12 Years a Slave

by

Solomon Northrup

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Eliza, known to her owners as Dradey, is the mother of Randall and Emily. She was the slave-turned-mistress of a rich man who gave her a plush life and promised her eventual freedom. However, the man’s estranged wife and daughter hated Eliza and secretly sold her to James Burch. Eliza is quickly separated from her children, as she is sold to William Ford, while Randall is sold to another master, and Emily is deemed “not for sale” by the cruel slave trader Theophilus Freeman. Eliza spends the remainder of her life stricken with grief, which later is the cause of her death.
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Eliza Berry Character Timeline in 12 Years a Slave

The timeline below shows where the character Eliza Berry appears in 12 Years a Slave. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
During his two weeks in Williams’ Slave Pen, Solomon meets Eliza, the mother of the young Randall whom Solomon had met previously, as well as a... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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Eliza recounts how Brooks (Elisha’s daughter’s husband) tricked her by telling her that she would be... (full context)
Chapter 5
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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...including one named Theophilus Freeman, board the ship. Freeman takes over Burch’s slaves, including Solomon, Eliza, a slave named Harry, and several others. He coarsely informs Solomon that he is now... (full context)
Chapter 6
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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Solomon watches Eliza and her children be separated. Randall is bought first, and the man who buys him... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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That night, many of the slaves come down with smallpox. Solomon, Eliza, Emily, and Harry grow so ill that they are taken to the hospital, where they... (full context)
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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Solomon tells the reader that Eliza never again saw her children. He says that her hope for freedom was shattered by... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...property is a “quiet, lonely, pleasant place” and is “a green spot in the wilderness.” Eliza is still distressed by having been torn from her children, so Ford assures her that... (full context)
Chapter 8
Racism and Slavery Theme Icon
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...unsafe for swine, or unthinking slave children” to walk along its banks. Solomon runs into Eliza, who has withered away and “sunk beneath the weight of an excessive grief.” Solomon can... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...evening catching up with the other slaves. He is shocked to see the way that Eliza has wasted away, as “grief […] gnawed remorselessly at her heart, until her strength was... (full context)