Through hard work and persistence Jeffrey and his wife Susan achieved a modicum of stability but also suffered profound injustice. Susan had two children from a previous marriage who were forced by powerful white people to work in their households as indentured servants. Around 1802, when neighbors attempted to force the children that Jeffrey and Susan had together into indentured servitude, the family decided to sell their farm and move to northern Vermont.
In 1810 Brace, who had gone blind, narrated his life story to Benjamin Prentiss, a white abolitionist lawyer who published it under the title The Blind African Slave. Brace died in Georgia, Vermont on April 20, 1827 and was memorialized in his old town of Poultney by a lengthy obituary that was probably written by the local newspaper’s teenaged apprentice, Horace Greeley.
Jeffrey Brace as told to Benjamin F. Prentiss, The Blind African Slave; or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace. Ed. Kari J. Winter. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005).
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