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  • 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup Chapter 1

    12年目の奴隷 ソロモン・ノーサップ著 第1章

  • Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty


  • in a free State-and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery,


  • where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage


  • of twelve yearsit has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not


  • be uninteresting to the public. Since my return to liberty, I have not failed


  • to perceive the increasing interest throughout the Northern States, in regard to the subject


  • of Slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing


  • as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and,


  • as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.


  • I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observationonly so far as


  • I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and


  • truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving


  • it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more


  • cruel wrong or a severer bondage. As far back as I have been able to ascertain,


  • my ancestors on the paternal side were slaves in Rhode Island. They belonged to a family


  • by the name of Northup, one of whom, removing to the State of New York, settled at Hoosic,


  • in Rensselaer county. He brought with him Mintus Northup, my father. On the death of


  • this gentleman, which must have occurred some fifty years ago, my father became free, having


  • been emancipated by a direction in his will. Henry B. Northup, Esq., of Sandy Hill, a distinguished

    遺言により解放されましたヘンリー・ノーサップ弁護士 サンディヒルの著名な

  • counselor at law, and the man to whom, under Providence, I am indebted for my present liberty,

    弁護士であり 摂理のもとに現在の自由を与えてくれた恩人でもあります

  • and my return to the society of my wife and children, is a relative of the family in which


  • my forefathers were thus held to service, and from which they took the name I bear.

    私の先祖はこのようにして 奉仕していました そして彼らが私の名を名乗ったのです

  • To this fact may be attributed the persevering interest he has taken in my behalf.


  • Sometime after my father's liberation, he removed to the town of Minerva, Essex county,


  • N. Y., where I was born, in the month of July, 1808. How long he remained in the latter place

    N.1808年7月に 私が生まれた場所で後者の場所にどれくらい残っていたか

  • I have not the means of definitely ascertaining. From thence he removed to Granville, Washington


  • county, near a place known as Slyborough, where, for some years, he labored on the farm


  • of Clark Northup, also a relative of his old master; from thence he removed to the Alden

    クラーク・ノーサップ(Clark Northup)の親戚でもあり、そこからオールデンに移り住んだ。

  • farm, at Moss Street, a short distance north of the village of Sandy Hill; and from thence


  • to the farm now owned by Russel Pratt, situated on the road leading from Fort Edward to Argyle,

    ラッセル・プラットが所有する農場へ フォートエドワードからアーガイルへ向かう道にある

  • where he continued to reside until his death, which took place on the 22d day of November,


  • 1829. He left a widow and two childrenmyself, and Joseph, an elder brother. The latter is

    1829.彼は未亡人と2人の子供を残しました 私と兄のジョセフです後者は

  • still living in the county of Oswego, near the city of that name; my mother died during


  • the period of my captivity. Though born a slave, and laboring under the


  • disadvantages to which my unfortunate race is subjected, my father was a man respected


  • for his industry and integrity, as many now living, who well remember him, are ready to


  • testify. His whole life was passed in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, never seeking


  • employment in those more menial positions, which seem to be especially allotted to the


  • children of Africa. Besides giving us an education surpassing that ordinarily bestowed upon children

    アフリカの子供たち。通常の子供たちに与えられている以上の 教育を与えてくれるだけでなく

  • in our condition, he acquired, by his diligence and economy, a sufficient property qualification


  • to entitle him to the right of suffrage. He was accustomed to speak to us of his early


  • life; and although at all times cherishing the warmest emotions of kindness, and even

  • of affection towards the family, in whose house he had been a bondsman, he nevertheless


  • comprehended the system of Slavery, and dwelt with sorrow on the degradation of his race.


  • He endeavored to imbue our minds with sentiments of morality, and to teach us to place our,


  • trust and confidence in Him who regards the humblest as well as the highest of his creatures.


  • How often since that time has the recollection of his paternal counsels occurred to me, while


  • lying in a slave hut in the distant and sickly regions of Louisiana, smarting with the undeserved


  • wounds which an inhuman master had inflicted, and longing only for the grave which had covered


  • him, to shield me also from the lash of the oppressor. In the church yard at Sandy Hill,


  • an humble stone marks the spot where he reposes, after having worthily performed the duties


  • appertaining to the lowly sphere wherein God had appointed him to walk.


  • Up to this period I had been principally engaged with my father in the labors of the farm.


