A large-scale slave trade with English privateers was begun.  The life expectancy of slaves was much higher in North America than further south, because of less disease and better food and treatment, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of slaves.   Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery and colonies passed acts for and against the practice.   But by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were replacing indentured servants for cash crop labor, especially in southern regions. 
After the Jellicle Ball, Old Deuteronomy complains about "what happiness is", referring to Grizabella, but the Cats do not believe him, so he sends the message to Jemima (or Sillabub, depending on the production), the youngest of all Jellicles, who sings it in simpler terms ("The Moments of Happiness"). Gus — short for Asparagus — shuffles forward ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). He was once a famous actor but is now old and "suffers from palsy which makes his paws shake." He is accompanied by Jellylorum , who tells of his exploits. Gus then remembers how he once played the infamous Growltiger , the Terror of the Thames ("Growltiger's Last Stand"). He tells the story about the pirate's romance with his girlfriend, Lady Griddlebone, and how he was overtaken by the Siamese and forced to walk the plank to his death.