NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- Yale University says an 1858 manuscript it acquired is the earliest known prison memoir written by an African-American.
The book-length manuscript is titled "The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict" and was written under the name Robert Reed. It describes the author's experiences while incarcerated in New York from the 1830s through the 1850s.
It was acquired by Yale's Beinecke (BY'-nuh-kee) Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2009.
Yale says English and American studies professor Caleb Smith authenticated the manuscript and identified its author as Austin Reed, a free black man who was born in upstate New York.
Yale says Reed's account aimed to expose the brutal punishments at the prison. The punishments included whippings and something called shower baths, similar to the simulated drowning technique water-boarding.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.