Top 10 Quotes by 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup: We need a sympathetic ear. If we have an opportunity to explain our situation... Clemens: Who in your estimation is that sympathetic ear? Solomon Northup: The two men I journeyed with. I'm certain they're making inquires at this very moment. Clemens: I would be just as certain they are counting the money paid for delivering you to this place. Solomon Northup: They were not kidnappers. They were artists. Fellow performers. Clemens: You know that? You know for certain who they were? [Solomon cannot answer] Clemens: How I reckon the situation: whatever past we had... well, that's done now. The reality to come is us being transported southward. New Orleans if I were to venture. After we arrive, we'll be put to market. Beyond that... Well, once in a slave state I suppose there's only one o

12 Years a Slave
Ford: What is the price for the ones Platt and Eliza? Freeman: A thousand for Platt; he is a nigger of talent. Seven hundred for Eliza. My fairest price. Ford: You will accept a note? Freeman: Always from you, Mr. Fo
12 Years a Slave

Mistress Ford: [to Eliza] Something to eat and some rest; your children will soon enough be forgotten.

12 Years a Slave
Ford: [Ford is attempting to buy Eliza, who begs to allow her daughter to come too. Her son having just been sold] How much for the little girl? You have no need for her. One so young will bring you no profit. Freeman: I will not sell the girl. There's heaps 'n piles of money to be made off her. She is a beauty. One of the regular bloods. None of your thick-lipped, bullet headed, cotton picking niggers. Ford: Her child, man. For God's sake, are you not sentimental in the least? Freeman: My sentimentality stretches the length of a coin. Do you want the lot, Mr. Ford, or do you pass on them all? Ford: I will take the ones Platt and El
12 Years a Slave

Edwin Epps: "And that servant which knew his Lord's will... which knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself... prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes..." D'ye hear that? "Stripes." That nigger that don't take care, that don't obey his lord - that's his master - d'ye see? - that 'ere nigger shall be beaten with many stripes. Now, "many" signifies a great many. Forty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty lashes... That's Scripter!

12 Years a Slave
Ford: I believe Tibeats is skulkin' about the premises somewhere. He wants you dead, and he will attempt to have you so. It's no longer safe for you here. And I don't believe you will remain passive if Tibeats attacks. I have transferred my debt to Edwin Epps. He will take charge of you. Solomon Northup: Master Ford, you must know; I am not a slave. Ford: I cannot hear that. Solomon Northup: Before I came to you I was a free man. Ford: I am trying to save your life! And... I have a debt to be mindful of. That, now, is to Edwin Epps. He is a hard man. Prides himself on being a "nigger breaker." But truthfully I could find no others who would have you. You've made a reputation of yourself. Whatever your circumstances, you are an exceptional nigger, Platt. I fear no good will come of
12 Years a Slave

Mistress Shaw: In his own time, the Good Lord will manage them all. The curse of the pharoahs was a poor example of what waits for the plantation class.

12 Years a Slave
Tibeats: I thought I told yah ta commence ta puttin' on clapboards this morn'.
12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup: [Epps has just whipped Patsey within an inch of her life] Thou devil! Sooner or later, somewhere in the course of eternal justice thou shalt answer for this sin! Edwin Epps: No sin! There is no sin! A man does how he pleases with his property. At the moment, Platt, I am of great pleasure. You be goddamn careful I don't come to wantin' to lightenin' my mood no further

12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup: [Upon meeting his family again after 12 years] I apologize for my appearance. But I have had a difficult time these past several years.