Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The First Campaign For Slavery Reparations

Interesting article at History News Network about Solomon Northup (the subject of the autobiography and recent film Twelve Years a Slave) and the first effort to seek slavery reparations -- in this case, for Northup:
Moved by the troubling content of Northup’s lectures and his slave autobiography, abolitionists in upstate New York and elsewhere initiated a campaign in the latter part of 1853 asking Congress to compensate Northup for his years in slavery. As his family’s primary breadwinner, this period had left him and the members of his household in a financial quandary. Abolitionists argued that his time away from his family and the loss of his liberty was worth many times his value as slave property, estimated at $1,700. They crafted and circulated petitions to Congress seeking a reasonable indemnity for Northup. - See more at:
Right at the time slavery ended would have been the time to demand reparations -- and from those who directly benefited from it, the slave owners.  Even more so for Northup, who was unlawfully held as a slave.

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