Venture did not know when he was born. He thought he was eight years old when he arrived in America. Scholars believe he was born around 1729.
Today we know it is generally disrespectful to refer to a person only by his or her first name. Enslaved people often were only allowed a first name. We do not know exactly when Venture added his last name “Smith.” This book mostly refers to Venture Smith as “Venture.” That is not out of disrespect. It is to make it easier for readers to follow the story.