What would you do if you were John Washington?
If you stay, you will have to travel to North Carolina, far away from the Union Army. The presence of the Union Army is important because soldiers often protected slaves who ran away from their masters. But once you travel to North Carolina, you might not get the opportunity to run away again.
Running away from slavery was a dangerous business. If a runaway slave did not make it to safety, they could face severe punishment upon recapture. Though the Union Army might offer you protection, sometimes runaway slaves were turned away and forced to fend for themselves or return home. Also, by this time, John Washington had a wife to consider. If you run away you have to leave her behind, and she could be punished for your actions.
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