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Garrison Publishes the Liberator - History

Garrison Publishes the Liberator - History

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On January 31, 1831, William Lloyd Garrison published the first issue of The Liberator. This newspaper was dedicated to ending slavery immediately. The abolitionists played an important role in developing opposition to slavery.

William Lloyd Garrison was the product of a religious home. He was an apprentice at a Quaker anti-slavery newspaper, The Genesis of Universal Emancipation, which called for the gradual end of slavery. Garrison went on to found his own paper, called The Liberator. Garrison wrote regarding slavery: "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak or write with moderation. I am in earnest. I will not equivocate- I will not excuse and I will be heard."

In 1833, Garrison joined Lewis Tappan and Theodore Wel to establish a national organization dedicated to the abolition of slavery, called "The American Anti-Slavery Society." The society soon went on to unofficially sponsor the "underground railroad" of runaway slaves.

Opposition to the actions of Garrison's organization was strong. In 1837, abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy was murdered as he tried to protect his press from anti-abolitionists in Alton, Illinois. In 1853, a Boston mob seized Garrison and paraded him around the streets with a noose around his neck. That same year, another mob burned down the organization's headquarters in Philadelphia.

The abolitionists themselves were often divided on the best means of achieving their ends. The split between radicals and moderates continued to deepen; and finally. in 1840, a split over womens' rights brought the American Anti-Slavery Society to an effective end

William Lloyd Garrison for APUSH

/>About the Author: Warren Hierl taught Advanced Placement U.S. History for twenty-eight years. He has conducted 250+ AP US History workshops for teachers. He was a member of the committee that wrote the original Advanced Placement Social Studies Vertical Teams Guide and the Advanced Placement U.S. History Teachers Guide. He has been a reader, a table leader, and, for the past eight years, the question leader on the DBQ at the AP U.S. History reading.

In other words- Mr. Hierl grades the essays you will write for the APUSH exam.


Garrison was born on December 10, 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, [2] the son of immigrants from the British colony of New Brunswick, in present-day Canada. Under An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, his father Abijah Garrison, a merchant sailing pilot and master, had obtained American papers and moved his family to Newburyport in 1806. The U.S. Embargo Act of 1807, intended to injure Great Britain, caused a decline in American commercial shipping. The elder Garrison became unemployed and deserted the family in 1808. Garrison's mother was Frances Maria Lloyd, reported to have been tall, charming, and of a strong religious character. She started referring to their son William as Lloyd, his middle name, to preserve her family name he later printed his name as "Wm. Lloyd". She died in 1823, in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. [3]

Garrison sold homemade lemonade and candy as a youth, and also delivered wood to help support the family. In 1818, at 13, Garrison began working as an apprentice compositor for the Newburyport Herald. He soon began writing articles, often under the pseudonym Aristides. (Aristides was an Athenian statesman and general, nicknamed "the Just".) He could write as he typeset his writing, without the need for paper. After his apprenticeship ended, Garrison became the sole owner, editor, and printer of the Newburyport Free Press, acquiring the rights from his friend Isaac Knapp, who had also apprenticed at the Herald. One of their regular contributors was poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. In this early work as a small-town newspaper writer, Garrison acquired skills he would later use as a nationally known writer, speaker, and newspaper publisher. In 1828, he was appointed editor of the National Philanthropist in Boston, Massachusetts, the first American journal to promote legally-mandated temperance.

He became involved in the anti-slavery movement in the 1820s, and over time he rejected both the American Colonization Society and the gradualist views of most others involved in the movement. Garrison co-founded The Liberator to espouse his abolitionist views, and in 1832 he organized out of its readers the New-England Anti-Slavery Society. This society expanded into the American Anti-Slavery Society, which espoused the position that slavery should be immediately abolished.

Reformer Edit

At the age of 25, Garrison joined the anti-slavery movement, later crediting the 1826 book of Presbyterian Reverend John Rankin, Letters on Slavery, for attracting him to the cause. [4] For a brief time, he became associated with the American Colonization Society, an organization that promoted the "resettlement" of free blacks to a territory (now known as Liberia) on the west coast of Africa. Although some members of the society encouraged granting freedom to slaves, others considered relocation a means to reduce the number of already free blacks in the United States. Southern members thought reducing the threat of free blacks in society would help preserve the institution of slavery. By late 1829–1830, "Garrison rejected colonization, publicly apologized for his error, and then, as was typical of him, he censured all who were committed to it." [5] He stated that this opinion was shaped by fellow abolitionist William J. Watkins, a Black educator and anti-colonizationist. [6]

Genius of Universal Emancipation Edit

In 1829, Garrison began writing for and became co-editor with Benjamin Lundy of the Quaker newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation, published at that time in Baltimore, Maryland. With his experience as a printer and newspaper editor, Garrison changed the layout of the paper and handled other production issues. Lundy was freed to spend more time touring as an anti-slavery speaker. Garrison initially shared Lundy's gradualist views, but while working for the Genius, he became convinced of the need to demand immediate and complete emancipation. Lundy and Garrison continued to work together on the paper despite their differing views. Each signed his editorials.

