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As a boy Venture was captured by a group of people he describes simply as "enemies." He is smashed in the head with a rifle butt and taken into custody. Later, he watches his father tortured to death because he would not reveal the location of a cache of money he possessed. After a long journey, in which his captors engaged in several raids to capture even more slaves, the author was sold to a vessel registered in Rhode Island. He was purchased by the ships steward, who named him "Venture" because he represented a financial venture for the man. Smith relates few of the horrors of the middle passage, only mentioning briefly a "great mortality by the small pox." He arrives in Barbadoes, and is sold from there to Rhode Island. While it is clear that he has endured much before his arrival in Narragansett, he spends much more time discussing the difficulties, horrors, and indignities of slavery itself than he does his kidnapping and passage across the Atlantic.
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