  • The leisure hours allowed me were generally either employed over my books, or playing


  • on the violinan amusement which was the ruling passion of my youth. It has also been


  • the source of consolation since, affording, pleasure to the simple beings with whom my


  • lot was cast, and beguiling my own thoughts, for many hours, from the painful contemplation


  • of my fate. On Christmas day, 1829, I was married to Anne

    私の運命を1829年のクリスマスの日 私はアンと結婚しました

  • Hampton, a colored girl then living in the vicinity of our residence. The ceremony was


  • performed at Fort Edward, by Timothy Eddy, Esq., a magistrate of that town, and still

    フォートエドワードで行われた ティモシー・エディ、エスク、その町の判事、そしてまだ

  • a prominent citizen of the place. She had resided a long time at Sandy Hill, with Mr.

    この地の著名な市民でした彼女はサンディヒルに 長く住んでいました

  • Baird, proprietor of the Eagle Tavern, and also in the family of Rev. Alexander Proudfit,


  • of Salem. This gentleman for many years had presided over the Presbyterian society at

    セーラムのこの紳士は長年に渡り セーラムの長老会を主宰していました

  • the latter place, and was widely distinguished for his learning and piety. Anne still holds


  • in grateful remembrance the exceeding kindness and the excellent counsels of that good man.


  • She is not able to determine the exact line of her descent, but the blood of three races


  • mingles in her veins. It is difficult to tell whether the red, white, or black predominates.


  • The union of them all, however, in her origin, has given her a singular but pleasing expression,


  • such as is rarely to be seen. Though somewhat resembling, yet she cannot properly be styled


  • a quadroon, a class to which, I have omitted to mention, my mother belonged.


  • I had just now passed the period of my minority, having reached the age of twenty-one years


  • in the month of July previous. Deprived of the advice and assistance of my father, with


  • a wife dependent upon me for support, I resolved to enter upon a life of industry; and notwithstanding


  • the obstacle of color, and the consciousness of my lowly state, indulged in pleasant dreams


  • of a good time coming, when the possession of some humble habitation, with a few surrounding


  • acres, should reward my labors, and bring me the means of happiness and comfort.


  • From the time of my marriage to this day the love I have borne my wife has been sincere


  • and unabated; and only those who have felt the glowing tenderness a father cherishes


  • for his offspring, can appreciate my affection for the beloved children which have since


  • been born to us. This much I deem appropriate and necessary to day, in order that those


  • who read these pages, may comprehend the poignancy of those sufferings I have been doomed to


  • bear. Immediately upon our marriage we commenced


  • house-keeping, in the old yellow building then standing at the southern extremity of


  • Fort Edward village, and which has since been transformed into a modern mansion, and lately


  • occupied by Captain Lathrop. It is known as the Fort House. In this building the courts


  • were sometime held after the organization of the county. It was also occupied by Burgoyne


  • in 1777, being situated near the old Fort on the left bank of the Hudson.


  • During the winter I was employed with others repairing the Champlain Canal, on that section


  • over which William Van Nortwick was superintendent. David McEachron had the immediate charge of


  • the men in whose company I labored. By the time the canal opened in the spring, I was


  • enabled, from the savings of my wages, to purchase a pair of horses, and other things


  • necessarily required in the business of navigation. Having hired several efficient hands to assist


  • me, I entered into contracts for the transportation of large rafts of timber from Lake Champlain


  • to Troy. Dyer Beckwith and a Mr. Bartemy, of Whitehall, accompanied me on several trips.

    トロイへダイアー・ベクウィスと ホワイトホールのバーテミー氏が 数回の旅行に同行してくれた

  • During the season I became perfectly familiar with the art and mysteries of rafting—a


  • knowledge which afterwards enabled me to render profitable service to a worthy master, and


  • to astonish the simple-witted lumbermen on the banks of the Bayou Boeuf.

    バイユー・ブーフのほとりの木こりたちを 驚かせるために

  • In one of my voyages down Lake Champlain, I was induced to make a visit to Canada. Repairing


  • to Montreal, I visited the cathedral and other places of interest in that city, from whence


  • I continued my excursion to Kingston and other towns, obtaining a knowledge of localities,


  • which was also of service to me afterwards, as will appear towards the close of this narrative.


  • Having completed my contracts on the canal satisfactorily to myself and to my employer,


  • and not wishing to remain idle, now that the navigation of the canal was again suspended,


  • I entered into another contract with Medad Gunn, to cut a large quantity of wood. In


  • this business I was engaged during the winter of 1831-32.


