Understanding that Epps would either not believe or simply refuse to free Northup, Samuel Bass and Solomon Northup were careful to document Northup's illegal capture and involve Northups family, northern abolitionists, the media, and the courts prior to notifying Epps that Solomon Northup was a free man. Epps learned of Northup's status in this cabin.
Northup tells of his experience being owned by Epps in his 1853 book Twelve Years A Slave. The book became a best-seller and supported the growing abolitionist sentiment of the 1850s. The story of Solomon Northup has been unsed in countless American classrooms thanks to historians who use the book as a primary source as well as the 1984 documentary Solomon Northup's Odyssey and the 2013 Hollywood film 12Years A Slave.