English Class: Autobiographies

Sorrows Of Slavery

Slavery caused many sorrows for slave families because they were often separated from each other. Solomon Northup gives an example of two separation in his autobiography, 12 Years A Slave. A slave, Eliza, had two children, Randall and Emily. When they were at the auction Randall was sold to one master, Eliza to another, while Emily was kept by the trader. It tore out Eliza’s heart to see her children taken away from her with no way to ever know anything about them. She deteriorated rapidly, because of the grief that over came her. 

The other family separation was that of Northup’s. He was also taken away from his own children. He composed himself knowing very well that his wife would take care of them.  He had enormous grief for being separated from his children, but he kept up hope that he might see them again.

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