The film was based on a book by the same name (only with "Twelve" instead of "12") published in 1853 and written by Solomon Northrup, the character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the film. Cleveland's Western Reserve Historical Society has a copy of the first edition. It's a remarkable bit of history.
Check out the pics posted on the WRHS Facebook page or, better yet, go the museum and see them for yourself.
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