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Solomon Northup’s Home Opens in Alexandria

Solomon Northup’s Home Opens in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA—The home where Solomon Northup tells of his experiences in his 1853 book, Twelve Years a Slave, opened Thursday, Nov.14  as a museum at the Louisiana State University Alexandria.

Northup built the house with slave owner Edwin Epps who purchased him in 1843 although Northup was a kidnapped freeman who would later be rescued and returned to his family in Glens Falls, New York.

The single story Creole cottage, called the Epps House, was originally located on Bayou Boeuf near Holmesville in Avoyelles Parish.

The State Historical Marker near the home reads, “Built in 1852 by Edwin Epps, originally located near Holmesville on Bayou Boeuf about three miles away. From 1843 to 1853, Epps, a small planter, owned Solomon Northup, author of famous slave narrative Twelve Years A Slave.”

Relocated to Bunkie, LA in 1976, the house was moved to the LSUA campus in 1999 and reconstructed, thanks to the effort of Sue Eakin, Ph.D., a former LSUA professor of history.

Northup’s story in the recently released movie “12 Years a Slave” may never have made it to the big screen if not for Louisiana historians Eakin and Joseph Logsdon. Their 1968 edition of the book was well-received and became required reading at universities across the country.

Screen-writer John Ridley, told the New York Times he leaned heavily upon their work for the movie released Oct. 18. Eakin published a final edition of her work on Northup in 2007. She died in 2009 at 90. The historical drama was shot in New Orleans.

The exhibit will be open to the public on a weekly basis from Thursday through Sunday and from noon until 4:00pm.  It will also be open by appointment and will be free of charge to visitors.

 

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