  • With the return of spring, Anne and myself conceived the project of taking a farm in


  • the neighborhood. I had been accustomed from earliest youth to agricultural labors, and


  • it was an occupation congenial to my tastes. I accordingly entered into arrangements for


  • a part of the old Alden farm, on which my father formerly resided. With one cow, one

    父が以前住んでいた オールデン農場の一部です1頭の牛と1頭の

  • swine, a yoke of fine oxen I had lately purchased of Lewis Brown, in Hartford, and other personal


  • property and effects, we proceeded to our new home in Kingsbury. That year I planted


  • twenty-five acres of corn, sowed large fields of oats, and commenced farming upon as large


  • a scale as my utmost means would permit. Anne was diligent about the house affairs, while


  • I toiled laboriously in the field. On this place we continued to reside until


  • 1834. In the winter season I had numerous calls to play on the violin. Wherever the


  • young people assembled to dance, I was almost invariably there. Throughout the surrounding


  • villages my fiddle was notorious. Anne, also, during her long residence at the Eagle Tavern,


  • had become somewhat famous as a cook. During court weeks, and on public occasions, she


  • was employed at high wages in the kitchen at Sherrill's Coffee House.


  • We always returned home from the performance of these services with money in our pockets;


  • so that, with fiddling, cooking, and farming, we soon found ourselves in the possession


  • of abundance, and, in fact, leading a happy and prosperous life. Well, indeed, would it


  • have been for us had we remained on the farm at Kingsbury; but the time came when the next


  • step was to be taken towards the cruel destiny that awaited me.


  • In March, 1834, we removed to Saratoga Springs. We occupied a house belonging to Daniel O'Brien,


  • on the north side of Washington street. At that time Isaac Taylor kept a large boarding

    ワシントン通りの北側にある当時、アイザック・テイラーは 大きな寄宿舎を持っていました

  • house, known as Washington Hall, at the north end of Broadway. He employed me to drive a

    ブロードウェイの北端にある ワシントン・ホールと呼ばれる家だ彼は私を雇って

  • hack, in which capacity I worked for him two years. After this time I was generally employed

    ハックの下で2年間 働いていましたその後は通常の仕事をしていました

  • through the visiting season, as also was Anne, in the United States Hotel, and other public


  • houses of the place. In winter seasons I relied upon my violin, though during the construction


  • of the Troy and Saratoga railroad, I performed many hard days' labor upon it.


  • I was in the habit, at Saratoga, of purchasing articles necessary for my family at the stores

    サラトガでは家族に必要な物を 店で買う習慣がありました

  • of Mr. Cephas Parker and Mr. William Perry, gentlemen towards whom, for many acts of kindness,

    セファス・パーカー氏と ウィリアム・ペリー氏が

  • I entertained feelings of strong regard. It was for this reason that twelve years afterwards,


  • I caused to be directed to them the letter, which is hereinafter inserted, and which was


  • the means, in the hands of Mr. Northup, of my fortunate deliverance.


  • While living at the United States Hotel, I frequently met with slaves, who had accompanied


  • their masters from the South. They were always well dressed and well provided for, leading

    南部から来た彼らの主人のために彼らは常に身だしなみを整え 備えていました

  • apparently an easy life, with but few of its ordinary troubles to perplex them. Many times


  • they entered into conversation with me on the subject of Slavery. Almost uniformly I

    彼らは奴隷制度について 私と会話をしていましたほとんど一様に

  • found they cherished a secret desire for liberty. Some of them expressed the most ardent anxiety

    彼らは自由への密かな願望を 抱いていました彼らの中には、最も熱烈な不安を表明した者もいた。

  • to escape, and consulted me on the best method of effecting it. The fear of punishment, however,

    逃げるためにはどうすればいいかと相談に乗ってくれました。しかし 罰の恐怖は

  • which they knew was certain to attend their re-capture and return, in all cases proved


  • sufficient to deter them from the experiment. Having all my life breathed the free air of


  • the North, and conscious that I possessed the same feelings and affections that find


  • a place in the white man's breast; conscious, moreover, of an intelligence equal to that


  • of some men, at least, with a fairer skin. I was too ignorant, perhaps too independent,


  • to conceive how any one could be content to live in the abject condition of a slave. I

    奴隷のような苦しい生活に 満足している者がいるとは思えないI

  • could not comprehend the justice of that law, or that religion, which upholds or recognizes


  • the principle of Slavery; and never once, I am proud to say, did I fail to counsel any


  • one who came to me, to watch his opportunity, and strike