NYT finally gets it right on 12 Years a Slave author’s name

Correction published as Twitter user unearths errors after film takes Oscar


It’s a small bit late - but a lot of folks do have long memories, particularly when newspapers make mistakes.

Solomon Northup may have passed from this mortal coil a long time back, but his recent jump to the top of the current celebrity queue meant the New York Times saw fit yesterday to hold up its hands for spelling his name wrong back in, eh, 1853.

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Northup, whose memoirs were made into this year’s Best Oscar movie 12 Years a Slave, had his name misspelled two different ways in an article in the newspaper from January 20th of that year - Northrup and Northrop.

The error was pointed out by a Twitter user searching the paper’s archive on the day after the film took the best picture Oscar.

The 161-year-old piece, headlined The Kidnapping Case, tells the story of Northup, a black man born free in the northern United States, who was kidnapped in Washington DC in 1841 and sold into slavery in Louisiana.

Additional reporting: Reuters