Runaway Slaves as the Origin of Free
Abroad Ever since abduction of African slaves from the shores of the ‘Dark Continent, there has been a struggle for the same people to find freedom until slavery was eventually abolished in the years just before 1900. The struggle for freedom has always been costly to the African slaves during the middle passage and after they had been sold to work in American and European plantations. The quickest route to freedom for the African slaves was usually attempting to run away in order to start a new life away from their masters.When slaves attempted to run away, they were pursued using rude means and hunted down like animals. Slaves were usually treated as animals.
The people that went after slaves that had run away usually did so in order that they may win the reward that was usually offered by the slave masters. The slaves’ attempts to run away from their white masters was the earliest symbol that they were human beings that desired to live in humane conditions and also the avenues through which the African slaves built the resilience that became useful for several centuries until slavery was illegal.Figure 1: Image of 1 sass Runaway Slave Named Nelson, bloodspot. Com, 12 Deck. , 1861. Web. 1 Jan.
, 2013 The poster above (fig. 1) shows the reward and conditions of recovering a run-away slave by the name of Nelson in the era before the abolishment of slavery. 100 US dollars was a good incentive for recapturing fugitive slaves in the past. For this reason, there arose a breed of people that worked in plantations as slave masters who corrected and retrieved the wayward slaves.As Americans were eager to build a nation of people that were loyal to Biblical principles, some of the major problems that the pre-dominantly male chauvinistic society faced were the run-away slaves, disobedient wives and hillier that were not loyal to the teachings of their parents (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 53). The slave masters who were usually male white supremacists at times lost run-away slaves because their children and wives were not as vigilant and as enthusiastic about keeping them in bondage. Hoffman et al.
Explains that not everybody in the society was in agreement as to the manner in which the slaves should be treated.A slave by the name of Frederick Douglass explains that when working with some Irishmen, they showed sympathy for him and even advised him that to run away from vapidity would be a valid choice (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 410). The Irishmen, who would be expected to be interested in the reward that was offered to people that brought slaves back home were more concerned with the well being of the African slave. This being the case, Douglass mind (and deductively the mind of enslaved black people in general) became receptive to the possibilities of freedom after this generous offer from strangers.Although Douglas feigned disinterest in the opportunity to escape as presented by the Irish people, he marked the possibilities in his mind and prepared for his first attempt at escaping. In 1 838, Douglass embraced the possibilities of finding freedom by first becoming a fugitive slave. The man escaped for sure as expected but it is the success that he had in escaping that was strange.
Despite that a German blacksmith noticed his activities and identity the man did not raise any alarm and let him go free (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 410).The consequences of attempting to escape from the control of their white masters did not fully deter the slaves from aspiring for a free life. The punishments for attempting to escape, other than a major whipping, were as many as the masters with plantations. One slave explains that his attempts to escape from his master caused him to be sold to a master named ‘BRB’ at a cheap and disgracing price (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 375). In a short while, the run-away slaves were no longer in need of looking for a better life; they had unions to affiliate themselves with (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 432).The opportunity to run away was sometimes facilitated by the most unlikely sources. The structure of the society in the era of slavery was mostly according to social class just as much as it was based on race.
The plain white folk were able to relate to the struggles of the slaves. These people interacted with the slaves to the point that their children and the enslaved children spoke similar dialects, worked together, played together, were involved in acts of crime and in some events they would run away together (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 65).The confidence that the common folk built with the slaves was more cohesive than the rewards that the slave masters offered to the people who captured the run-away slaves. When Aloud Equation (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 46-50) gives an account of his earliest memories from a free African man to a traded slave in the horses of the West, he recounts the horrors that he and his peers faced that warranted any man to be eager to escape. The man was even fearful that the white strange looking men were going to consume him as food.The fears that Equation had were calmed down by the observation that he made on the manner that the white servants were treated by the merchants. Although many people came into European and Western colonies as captives and laborers, it is the African people that suffered the most perils in the hands of the whites.
The Africans were also subjected to slavery for longer periods of mime (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 49). As the black people became permanent laboring elements in Western households, the manner in which they were treated continued to improve.At some point they were even treated as would be the white servants. Equation explains that the relationship that they formed with the white servants was useful to them when they tried to escape and when they attempted to strive for better lives (Hoffman, Greed and Bulb 49). Long after the activities of the original slaves had persisted for years and even after the abolishment of slavery, black people remained oppressed. At he height of slavery, the black people started to design methodological ways to escape from their captors and masters rather than running aimlessly for their freedom’s sake.The Underground Railroad was the dangerous path to freedom that the slaves of American masters, especially in the South, designed as their route to free lives (XIII).
“The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 allowed and encouraged the capture of fugitive slaves due to the fact that they were seen as stolen property, rather than abused human beings” (LICE). This was not the only worry that the people faced after they had taken to heir heels to escape the intolerable slave conditions that they had been subjected to. The environment itself was a threat to the livelihood of run- away slaves.Wild animals, tough terrain, intolerable temperatures and lack of food were all problems that the run-away slaves had to cope with as they utilized the Underground Railroad (ELLI). The black people tolerated these conditions and more with the hope that they would either be free to head home in the future Or become citizens of America in the Free states. The nature of the average escapade by slaves in America gradually morphed onto the black people’s fights for their civil rights. The conditions that the slaves had tolerated before they found freedom by right or fight was reason enough for them to forge bombard against tremendous resistance.
Freedom seekers continued to hide in remote and inaccessible areas, but over time new opportunities appeared” (Bolton l). The war for American independence presented the people with an opportunity. In his study of freedom sought by slaves in the form of flight, Bolton concludes that the different forms of aid that the escapees were granted were the reason they were generally successful in finding freedom (1 The author argues that the friends of the fugitives facilitated their escape instead of showing interest in the rewards that the system gave to those who were obstacles to slaves’ escape.At times, aid for the escaping slaves would come in the form of thieves whose only motive was selfish profit but in other cases the evidence suggests the assistance was designed to benefit the enslaved person” (Bolton 4). The suffering that the African community in the Western world was subjected to when they were slaves persisted after slavery was abolished. These people resisted in fighting for their own freedom from racism in the same manner that they fought slavery which was against all odds and with a few well- wishing individuals to aid them.