Solomon Northup was a born a free man, he had a strong work ethic, he lived a good life, and he was blessed with a wonderful family. One unfortunate day, he was captured and sold into slavery, he told the traders that he was a free man, but they threatened him and warned him never to speak of that, so he kept his mouth shut on the topic of his freedom. While in captive, he met several other slaves, among them he met a woman named Eliza and her two children Randall and Emily. One of the biggest fears slaves faced was separation from their families, which was common. Unfortunately Northup, Eliza, and both children had to go through the dreadful sorrow of losing their family.
Northup left his home with some men who supposedly had intentions of hiring Northup to play his fiddle in the circus, his wife and children were away on a trip for a few days. He figured this would be a good opportunity, he saw no reason to leave a note as he intended to be back before his wife and children returned. After a series of events, he ended up being robbed of his papers and sold into slavery. His family had no idea where he was, because he did not leave a message. As the autobiography says, he was separated from them for 12 years. He often explained that as he laid down at night he thought of his sweet children. It pained him to be separated from the most important people in his world.
While in captive Eliza soothed her children and reassured them of their future. After some time, a buyer bought Randall which tore Eliza apart. She begged the buyer to buy all three of them, but he could not, Randall asked his mother not to cry, that he would be a good boy. This filled both Emily and Eliza with sorrow, they would never again see their sweet Randall. Another buyer chose to buy Northup, Eliza, and Henry (a fellow slave captive), Eliza begged him to buy her daughter too, so that they may stay together. The buyer was touched by her pleads and made an offer to the trader, but the trader refused, Emily was quite a handsome young lady, and he chose to keep her until she was older and would bring him more money. Eliza burst into tears, she explained that she would not be able to live without her children, but she was forced to go. Leaving behind her sweet little girl that cried out for her to come back, but those cries soon faded away as they were taken off into the distance. Eliza never again heard from either of her children, and spent the rest of her life depressed unknowing of the possible hardships her children were going through.
The love between a parent and their child is a strong force, it is hard for parents to cope with a dying child, or perhaps a missing child, but to lose your child due to a system so morally evil as slavery puts a whole new burden of grief upon the parent’s shoulder. Eliza knew that her children would live hard lives, and that they would at times wish they were dead. This brought upon her shoulders a burden of bitterly dreadful grief. Northup loved his children dearly, he knew that there was a strong possibility that they would never see their father again, but he knew that they were safe and free, living their healthy lives at home in New York. Honestly this revels the biggest difference of their responses to losing their children. Eliza was more emotional and sorrowful, as she had reason to be. Northup missed his family, but he knew they were safe and sound, with every passing day he fed a fire of burning hope that he would see them again.