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New York Times's 161 year old correction

The New York Times has printed a correction for misspelling 161 years ago the name of a black man who was sold into slavery and whose memoirs were turned into the Oscar-winning movie "12 Years a Slave."

In a Jan. 20, 1853, article, the Times misspelled Solomon Northup's surname as Northrop and as Northrup.

The Times corrected Northup's name on Tuesday, after the errors were pointed out by someone looking at its archives.

The correction said the article about Northup had "misspelled his surname as Northrop. And the headline misspelled it as Northrup."

Northup was born in New York and was kidnapped and sold as a slave in 1841. He spent the next dozen years in Louisiana before regaining his freedom.

"12 Years a Slave" won the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday. It starred Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup and Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey, another slave. Nyong'o won the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role.

The Canadian Press


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