Though Venture says he was put in a castle, it was probably a fort. Ruins of a fort built in 1759 can be seen today. Anomabu, in Ghana, was a major port for the slave trade in the mid-1700s. During the period of trans-Atlantic slave trading, it is estimated that nearly 500,000 enslaved people were shipped from Anomabu to America and the Caribbean. Nearly a quarter of them were children like Venture.
The voyage of enslaved people from Africa to the Americas is called the Middle Passage. Venture does not describe the horrors of the frightened people chained and packed closely in the hold of the ship without enough fresh air, food, or clean water. He only mentions his survival.
Barbados was also a British colony. Large plantations there grew sugar cane and relied on thousands of enslaved Africans for labor. Most of Venture’s fellow captives were sold there. They would not long survive the harsh conditions of plantation slavery.
Newport, Rhode Island was one of the largest slave-trading ports in the American colonies in the mid-1700s.
go to next page