Jeffery Brace, a former slave, was taken from West Africa, around 1750. He was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. Brace became the first African-American citizen, of Poultney, Vermont.
Brace was born around 1742 with the African name “Boyrereau Brinch”, in the Kingdom of Bow-Woo, West Africa. He was captured and sold into slavery around 9 years old. He was taken to the coast and placed on a slave ship for Barbados. He ended up as a young slave on a British Royal Navy ship and was later sold in Connecticut, first to a horrible man, but then to an older woman who treated him like one of her children. She made sure he received a good education and when she died, he ended up being sold to a family in Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Continental Army with the young men of that family and fought bravely in the Revolution.
As a slave sailor, he fought for the British Royal Navy, during the French and Indian War. Later, Brace would also, fight as a slave soldier, in the American Revolutionary War. He became blind in his later years.
He published his memoirs under the title The Blind African Slave or the Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace. Brace’s book, titled “The Blind African Slave,” is a very important piece of history, since it is one of the very few firsthand accounts of the slave trade that begins literally upon capture in Africa, through the middle passage across the Atlantic on a slave ship, through various owners, and culminating in freedom, marriage, owning a farm and having children. It is one of the most important slave narratives ever discovered.
Following the war, Jeffrey Brace, received his freedom, from his former master, in Connecticut. Jeffrey Brace, died on April 20, 1827, in Georgia, Vermont.