The Sally was not the Brown family's first foray into the transatlantic slave trade. In 1736, James and Obadiah Brown, father and uncle to the four Brown brothers, dispatched the Mary to West Africa. In 1759, Obadiah and his nephews, John and Nicholas, joined with five other investors to launch the Wheel of Fortune. The voyage proved a financial disaster, when the ship was taken by a French privateer. In this document, dated January 2, 1759, William Earle, master of the Wheel, acknowledges receipt of five small arms and a barrel of rum from John Brown, the proceeds from which he is to use to "purchess one Likely Negro Boy about 13 or 14 Years Old."