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The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict-logo

The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict

Austin Reed

The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America. In 2009, scholars at Yale University came across a startling manuscript: the memoir of Austin Reed, a free black man born in the 1820s who spent most of his early life ricocheting between forced labor in prison and forced labor as an indentured servant. Lost for more than one hundred and fifty years, the handwritten document is the first known prison memoir written by an African American. Corroborated by prison records and other documentary sources, Reed's text gives a gripping first-person account of an antebellum Northern life lived outside slavery that nonetheless bore, in its day-to-day details, unsettling resemblances to that very institution. Now, for the first time, we can hear Austin Reed's story as he meant to tell it. He was born to a middle-class black family in the boomtown of Rochester, New York, but when his father died, his mother struggled to make ends meet. Still a child, Austin was placed as an indentured servant to a nearby family of white farmers near Rochester. He was caught attempting to set fire to a building and sentenced to ten years at Manhattan's brutal House of Refuge, an early juvenile reformatory that would soon become known for beatings and forced labor. Seven years later, Reed found himself at New York's infamous Auburn State Prison. It was there that he finished writing this memoir, which explores America's first reformatory and first industrial prison from an inmate's point of view, recalling the great cruelties and kindnesses he experienced in those places and excavating patterns of racial segregation, exploitation, and bondage that extended beyond the boundaries of the slaveholding South, into free New York. Formatted for optimal listenability and including fascinating historical documents (including a series of poignant letters written by Reed near the end of his

The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America. In 2009, scholars at Yale University came across a startling manuscript: the memoir of Austin Reed, a free black man born in the 1820s who spent most of his early life ricocheting between forced labor in prison and forced labor as an indentured servant. Lost for more than one hundred and fifty years, the handwritten document is the first known prison memoir written by an African American. Corroborated by prison records and other documentary sources, Reed's text gives a gripping first-person account of an antebellum Northern life lived outside slavery that nonetheless bore, in its day-to-day details, unsettling resemblances to that very institution. Now, for the first time, we can hear Austin Reed's story as he meant to tell it. He was born to a middle-class black family in the boomtown of Rochester, New York, but when his father died, his mother struggled to make ends meet. Still a child, Austin was placed as an indentured servant to a nearby family of white farmers near Rochester. He was caught attempting to set fire to a building and sentenced to ten years at Manhattan's brutal House of Refuge, an early juvenile reformatory that would soon become known for beatings and forced labor. Seven years later, Reed found himself at New York's infamous Auburn State Prison. It was there that he finished writing this memoir, which explores America's first reformatory and first industrial prison from an inmate's point of view, recalling the great cruelties and kindnesses he experienced in those places and excavating patterns of racial segregation, exploitation, and bondage that extended beyond the boundaries of the slaveholding South, into free New York. Formatted for optimal listenability and including fascinating historical documents (including a series of poignant letters written by Reed near the end of his
More Information

Description:

The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America. In 2009, scholars at Yale University came across a startling manuscript: the memoir of Austin Reed, a free black man born in the 1820s who spent most of his early life ricocheting between forced labor in prison and forced labor as an indentured servant. Lost for more than one hundred and fifty years, the handwritten document is the first known prison memoir written by an African American. Corroborated by prison records and other documentary sources, Reed's text gives a gripping first-person account of an antebellum Northern life lived outside slavery that nonetheless bore, in its day-to-day details, unsettling resemblances to that very institution. Now, for the first time, we can hear Austin Reed's story as he meant to tell it. He was born to a middle-class black family in the boomtown of Rochester, New York, but when his father died, his mother struggled to make ends meet. Still a child, Austin was placed as an indentured servant to a nearby family of white farmers near Rochester. He was caught attempting to set fire to a building and sentenced to ten years at Manhattan's brutal House of Refuge, an early juvenile reformatory that would soon become known for beatings and forced labor. Seven years later, Reed found himself at New York's infamous Auburn State Prison. It was there that he finished writing this memoir, which explores America's first reformatory and first industrial prison from an inmate's point of view, recalling the great cruelties and kindnesses he experienced in those places and excavating patterns of racial segregation, exploitation, and bondage that extended beyond the boundaries of the slaveholding South, into free New York. Formatted for optimal listenability and including fascinating historical documents (including a series of poignant letters written by Reed near the end of his

Language:

English

Narrators:

Dominic Hoffman

Length:

10h 16m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:27


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

08:52


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

04:28


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

06:04


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

03:22


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

08:05


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

06:04


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

04:15


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

06:58


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

08:12


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

08:26


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

03:22


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

06:16


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

03:47


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

08:45


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

07:22


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

07:31


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

05:03


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

07:12


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

00:27


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

02:12


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

05:01


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

06:53


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

07:19


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

07:24


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

03:35


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

04:31


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

04:32


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

07:26


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

08:32


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

08:50


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

07:21


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

08:33


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

08:45


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

07:15


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

07:14


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

08:48


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

08:06


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

07:37


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

08:28


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

08:11


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

08:24


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

07:34


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

08:44


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

08:04


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

08:44


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

08:39


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

07:42


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

06:08


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

07:59


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

07:24


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

08:28


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

08:13


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

08:48


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

08:05


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

08:43


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

08:38


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

08:00


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

08:40


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

08:56


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

02:22


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

07:45


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

08:42


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

07:40


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

08:52


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

07:14


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

07:08


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

07:53


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

07:15


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

08:21


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

07:59


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

06:11


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

08:38


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

08:10


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

07:36


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

04:56


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

04:11


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

06:18


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

08:47


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

02:22


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

08:40


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

08:35


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

07:41


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

05:40


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

08:29


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

08:34


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

08:32


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

04:12


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

00:41