Top 10 Quotes by 12 Years a Slave

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
Chapin: [Tibeats and a gang are trying to lynch Solomon] Gentlemen... Whoever moves that nigger another foot from where he stands is a dead man. I am overseer of this plantation seven years, and in the absence of William Ford, my duty is to protect his interests. Ford holds a mortgage on Platt of four hundred dollars. If you hang him, he loses his debt. Until that is canceled you have no claim to his life. [to Ramsay and Cook] Chapin: As for you two, if you have any regard for your own safety... I say, begon
12 Years a Slave

Mistress Epps: Sometimes, you have to beat it from them. [she scratches Patsey's face; Patsey screams] Mistress Epps: BEAT IT FROM THE

12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup: [Solomon awakens Armsby in the middle of the night. He offers him a handful of coins] The proceeds of my fiddling performances. A few picayunes, but all I have in the world. I promise them to you if you will do me the favor I require. But I beg you not to expose me if you cannot grant the request. Armsby: What do you ask? Solomon Northup: First, your word, sir. Armsby: On my honor. Solomon Northup: It is a simple enough request. I ask only that you deposit a letter in the Marksville post office. And that you keep the action an inviolable secret forever. The details of the letter are of no consequence. Even at that, there would be an imposition of much pain and suffering were it known I was the author. A patron is what I require, sir. Armsby: Where is the letter now? Solomon Northup: It is not yet written. I will have it in a day. Two at most, my skill with composition as poor as it is. Armsby: I will do it. And will accept whatever payment is o
12 Years a Slave

Edwin Epps: [bursting into the slaves' quarters in the middle of the night] Get up! Get up, we dance tonight! We will not waste the evenin' with yer laziness. Get up.

12 Years a Slave
Freeman: You see how fit the boy is. Like ripe fruit. He will grow into a fine beast. [makes Randall run and jump in place] Freeman: Six hundred, and that's fair and fina
12 Years a Slave

Brown: Circus too constricting a word to describe the talented and merry band with which we travel. It is a spectacle unlike most have ever witnessed. Creatures from the darkest Africa as yet unseen by civilized man. Acrobats from the Orient able to contort themselves in the most confounding manners. Hamilton: And I myself in aide of Mr. Brown; an internationally renowned practitioner in the art of prestidigitation

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

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
Radburn: Jus takin' a li'l trip, tha's all. Don't want to frighten the chil'ren none over a li'l boat ride, do yah?