating the history of the Mixed experience. Established in 2007, Mixed Experience History Month is an effort to highlight the long history of folks and events involved in the Mixed experience. Please look for more profiles of people, places and events of the Mixed experience every weekday of May at Lightskinned-ed Girl, the blog! Thanks for reading. And check out some of the previous year's profiles: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013. Copyright 2013.