Solomon Northup's Kindred: The Kidnapping of Free Citizens Before the Civil War at The Book House

solomon northups kindred book coverHistorian David Fiske will be at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza this Saturday to talk about his new book Solomon Northup's Kindred: The Kidnapping of Free Citizens Before the Civil War. Book blurbage:

David Fiske's Solomon Northup's Kindred reveals the abhorrent conditions and greed that resulted in the kidnapping of American citizens. Factors like early fugitive slave laws, the invention of the cotton gin, the 1808 ban on importing slaves into the United States, and the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision made these crimes highly profitable. Fiske sheds much-needed light on the practice of kidnapping, explaining how it was carried out, identifying conditions that allowed kidnappers to operate, and describing methods for combating the crime. He offers dozens of case studies along with documentation from across historical newspaper reports, anti-slavery literature, local history books, and academic publications to provide an accurate account of kidnapping crimes of the time.

As you know, Solomon Northup is the Saratoga Springs man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 after being lured to Washington, DC with the promise of a job -- his memoir was adapted to become the film 12 Years a Slave. Fiske has previously authored/co-authored two books about Northup: Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery and Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave.

He recently talked with the Daily Gazette about the new book, including accounts of mutiple kidnappings that happened in Upstate New York.

The event at the Book House is Saturday, March 12 at 3 pm. Fiske will be talking about the book and signing copies. It's free to attend.

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