Chapter 1

Havingbeenbornafreeman,andformorethanthirtyyearsenjoyedtheblessingsoflibertyinafreeStateandhavingattheendofthattimebeenkidnappedandsoldintoSlavery,whereIremained,untilhappilyrescuedinthemonthofJanuary,1853,afterabondageoftwelveyearsithasbeensuggestedthatanaccountofmylifeandfortuneswouldnotbeuninterestingtothepublic. 

Sincemyreturntoliberty,IhavenotfailedtoperceivetheincreasinginterestthroughouttheNorthernStates,inregardtothesubjectofSlavery. Worksoffiction,professingtoportrayitsfeaturesintheirmorepleasingaswellasmorerepugnantaspects,havebeencirculatedtoanextentunprecedented,and,asIunderstand,havecreatedafruitfultopicofcommentanddiscussion. 

IcanspeakofSlaveryonlysofarasitcameundermyownobservationonlysofarasIhaveknownandexperienceditinmyownperson. Myobjectis,togiveacandidandtruthfulstatementoffacts: torepeatthestoryofmylife,withoutexaggeration,leavingitforotherstodetermine,whethereventhepagesoffictionpresentapictureofmorecruelwrongorasevererbondage. 

AsfarbackasIhavebeenabletoascertain,myancestorsonthepaternalsidewereslavesinRhodeIsland. TheybelongedtoafamilybythenameofNorthup,oneofwhom,removingtotheStateofNew-York,settledatHoosic,inRensselaercounty. HebroughtwithhimMintusNorthup,myfather. Onthedeathofthisgentleman,whichmusthaveoccurredsomefiftyyearsago,myfatherbecamefree,havingbeenemancipatedbyadirectioninhiswill. 

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