Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Venture Summary

For my English 2200 class, I had to read a narrative of Venture Smith.  The main character's name is Broteer. He was born in Guinea, and his father had three wives.  His mother was the eldest, and first wife of the three. Polygamy was a common practice during that time in Africa. When his father married his third wife without the permission of his first wife, she was not happy. She took her three kids, with Broteer being the oldest, and left Guinea.  His mother left him with a wealthy farmer. Broteer worked for the farmer for a while until he got attacked by two dogs. The dogs tore his flesh and wasn't able to move, that his father came to the farm to take him back home to Guinea.  Then the story mentions that he was received by both of parents on his journey home. Did his parents get back together? Did she come back home with him?  Then an army came to their village in Guinea, and ordered them to get out so they can station at their location. Broteer's father and his two younger wives rode in one company, and his eldest wife and her children in another. As they were traveling south, the whole family stopped to eat. His father created a fire which they thought was out of the army station area. The army shot bows at them until they surrendered. The army then took them to their station. The women and children were not harmed as badly as Broteer's father. He was beaten to death. The leader of the army made Broteer and the women slaves. The leader used him as a waiter, carrying his gun, and carrying a twenty-five pound flat stone used for corn on the top of his head.  The army took the who family and other innocent families to a castle until they were sold as slaves, and needed to be sent to Rhode Island. On the boat Broteer got his slave name Venture.  On board, most of the passengers that were sold had the small pox, and Venture was one of the survivors that made it to Rhode Island.  His master sent Venture to live with his sister while he was on shore.  He gave Venture keys to his trunks and told him not to give the keys to anybody, not even his family, without his permission. The master's father at one point tried to take the keys from him, and Venture would not give the keys up. His master was very impressed.  Venture's behavior to his master was submissive and obedient. Some years later he was sent outdoors to work some more.  His master started to trust him more.  As Venture got older, his master's son started to give him a big task while he was already assigned a task by his real master. When he told the son that, he got angry and tried to hit Venture with a pitchfork. He told his mother that Venture was uncontrollable. When Venture was twenty, he married a woman named Meg.  One of his friends, Heddy, had a plan to escape their master, and how they planned to travel the Mississippi. They got their things together, and stole their master's boat around midnight.  They left for New York, and ended up in East-Hampton. Heddy ran off with the boat, and took the food and clothes with him.  Venture told some of the men to look for Heddy. They eventually found him, they were all tried, and were sent to work. Venture was sent to work for another master. One day his master hit him with a club, and Venture defended himself. His master called his brother to help him, and Venture set himself free. He came to see the Justice of the Peace, to try to see if he could have him locked away for treating his slave badly.  Unfortunately the Justice of the Peace told him that if it happened again to let him know.  The master and his brother cuffed him up until he said that he would e submissive. He told them that all he wanted was to be with a new master.  He ended up working for a man in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a nicer man, and trusted Venture. Venture worked as a waiter, and worked in the cellar.  He asked his master if he could pay him for his freedom. After his hard work, which took him a couple of years, he finally made enough money to pay for his freedom.  After he obtained his freedom, he bought his two sons and wife back. He settled in Ling Island for a little bit, buying property and slaves so he could educate them.  He then moved from Long Island to Haddam, where he bought land, and boats.  He finally lived the rest of his life with his wife, and his children, along with their grandchildren.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summary of Ben Franklin Autobiography

In the first four paragraphs of Ben Franklin's autobiography, he talks about how he wanted to start a new life in America.  When he lived in England, he was very poor, and unhappy with the way he was living his life. He wanted to go to America to make a name for himself.  My question about the first four paragraphs is what kind of life was he living in England? What kind of job did he have that did not create much money for him? Was that the only reason why he moved to the New World?
In the last four paragraphs, he talks about his journey to Philadelphia. I am not sure where he was when he was sick, but I know he had a high fever.  He heard that if you drink cold water, it would make the fever go away.  He did exactly that, and he was better the next day to continue his journey on foot.  He got to the dock, and realized he was too late for a boat to Philadelphia.  A lady took him into her home and fed him a nice meal, in exchange for his printing, since he was a printer.  He also stayed with another man who also fed him generously. He made it to the ship on Tuesday, and the ship got lost. They finally found a landmark that told them they were only forty miles away from their destination. They finally made it to Philadelphia. A lesson Franklin learned from the trip was that you don't have to have a lot of money to be generous.  Those people that helped him didn't have that much money, but they still helped him because he was starving.
In the second chapter of Ben Franklin's autobiography, he goes to a bakery to buy some bread. As he was walking down the street, he saw his future father -in-law, along with his future wife. They looked at him like he had the most ridiculous appearance. He finally walked a street filled with clean looking people, and walked in and listened to a Quakers meeting.  He fell asleep during the meeting, and someone had to wake him up to tell him that the meeting was over.  He was looking for a place to stay as well, and a Quaker took him to a house on Water-Street, where he slept soundly. Then he tried to look for a job with a printer that used to e in New York, but he was not hiring. He told Franklin that another printer might be hiring across town. Franklin eventually worked for the other printer.  Franklin became a happier person living in Philadelphia. After he started to for a printer, and making more money, he finally made some acquaintances with some folks in town.
In the sixth chapter, Franklin shows letters he received from men in France saying how much of an inspiration he was to them, and how he should publish his biography.  He realized Philadelphia did not have a publishing house. There were printers, but they only made newspapers, ballads, and school books.  He took his biography to the library, and made several articles out of them. It wasn't successful at first because subscribers didn't pay that much for the articles. He also talks about his studies of religion. I am not understanding at all what he's saying about religion. Does he not go to church every Sunday? Does he only study at home? Does he think that religion is the most hated practice shown unto mankind?  What are the thirteen terms he is explaining in this chapter. I have never read the bible, so I don't know what he is saying. What is the page chart of virtues? Why is he creating the virtues on the different days? I hope someone explains to me what is going on in the last few paragraphs of this chapter.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sot-Weed Factor English 2200

I read the first forty lines of the Sot-Weed Factor by Ebenzer Cook.  According to what I read, I think it is about Ebenzer traveling to the new world from England.  He was on the ship for three months traveling to the new world, and went through a lot during that time period.  Through terrible storms and other passengers having illnesses, they all made it through those terrible months, and finally made it to the new world. I think that's what I basically read. I am somewhat confused in the beginning. "Plagues worse than fill'd Pandora's Box," what does that mean? What else was he scared of during the voyage? Why was he traveling to the new world?