Venture Smith (1729-1805) was an African captive brought to the American colonies as a child. His history was documented when he gave a narrative of his life to a schoolteacher, who wrote it down and published it under the title "A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa: But Resident above Sixty Years in the United States of America, Related by Himself." Venture Smith was born Broteer Furro in a place he recalls as Dukandarra in "Guinea"--a term that at the time referred to much of West Africa. Clues in the narrative make it clear that he was from the savannah region-and the fact that he was sold at the seaport of Anomabu, in modern Ghana, suggests that he was probably originally from somewhere in modern Ghana, Togo, or Benin. He was the son of a prince who had several wives. As a young child he was kidnapped by a tribe of Africans who were employed by slave dealers. The young boy was purchased by Robertson Mumford for four gallons of rum and a piece of calico. Mumford decided to call him Venture because he considered purchasing him to be a business venture. Venture's ship then set sail for the island of Barbados. Later in his life, Venture managed to earn enough money on the side to buy first his own freedom, then that of his wife and children. "A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture" is his inspiring story.
A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Ventureby Venture Smith
"[...]themselves against such a formidable train of invaders, and must therefore necessarily evacuate their lands to the fierce enemy, and fly to the protection of some chief; and that if he would permit them they should come under his rule and protection when they had to retreat from their own possessions. He was a kind and merciful prince, and therefore consented to these proposals.
He had scarcely returned to his nation with the message, before the whole of his people were obliged to retreat from their country, and come to my fathers dominions.[...]".
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