Prologue and Book 1, Part 1, Chapters 1-5
• An old mulatto beggar, Luther Sawdust, tells his story to anyone who will listen.
• Sawdust's father was a doctor on a Liverpool ship that is destined for the Atlantic Slave Trade.
• Erasmus Kemp becomes a main character whose father is involved in the building of the Ship.
• Erasmus has a love, Sarah Wolpert, who lives close by.
• A dinner party is held at which Erasmus meets with his cousin, Matthew Paris.
• Erasmus has hated Paris since the age of ten.
• Paris is a surgeon and will be aboard the Liverpool Ship.
• Erasmus' mother is very fond of Paris, and does not hide her affection, which disgusts Erasmus.
• Kemp says that Paris will always be welcome in his household.
• Kemp thinks that God is keeping track of his good deeds.
• Paris agrees to be on the Liverpool Ship.
• Kemp thinks that if...
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