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The Blind African Slave: Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace (Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography) Hardcover – January 10, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (January 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299201406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299201401
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,780,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A unique narrative. . . . Winter should be congratulated for reconstructing Brace’s life, the circumstances of the publication of The Blind African Slave, and the strange career of Benjamin F. Prentiss."—Ira Berlin, author of Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves

"Kari Winter’s research rescues Brace from historical anonymity and places The Blind African Slave into the canon of early African American autobiography."—William L. Andrews, general editor

“[The Blind African Slave] will certainly be important to specialists in the field of transatlantic Black studies."—Vincent Carretta, editor of The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings by Olaudah Equiano

"The memoir, [first] published in 1810, is unusual among slave narratives because of the sweeping time period and geography it covers, including a rare look at slavery in New England."—Stephen Watson, The Buffalo News

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Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The biography of the slave captured in Africa in the 1700s begins with his capture and goes on to cover "his adventures in the British navy, travels, sufferings, sales, abuses, education, service in the American war [of Independence], emancipation, conversion to the christian religion, knowledge of the Scriptures, memory, and blindness." Prentiss, who wrote down the slave's story, was a Northern abolitionist. It's impossible to say how the slave Brace's story is colored by this. In the Introduction, Winter points to some known omissions. Brace's Christian faith and knowledge of the Bible seem to begin too early in his story; and with long passages from the Bible liberally and somewhat arbitrarily inserted in the text, intrude to a questionable, and certainly unnecessary, degree. Prentiss was attracted to Brace's life story because of how it could promote his abolitionist views rooted in his Christian faith. Brace was a decent person caught up in events far beyond his understanding or concern. He enlisted to fight in the Revolutionary War mainly to gain his freedom. After being freed for his service, he moved from Connecticut, where he was owned by a cruel slavemaster, to Vermont, where he continued to bear physical and financial difficulties. The facts of Brace's colorful, moving tale can be readily sifted out from Prentiss's extraneous matter--leaving a rare, memorable biography of a slave in the North, whose circumstances and options were considerably different from slaves in the South. The circumstances of Brace's capture in Africa and his time in Vermont in the last years of his life are of particular interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Three Geese In Flight Books on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A sailor grabs the African slave author's face like a man does a horse to open his mouth to look at his age by his teeth and gums. You think that is bad, Nah, try the sailor spits a wad of chewed up tobacco down his throat!Telephone bill bothering you? Nah, try cutting your hand wide open cleaning cod and then your mean ass slave master busts a hard oak chair across your back! As rough as that is to read the enjoyable opposite happens when later he joins the American Revolution (Yes the very one that won you the right to write what ever you want in a book review such as right here and now) in exchange for freedom and he is attacked on winter patrol in Hackensack New Jersey,(Yes, that New Jersey before the Sopranos) grabs the horse of the British Light Infantryman trying to shoot him and stab him escapes toward the American lines with British patrol in close pursuit. At American lines they recognize him (Yes because they recognize him for the obvious reason as the author wittily says) and the American officer yells "Dont shoot" which you know they do and the description of the musket balls going past his head, through his coat, and into the four English soldiers just about to get him! American history right in your face! Very moving. A movie is in this book, but first see the movie in your head. Read the book first written in 1810.Now reprinted for the first time. Scholarly introduction, history, notes, Photos of the 1810 First Edition, and then the text. Color does not matter here, but a heart does.
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