Anthony Burns was just one of thousands of slaves who ran away. One of the most powerful statements of resistance, running away was incredibly difficult to accomplish. The challenges of remaining undetected, finding food, and making your way to freedom meant that many never attempted it. Additionally, many chose not to run away because they did not want to leave family behind. Federal laws aided slave owners in the recovery of runaways, and became stronger with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.