Causes Of Runaway Slavery

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The switch from indentured servitude to slave labor occurred because the headright system promised to pay an immigrants trip to the new world in exchange for their labor for a set period afterwards receiving freedom dues, land and supplies. However, “the colonial establishment placed restrictions on available lands, creating unrest among newly freed indentured servants” as a result, “servants moved on, forcing a need for costly replacements; slaves” Africans were stripped away from their families and boarded onto ships, in unsanitary conditions they crossed the Atlantic Ocean and those with diseases were thrown overboard. When they arrived in the United States they were sold at auctions and then went to serve their masters from whom they…show more content…
Among the motivation of slaves to run away were, “violent punishment, separation from family, and fears of being sold.” It was not uncommon for slave owners to separate families if it meant that they would acquire greater wealth by selling certain slaves. Most slaves protested these actions using passive resistance such as breaking tools, however others chose to face the danger of running away if it meant getting away from cruel masters, labor, or an uncertain future. Of all the runaway slaves, most were male, “between 1804 and 1828, for example, the Richmond Enquirer advertised 1,253 runaway slaves. Of the slaves advertised by owners and employers, 1,054, or 84.1%, were males; 174, or 13.9%, were females; and 25, or 2%, were children.” The reason behind there being more male slave runaways then females was due to the danger of running away, they had to be capable of…show more content…
The first was that they, “were to contain slaves' activities once they left the plantation or residence of their owner.” These patrollers focused their work at night making sure that the slaves were following their masters orders, where they were supposed to be. As part of their job slave patrollers were required, “to chase and interrogate slaves, and they frequently used violence in these nocturnal encounters” all this was necessary for them to prevent slaves from escaping during their few seconds of freedom when distance was created between their masters and themselves. If slaves were required by their masters to travel then they had to have passes in which the owners’ name, their destination, when they would return were listed. However, this caused conflict to arise, because writing passes for every errand was a tedious job for the slave owner therefore the method was simplified, instead they were given metal badges stating their status to wear which were renewed annually this aided slave patrollers in identifying runaway slaves. Another job possessed by slave patrollers was to, “disperse illegal slave gatherings wherever they might occur.” The white slave owners feared that the slaves would have secret meeting in which they would plan revolts, especially plantation owners who feared that slaves would sabotage plantation crops, or escapes to freedom and this paranoia was calmed by keeping them under the eye of slave
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