In 2009, scholars at Yale University learned of a remarkable discovery made by a private book seller at an estate sale in Rochester.
It was a memoir written by hand in a bound journal by an African American man named Austin Reed, a Rochester native believed to have been born in 1823.
His writings tell the compelling and haunting story of Reed's indentured servitude and his day-to-day existence in a juvenile detention center and later at the Auburn State Prison in the years leading up to the Civil War.
This first-person account from the 19th century is now available publicly for the first time with the release of the book The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict.
It was edited by Caleb Smith, a professor of English at Yale University.
Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview.