Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines the memoir of Jeffrey Brace (1742–1827), a black Revolutionary War veteran and emancipated slave who settled in Vermont soon after his manumission in the 1780s. Focusing on Brace’s memoir The Blind African Slave, or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace (1810)—an anti-slavery narrative transcribed by a white lawyer—I imagine the text being in conversation with ideas central to the ideological formation of the early United States. While in Vermont, Brace tried to live as a republican citizen, but he experienced very specific barriers: his children were forced into indentured servitude and his wife subjected to violence while tapping trees for maple sugar. Brace articulates a model of republican belonging that rhetorically and materially stages his freedom. Brace’s text offers possible alternatives to reframing the gendered implications of nineteenth-century African American life narratives.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9595
Print ISSN
0004-1610
Pages
pp. 23-47
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-08
Open Access
No
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