'12 Years A Slave' author's death still a mystery

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 03:14:21 EST

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Historians know where Solomon Northup was born, where he lived and where he worked. They know whom he married and how many children he had. They know he played the fiddle and spent 12 years enslaved in the South before being freed.

What historians don't know about the author of "12 Years A Slave" is when and how he died and where he's buried. It's a lingering mystery in the final chapter of the life of the 19th-century free-born African-American whose compelling account of enforced slavery was made into the Oscar-winning film of the same title.

The accolades have sparked new interest in Northup's story, which was little known until recent years even in the upstate New York communities where he spent most of his life.

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