When Frederick Douglass is deciding whether to risk running away to freedom, he finds it hard to leave behind his friends. Many slaves, in fact, preferred to stay enslaved rather than leave their communities for a strange new place. Even though Douglass values friendship, he also wants to remind us that leaving friends behind and striking out on our own is sometimes the right decision.
In the South, friends are a problem. When Douglass tries to escape with his friends, one of them betrays the group and prevents the others from escaping. And many slaves never want to escape to the North at all, since they would have to leave their friends behind.
Even though escaped slaves have finally won their independence, ironically they are all the more in need of friends in the North. Without help, they would never be able to hold on to that hard-won freedom.