The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings - Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis

By the beginning of the year 1766, Captain Farmer buys a large sloop named Nancy and Equiano is chosen as part of the crew to sail to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he sells many of his goods to Quakers. While in the city, Equiano happens upon an evangelical sermon conducted by the famous George Whitfield, and is struck at how boisterous and fevered everyone is.

They sail first to Georgia and then back to Montserrat. In their travels, the captain becomes close with a dying silversmith who promises the captain his large fortune in exchange for caring for him as he dies, and so the captain is very attentive to this man. The silversmith dies, but much to the captain and Equiano's disappointment, the silversmith has only a dollar and a half to his name, not even enough to buy a coffin.

By the return to Montserrat, Equiano has amassed forty-seven pounds from his merchant transactions. He is very eager to buy his freedom. Captain Farmer and Equiano approach Robert King (the master) and present Equiano's request and money. King is unpleasantly surprised that Equiano has made so much money so fast, stating that if he knew what Equiano was financially capable of, he would never have agreed to allow Equiano to purchase his freedom. However, at Farmer's prodding, King honors his word and allows Equiano to go to the Register Office to draw up a "manumission" or official document proclaiming the emancipation of a slave. Equiano is elated as he races to the Register Office.

The Register Office provides the manumission, and King signs it, and thus Equiano is a free man. Equiano's thoughts immediately turn to returning to England and visiting his old master Pascal whom he still has affection for. However, he feels a sense of duty to King and Captain Farmer, and so he agrees to become a paid sailor for Farmer, at least for the time being.

While on a voyage, a slave insults and strikes Equiano, forcing Equiano to retaliate by beating the slave soundly. The next day, the master of the slave approaches Equiano and demands that Equiano be flogged in town for the crime of property damage. Equiano stays on board and dares not step on land because of this threat. The slave master threatens to come on board with constables to arrest Equiano, and so Equiano hides in several places outside of town for days until the slave master's anger relents. This episode reminds him that a free black man is not the equivalent of a free white man.

On a subsequent voyage, Captain Farmer promises Equiano two bulls as part of his wages, but then breaks his word and refuses to carry them on board, leading to a bad argument. Farmer eventually placates Equiano by compelling him to carry turkeys on board instead of bulls. On this voyage, Farmer becomes very sick and is eventually bed-ridden. The first mate also comes down with a bad sickness, leaving Equiano as the man left to steer the ship, despite knowing only the basics of navigation. Equiano assures Farmer on his death bed that Farmer never did any harm to Equiano and was a kind man, and thereafter Farmer dies. All the bulls on board die, and the turkeys survive. Equiano manages to steer the ship safely into port, and he receives some acclaim for his heroics.

This section contains 570 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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