Runaway Journeys
Many Reasons to Leave
The Peaks of Migration
Profile of the Fugitives
Escape to Cities and Towns
Maroon Communities
Going South and West
Up North
Canada, the Promised Land
The Civil War
The Consequences of the Migration

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Many Reasons to Leave >

From the beginnings of slavery until the Civil War, countless numbers of African Americans attempted to make or succeeded in making their way to freedom. It was during the nineteenth century, however, that the migration of runaways within the United States and to Canada and Mexico became widespread. It is estimated that at least 50,000 men, women and children ran away each year and among them a few thousand made it to freedom.

A few fugitives became prominent abolitionists who wrote autobiographies, thus contributing to a unique American literary genre, the Slave Narrative. At enormous risk, many others helped their families and friends and even strangers, secure their own freedom.

The Migration of Fugitive Slaves Within the United States and              to CanadaThe Migration of Fugitive Slaves Within the United States and to Canada by Loren Schweninger, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Many Reasons to Leave >