Garrison introduced "The Black List," a column devoted to printing short reports of "the barbarities of slavery—kidnappings, whippings, murders." [7] For instance, Garrison reported that Francis Todd, a shipper from Garrison's home town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, was involved in the domestic slave trade, and that he had recently had slaves shipped from Baltimore to New Orleans in the coastwise trade on his ship the Francis. (This was completely legal. An expanded domestic trade, "breeding" slaves in Maryland and Virginia for shipment south, replaced the importation of African slaves, prohibited in 1808 see Slavery in the United States#Slave trade.)

Todd filed a suit for libel in Maryland against both Garrison and Lundy he thought to gain support from pro-slavery courts. The state of Maryland also brought criminal charges [ clarification needed ] against Garrison, quickly finding him guilty and ordering him to pay a fine of $50 and court costs. (Charges against Lundy were dropped because he had been traveling when the story was printed.) Garrison refused to pay the fine and was sentenced to a jail term of six months. [8] He was released after seven weeks when the anti-slavery philanthropist Arthur Tappan paid his fine. Garrison decided to leave Maryland, and he and Lundy amicably parted ways.

Against "colonization" Edit

From the eighteenth century, there had been proposals to send freed slaves to Africa, considered as if it were a single country and ethnicity, where the slaves presumably "wanted to go back to". The U. S. Congress appropriated money, and a variety of churches and philanthropic organizations contributed to the endeavor. Slaves set free in the District of Columbia in 1862 were offered $100 if they would emigrate to Haiti or Liberia. The American Colonization Society eventually succeeded in creating the "colony", then country, of Liberia. The legal status of Liberia before its independence was never clarified it was not a colony in the sense that Rhode Island or Pennsylvania had been colonies. When Liberia declared its independence in 1847, no country recognized it at first. Recognition by the United States was impeded by the Southerners who controlled Congress. When they departed en masse for the Confederacy, recognition quickly followed (1862), just as Kansas was admitted as a free state and slavery was prohibited in the District of Columbia at almost the same time—both measures, the latter discussed for decades, that the Southern Slave Power contingent had blocked.

The Liberator Edit

In 1831, Garrison, fully aware of the press as a means to bring about political change, [9] : 750 returned to New England, where he co-founded a weekly anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, with his friend Isaac Knapp. [10] In the first issue, Garrison stated:

In Park-Street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this moment to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice, and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September 1829. My conscience is now satisfied. I am aware that many object to the severity of my language but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen—but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and to hasten the resurrection of the dead. [11]

Paid subscriptions to The Liberator were always fewer than its circulation. In 1834 it had two thousand subscribers, three-fourths of whom were black people. Benefactors paid to have the newspaper distributed free of charge to state legislators, governor's mansions, Congress, and the White House. Although Garrison rejected violence as a means for ending slavery, his critics saw him as a dangerous fanatic because he demanded immediate and total emancipation, without compensation to the slave owners. Nat Turner's slave rebellion in Virginia just seven months after The Liberator started publication fueled the outcry against Garrison in the South. A North Carolina grand jury indicted him for distributing incendiary material, and the Georgia Legislature offered a $5,000 reward (equivalent to $129,617 in 2020) for his capture and conveyance to the state for trial. [12] [13]

Among the anti-slavery essays and poems which Garrison published in The Liberator was an article in 1856 by a 14-year-old Anna Dickinson.

The Liberator gradually gained a large following in the Northern states. It printed or reprinted many reports, letters, and news stories, serving as a type of community bulletin board for the abolition movement. By 1861 it had subscribers across the North, as well as in England, Scotland, and Canada. After the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment, Garrison published the last issue (number 1,820) on December 29, 1865, writing a "Valedictory" column. After reviewing his long career in journalism and the cause of abolitionism, he wrote:

The object for which the Liberator was commenced—the extermination of chattel slavery—having been gloriously consummated, it seems to be especially appropriate to let its existence cover the historic period of the great struggle leaving what remains to be done to complete the work of emancipation to other instrumentalities, (of which I hope to avail myself,) under new auspices, with more abundant means, and with millions instead of hundreds for allies. [14]

Garrison and Knapp, printers and publishers Edit

Organization and reaction Edit

In addition to publishing The Liberator, Garrison spearheaded the organization of a new movement to demand the total abolition of slavery in the United States. By January 1832, he had attracted enough followers to organize the New-England Anti-Slavery Society which, by the following summer, had dozens of affiliates and several thousand members. In December 1833, abolitionists from ten states founded the American Anti-Slavery Society (AAS). Although the New England society reorganized in 1835 as the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, enabling state societies to form in the other New England states, it remained the hub of anti-slavery agitation throughout the antebellum period. Many affiliates were organized by women who responded to Garrison's appeals for women to take an active part in the abolition movement. The largest of these was the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, which raised funds to support The Liberator, publish anti-slavery pamphlets, and conduct anti-slavery petition drives.

