Among the millions of people enslaved in the United States before 1865, hundreds of thousands attempted to flee from those who held them in bondage.

Some left temporarily to protest mistreatment. Others sought to reunite with loved ones from whom they had been forced apart. Many simply wanted freedom.

These fugitives from American slavery often left no trace in the historical record, but we can document the flight of many of them. After all, to their white owners, enslaved people were valuable property – well worth the time, effort and resources devoted to their capture. The method most likely to produce results was enlisting other white people in the search by publicly offering a reward…. read more here