Solomon Northup Day - A Celebration of Freedom

Solomon Northup

The 17th annual Solomon Northup Day, an afternoon of activities inspired by a powerful memoir of enslavement and eventual freedom, will take place on Saturday, July 18, 12:00-4:30 p.m. on the Skidmore campus.

The story of Solomon Northup, a local African-American man abducted into slavery in 1841 and transported to Louisiana, is now known internationally thanks to the acclaimed 2013 film based on Northup’s autobiography, Twelve Years a Slave. But a grassroots effort to raise awareness of this compelling story has been going on for the past 17 years, in particular through Solomon Northup Day, an annual event launched in 1999 by Saratoga Springs resident and Skidmore College alumna Renee Moore.

This year’s event will feature a keynote speaker, panel discussions, music and much more. A number of Northup descendants are expected to be in attendance, as well as descendants of Samuel Bass, the Canadian carpenter who assisted in Northup’s rescue by contacting the captive’s friends back home in upstate New York. [Read more.]

Schedule of events
July 18, 2015
12:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Filene Hall, Skidmore College




12 noon - 12:30 p.m. Greetings, coffee and tea
12:30 p.m. Music by "Jazzage" featuring Carol Daggs (piano and voice), James Daggs (double-bass), and Billy Arnold (percussion)
1:00 - 1:15 p.m. Opening remarks

  • W. Rochelle Calhoun, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs, Skidmore College
  • Renee Moore, Event Founder

Acknowledgement of special guests

1:15 - 1:45 p.m. Keynote Speaker

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche, Author, Speaker, Archaelogist, and Historian - "The Geography of Resistance: Solomon Northup and the Quest for Freedom"

2:30 p.m. Intermission. Book and CD signing with Dr. LaRoche, Don Papson, and musical guest, Jazzage
2:45 - 3:00 p.m. Musical selections by "Jazzage"
3:00 p.m. Panel discussion led by Solomon Northup descendents
4:00 p.m. Closing remarks by Don Papson expert on Underground Railroads
4:30 p.m. Reception with descendents - Location: Schick Art Gallery

 Founder's Web site: