When slave revolts and runaway slaves are depicted as part of an heroic struggle against slavery, it obscures the real reasons why institution of slavery found so much widespread use and support in the United States.
The system of Slavery lasted as long as it did in the United States because the leaders of the majority community did not find it morally reprehensible enough to put an end to it. The leaders of the Anti-Slavery North understood that they gained a lot of economic benefit from Slavery and they were willing to tolerate slavery in the pro-Slavery South as long as they continued to profit from it. Even the struggles of the brave freed slaves such as Harriet A. Jacobs, only contributed to the end of slavery to the extent that their speeches and their examples served to convince the upper class whites to put an end to slavery. Even the struggle of militant abolitionists can only be credited with the of ending slavery to the extent that their activities resulted in the worsening of the relationship between the slave-owning South and the anti-Slavery North of the country and contributed to the end of the cozy economic relationships between the upper class in both sections of the country which had prevented the upper class of the North from active intervention to end slavery in the South.
 Miller, J. C. The wolf by the ears: Thomas Jefferson and slavery. New York, NY: New American Library, 1980.