New York Times Corrects "12 Years a Slave" Article Error 161 Years Later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from "12 Years A Slave."

    A tweet regarding an article that was published 161 years ago has led The New York Times to issue a correction.

    First published on Jan. 20, 1853, the article was called "The Kidnapping Case" and was about Solomon Northup, whose memoir was the basis for the Oscar-winning film, "12 Years a Slave." The Times article incorrectly referred to him as "Northrop," and the headline also identified him as "Northrup."

    "The errors came to light on Monday after a Twitter user pointed out the article in The Times archives," the correction said.

    Author Rebecca Skloot tweeted a link to the story Monday, and the correction was published in Tuesday's Times.

    Despite the misspellings, The Times described the original article as "a more complete and authentic record than has yet appeared."

    Skloot's tweet concerning the article was not without its own error: She said it originally ran in 1953.

    The humorous side to her own inaccuracy was not lost on the writer. "The irony, of course, is that I’m a terrible speller and proofreader," Skloot tweeted.

    Northup was a free black man from New York who was taken into slavery in 1841 and not freed until 1853. The film version of his story won multiple Oscars Sunday, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o).