Family, Slavery, and Flight

It is clear that just as the enslaved were determined to gain their freedom, they also were determined to establish and preserve families. Family was central, and essential, for those who fled. Treated by owners as isolated individuals, rather than as persons who were part of kinship networks, enslaved people who fled viewed family as both a physical and psychological destination—people to return to, to be united with, or with whom they shared familial relations and responsibilities.