In his rare and powerful personal memoir, Jeffrey Brace, an enslaved man who won his freedom through service during the Revolutionary War, recounts his harrowing journey from slave to soldier to farmer to abolitionist. Nearly two centuries later, historian and author Dr. Kari J. Winter brought this important work back into the public consciousness when she republished the memoir, supplementing our knowledge of Brace’s life and times with original documents and new material. In her talk Reclaiming Freedom: Race, Revolution, and the American Story of Jeffrey Brace, as part of the Museum's Read the Revolution Speaker Series, Winter will recount her journey to uncover Brace’s extraordinary fight for freedom. The program will be held in the Museum’s Liberty Hall and will be broadcast live via Zoom. Following the presentation, family historian Rhonda Brace, a descendant of Jeffrey Brace, and Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson will join the conversation to reflect on Brace’s life and legacy and facilitate a live Q&A with the onsite and online audiences.
Born in West Africa around 1742, Brace was captured and sold into slavery at the age of sixteen. He later enlisted in the Continental Army in order to win his manumission. In 1784, he moved to Vermont — the first state to make slavery illegal — where he married, bought a farm, and raised a family. Although literate, he was blind when he narrated his life story to antislavery lawyer Benjamin Prentiss in 1810. His fascinating memoir virtually disappeared until Winter republished it in 2004.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for onsite guests to see a featured artifact, enjoy refreshments at a cash bar, and have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the featured book.
Health & Safety Note
Guests attending this program in person will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination upon entry. Original CDC vaccination cards, photos, or electronic copies of the card are all acceptable forms of documentation. Proof of a negative COVID test will not be accepted. For ticket holders unable to provide proof of vaccination, a livestream link will be made available. Masks will be required unless eating and drinking. Please contact the front desk at 215.253.6731 with any questions.