Solomon Northup's first residence after marriage. Solomon Northup, an educated black man who was born free but later drugged and sold into slavery, lived in what was known as the “old yellow house” in Fort Edward, New York. In 1835, twelve years after Northup was sold, he was found and freed. He wrote Twelve Years as a Slave and his narrative won him national fame. However, the “old yellow house” rooted itself in history long before Solomon Northup occupied it. It was built with timber from the Fort Edward fortification during the French and Indian War; it was used as both British and American headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and George Washington dined there at least twice.
Twelve Years a Slave was published in 1853 by Solomon Northup; and he dedicated the book to Harriet Beecher Stowe and the abolitionist cause. Northup was born near Fort Edward in 1807 and remained in the area after his marriage; a short distance away is the Champlain Canal and this lock. Northup spent his early years doing canal repair work and rafting supplies along its route. It is not known, if he witnessed freedom seekers along its path prior to his abduction in 1841. After his return from slavery and freedom in 1853, Northup became an active agent of the Underground Railroad. Sometime in the 1860s, he disappeared along the canal route never to be heard from again.
This is the site where Sam Bass mailed Solomon Northup’s letter to New York State. This letter eventually lead to Northup freedom after 12 years of bondage on Louisiana plantations.
The original name of Hudson Falls was Baker’s Falls, named for Albert Baker who came to the area from New York City in 1768. Baker built a short wing dam and saw mill on the Hudson River at the site of the falls that today bear his name. These falls are believed to be the highest falls on the Hudson River. The Baker cemetery in Hudson Falls, originally a private burial place for the Baker family dates back to 1800. Mintus Northup (1772-1829), the father of author and African American abolitionist, Solomon Northup, a longtime resident of the area is buried here.
The Baker cemetery in Hudson Falls, originally a private burial place for the Baker family dates back to 1800. Mintus Northup (1772-1829), the father of author and African American abolitionist, Solomon Northup, a longtime resident of the area is buried here. A new head stone replaced the old one, which commemorates the life of Solomon Northup.