Resistance: Marronage



Kenneth Damas
Stacia Godwin
Roger Ivans
Melissa Montano
Mauricio Tellez

Enslaved people did many things to resist and escape bondage. One of the things they did was to run away from their masters. When slaves ran away they had five different options: to form their own independent societies, to assimilate into native groups, to pass off as free men, to return to the slave society because of lack of opportunity to stay free, or to die.

The larger independence societies were called Maroon societies. Formed in many parts of the New World, Maroon groups moved constantly to avoid being recaptured. Because of the size of the slave system, escaped slaves could form large self-governed groups. The places generally inhabited by maroons were areas where there was no significant aboriginal population, with enough territory and resources to support their population. These were mostly in the Southeast: the Carolina’s, Virginia and Florida.

Another option for slaves was to hide amongst the native groups. Many Native American’s would assist runaway slaves in hiding, by making them a part of their tribe.    

Some slaves, especially Mulattos, could pass off as free men, and that would be their way of escape, living in society living with other free men.

If a slave decided to go visit a family member who did not live on the plantation he/she would leave and do the same as those who could not survive in the three previous situations, which would be to return to their master(s), continuing their lives of slavery. Their last resource, other than returning, would be death.


Maroon societies were the larger independence societies.
Some slaves, especially Mulattos, could pass off as free men


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