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Re: Runaway Slaves...
In Response To: Re: Runaway Slaves... ()

50,000 slaves via the underground railroad? Nobody has a real number and official records and newspapers put in under 10,000.

"It's estimated that at its height between 1810 and 1850, between 30,000 and 100,000 people escaped enslavement via the Underground Railroad, though U.S. Census figures only account for 6,000."

William Still, the father of the "Underground Railroad" said he helped 60 slaves a month escape to freedom, and recorded each escape. But his records account for only 649 people, that's less than a years worth of escapees. I cannot imagine he only worked only for eleven months in his "Underground Railroad". If he worked for ten years that would be about 5 slaves a month.

Running North was not the common method of running away, it was the extreme method. Most that ran away did so to punish the master or help themselves, or to experience freedom for a short while.

Runaways knew that the best way not to be sold was to "runaway". A runner decreased in value each time he took off, assuring that he could not be sold and would stay in one place. Another reason was to make his life better, punishment by the whip was assured, but they ran anyway, his master having to make adjustments for his slaves lives to keep them on the plantation.

One other point. Slave stealing probaby took more slaves from masters than the slaves themselves. Many "runaways" were "takeaways".

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David Upton

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