NY Times Makes 161-Years-Late Correction To ’12 Years A Slave’ Story

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

It took an historic movie Oscar win to make it happen, but the New York Times finally issued a correction Tuesday to a story about the man who inspired Best Picture winner “12 Years A Slave” — 161 years after the fact.

The Times chronicled the tale of Solomon Northup, who wrote the autobiographical “12 Years A Slave” about his experience being kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South, in a Jan. 20, 1853, article. But it misspelled his surname as “Northrop” in the body and “Northrup” in the headline.

The Times issued a correction Tuesday:

An article on Jan. 20, 1853, recounting the story of Solomon Northup, whose memoir “12 Years a Slave” became a movie 160 years later that won the best picture Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night, misspelled his surname as Northrop. And the headline misspelled it as Northrup. The errors came to light on Monday after a Twitter user pointed out the article in The Times archives. (The errors notwithstanding, The Times described the article as “a more complete and authentic record than has yet appeared.”)

The 2013 film based on the book won Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress at Sunday’s Academy Awards Ceremony, bringing the error to light.