Christopher Allan Black, Auburn University
Paper Title: “Captain Lynds’s Lash: Prison Slavery and the Auburn Silent System in Austin Reed’s The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict“Download
Keywords: Penal Reform, Corporal Punishment, Auburn Silent System, Elam Lynds (1784-1855), Austin Reed (1823-1895?
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2 thoughts on “2020 Virtual Conference: Christopher Allan Black”
This is a deeply thought-provoking look at an African American male’s experience of incarceration, slavery under the guise of indentured servitude, and so many other kinds of brutal oppression. What an act of resistance even to write this prison memoir. One question: How common was indentured servitude in the 1840s? Would the reason for Reed’s indenture have been unusual? Thank you!
Magnificent Source. I would be very interested in hearing more of Reed’s own reflections in his own words, and I wonder, what did he think about the fortunes of enslaved Africans who lived just a few hundred miles south of where he was encarcerated during the same time? Was prison preferable to bondage?