Solomon Northup Day – A Celebration of Freedom

Based on the autobiography

Twelve Years A Slave

Renee Moore, Founder 1999 – 2013

The Event – a brief History:


Solomon Northup Day:An annual observance held on the third Saturday in July in Saratoga Springs, New York, that recognizes Solomon Northup, a born free man abducted and sold into slavery in 1841 and freed 12 years later.

Born in Schroon (now Minerva, Essex County), New York, Northup worked on the Champlain Canal as a rafter and was also an accomplished fiddler. He lived and worked in a variety of towns and villages in New York -- Fort Edward, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls – before moving with his family to Saratoga Springs. In 1841, Northup was lured from Saratoga Springs with the promise of work was, abducted,, held in a slave pen in Washington, D.C., held aboard the Brig Orleans and sold into slaveryin Louisiana. Through the efforts of Canadian abolitionist Samuel Bass, citizens of New York and  Louisiana, and lifelong friend Henry B. Northup,, Esq, among others, Solomon Northup had his freedom restored in 1853. He published hisa memoir, TwelveYears a Slave, in 1853 and achieved national celebrity.

In 1999, in recognition of Northup’s life and ordeal as well as that of other African Americans, Saratoga Springs resident Renee Moore createdfounded what has since been an annual event program an observance she named “Solomon Northup Day - A Celebration of Freedom.” That year, Moore, along with former Saratoga Springs Mayor J. Michael O’Connell, and Professor Clifford Brown, ofa professor at Union College in Schenectady, New York, erected a historical marker at the spot in Saratoga Springs from which Northup was abducted. Subsequent Solomon Northup Day provided at 15-year platform forevents provided a venue for historians, authors, writers and artists and descendants to commemorateaddress Northup’s lifeegacy. and also drew many of his descendants. Solomon’s final resting place is still unknown.

In year 2000, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC selected Solomon Northup Day as part of their Bicentennial celebration, Local Legacies,

In 2013, win advance ofith the release of Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years a Slave, attendees experienced never seen before segments of the film, a special closed-circuit message from Director, Steve McQueen and appearance by actress Lupita Nyong’o was among the attendees. N’yong’o spoke about how Solomon Northup Day caused her to see the significance of her role in the film.