Solomon Northup (c.1808 - c. 1863), was a free-born African American landowner from New York state who was kidnapped and solid into slavery in 1841, without a word to his wife or children. After twelve horrifying years in the Red River region of Louisiana, he finally regained his freedom, returning to his family in New York and publishing his memoir in 1853. Northup's book was a bestseller, and he became an outspoken abolitionist before disappearing from historical record around the year 1857. Eric Ashley Hairston is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Law and Humanities at Elon University. He holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina and is author of The Ebony Column: Classics, Civilization and the African American Reclamation of the West.