Search

Austin Reed, The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison

The life and the adventures of a haunted convict..., circa 1858.

In his memoir, written around 1859, Austin Reed attributes the wayward course of his life to the tragic loss of his father at the age of six. Reed recounts his experiences at the New York House of Refuge, the first juvenile reformatory in the United States, and later in New York’s Auburn State Prison. Reed provides a wealth of vivid detail about his incarceration at Auburn, including a description of the horizontal black-and-white striped uniform which originated at the prison: “streaked clothes of shame and disgrace.” Released from Auburn on May 1, 1842, he was reincarcerated there before the close of the year, “I return’d home and committed a crime wich brought me back to a gloomy prison.” This unparalleled narrative is a unique resource documenting the lives of African-American prisoners in antebellum America. Born circa 1823 in Rochester, New York, Austin Reed wrote under the pseudonym "Rob. Reed."

African Americana
American Literature
Call Numbers
JWJ MSS 71
Citations
Austin Reed, The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Contact

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
Campus Map

Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

USPS: Mailing Address and Information

email: Ask a Librarian

 

    Instagram

Hours

The exhibition gallery is closed while the library's building is under renovation.

Temporary Reading Room Hours 
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm

The temporary reading room is located in Yale's Sterling Memorial Library, across Wall Street from the Beinecke.

Beginnig September 1, 2016 our hours will be

Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 5

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule