Solomon Northup’s Descendants Fight Effort To Build Stadium on Jail Site

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Descendants of the man whose story inspired Oscar-winning movie “12 Years A Slave” are fighting plans to build a baseball stadium on the site of a jail where Solomon Northup was housed during his ordeal.

The film, which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture earlier this month, tells the story of a free man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, and is based on Northup’s 1853 memoir of the same name.

Northup was held at a slave prison in Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia following his kidnapping, and the site where the notorious Lumpkin’s Jail once stood is set to be redeveloped as part of a new baseball stadium complex. Money has been set aside to create a museum close by, while nearby slave burial grounds will be unaffected, but local history experts claim many important sites will be destroyed.

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