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Patsey
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Slave
    (1830-1863)
    Born in South Carolina
    Sold to Edwin Epps' slave plantation, in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, around 1843
    Later became known as 'queen of the fields' both for her industrious nature and her relationship with Mr. Epps
    Would figure prominently into the slave narrative of Solomon Northup (known by the slave name 'Platt') 'Twelve Years a Slave' (1853)
    Famously was flogged - nearly to death - first by 'Platt' on orders from Epps, and then by Epps himself, after sneaking to a neighboring plantation for a bar of soap
    Portrayed by Lupita Nyong'o in Steve McQueen's film adaptation of the book, '12 Years a Slave' (2013)
    For some reason an '-e' is inserted at the end of her name when there normally wouldn't be one.
    Next to nothing about her life - beyond what Northup chooses to offer - is known.
    The general consensus is that she was born in South Carolina around 1830, based on a census listing for a 'Patsey Epps.'
    Historians, however, have argued that she would have been very unlikely to choose for her 'free' surname that of a man and woman who sodomized her (the name 'Epps' was also a very common one for the period).
    Endless theories also surround what became of her after Northup's rescue and departure, about which even less is known (date of death is settled on 1863 because it was her last reference in print - but that's far from conclusive).
    Its very possible that she may not have existed 'at all,' or that she was merely a composite of several young women Northup knew under a fictitious name.
    She is depicted in the film version of 'Twelve Years' begging Solomon to help her commit suicide to end her suffering. While powerful (and plausible), that scene is nowhere mentioned in the actual book.
    Her mother was a Cuban slave with Guinean roots.
    She was apparently skilled at crafting dolls out of cornhusks.
    Solomon Northup derived inspiration from her resilience and spirited nature.
    She picked an average 500 pounds of cotton a day, when Solomon could barely manage two hundred.
    She was raped on a regular basis by Epps, drawing the ire of his wife who subjected her to physical abuse.
    Mrs. Epps' hatred of her was great enough that - after her husband refused to sell her - she tried to bribe Northup to murder Patsey and dispose of the body (he refused).
    Despite being a favorite of Epps' and one of his best workers, she never received special treatment from him, being brutally whipped on a regular basis.
    Given historical context, more likely than not she was thrown aside by Epps in favor of another slave girl as she aged and as the abuse took its toll on her.
    An ex-slave was quoted in a New York newspaper attesting to seeing her leave with Union troops during the Civil War.
    Lupita Nyong'o won a Supporting Actress Oscar portraying her.
    When Northup regained his freedom from captivity, she threw her arms around his neck and cried profusely (by that time, the two had been on the same plantation for close to a decade).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2018, as of last week, Out of 12 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 13 Votes: 38.46% Annoying
 
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