The Town of Schroon -- back in the 1800s – may have played a role in a history changing event, which later became a much read and studied novel and is about to be released as a major studio movie. It’s the true story of Solomon Northup who was born in Minerva. His father Mintus Northup, a free slave, settled here to start a family. Solomon was later kidnapped – mistaken as a slave who had escaped – and sold into slavery. Years after being humiliated and brutalized by his slave masters, he later authored “Twelve Years A Slave”(We were tipped to this story by Chef Shelby Davis, who is now reading the book).
So how does Schroon fit in here? Well, historian David Fiske, who has devoted decades to researching Solomon Northup -- and is the co-author of Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave -- explains it this way:
Technically the town of Minerva did not exist at the time of Solomon’s birth on July 10, 1807 (though his book gives 1808 as his year of birth, more official documents have it as 1807); the town of Minerva was not formed until 1817. In 1807 the area, not yet known as Minerva, would have been part of the Town of Schroon.
You can read more of David’s fascinating report in our My Story section. And you can hear David talk on October 28, at the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga Springs at 7:30 pm. You can get details about the reading here.