The purpose of the American Anti-Slavery Society was the conversion of all Americans to the philosophy that "Slaveholding is a heinous crime in the sight of God" and that "duty, safety, and best interests of all concerned, require its immediate abandonment without expatriation." [15]

Meanwhile, on September 4, 1834, Garrison married Helen Eliza Benson (1811–1876), the daughter of a retired abolitionist merchant. The couple had five sons and two daughters, of whom a son and a daughter died as children.

The threat posed by anti-slavery organizations and their activity drew violent reactions from slave interests in both the Southern and Northern states, with mobs breaking up anti-slavery meetings, assaulting lecturers, ransacking anti-slavery offices, burning postal sacks of anti-slavery pamphlets, and destroying anti-slavery presses. Healthy bounties were offered in Southern states for the capture of Garrison, "dead or alive". [16]

On October 21, 1835, "an assemblage of fifteen hundred or two thousand highly respectable gentlemen", as they were described in the Boston Commercial Gazette, surrounded the building housing Boston's anti-slavery offices, where Garrison had agreed to address a meeting of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society after the fiery British abolitionist George Thompson was unable to keep his engagement with them. Mayor Theodore Lyman persuaded the women to leave the building, but when the mob learned that Thompson was not within, they began yelling for Garrison. Lyman was a staunch anti-abolitionist but wanted to avoid bloodshed and suggested Garrison escape by a back window while Lyman told the crowd Garrison was gone. [17] The mob spotted and apprehended Garrison, tied a rope around his waist, and pulled him through the streets towards Boston Common, calling for tar and feathers. The mayor intervened and had Garrison was taken to the Leverett Street Jail for protection. [18]

Gallows were erected in front of his house, and he was burned in effigy. [19] : 71–72

The woman question and division Edit

Garrison's appeal for women's mass petitioning against slavery sparked controversy over women's right to a political voice. In 1837, women abolitionists from seven states convened in New York to expand their petitioning efforts and repudiate the social mores that proscribed their participation in public affairs. That summer, sisters Angelina Grimké and Sarah Grimké responded to the controversy aroused by their public speaking with treatises on woman's rights—Angelina's "Letters to Catherine E. Beecher" [20] and Sarah's "Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and Condition of Woman" [21] —and Garrison published them first in The Liberator and then in book form. Instead of surrendering to appeals for him to retreat on the "woman question," Garrison announced in December 1837 that The Liberator would support "the rights of woman to their utmost extent." The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society appointed women to leadership positions and hired Abby Kelley as the first of several female field agents.

In 1840, Garrison's promotion of woman's rights within the anti-slavery movement was one of the issues that caused some abolitionists, including New York brothers Arthur Tappan and Lewis Tappan, to leave the AAS and form the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which did not admit women. In June of that same year, when the World Anti-Slavery Convention meeting in London refused to seat America's women delegates, Garrison, Charles Lenox Remond, Nathaniel P. Rogers, and William Adams [22] refused to take their seat as delegates as well and joined the women in the spectator's gallery. The controversy introduced the woman's rights question not only to England but also to future woman's rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who attended the convention as a spectator, accompanying her delegate-husband, Henry B. Stanton.

Although Henry Stanton had cooperated in the Tappan's' failed attempt to wrest leadership of the AAS from Garrison, he was part of another group of abolitionists unhappy with Garrison's influence — those who disagreed with Garrison's insistence that because the U.S. Constitution was a pro-slavery document, abolitionists should not participate in politics and government. A growing number of abolitionists, including Stanton, Gerrit Smith, Charles Turner Torrey, and Amos A. Phelps, wanted to form an anti-slavery political party and seek a political solution to slavery. They withdrew from the AAS in 1840, formed the Liberty Party, and nominated James G. Birney for president. By the end of 1840, Garrison announced the formation of a third new organization, the Friends of Universal Reform, with sponsors and founding members including prominent reformers Maria Chapman, Abby Kelley Foster, Oliver Johnson, and Amos Bronson Alcott (father of Louisa May Alcott). [ citation needed ]

Although some members of the Liberty Party supported woman's rights, including women's suffrage, Garrison's Liberator continued to be the leading advocate of woman's rights throughout the 1840s, publishing editorials, speeches, legislative reports, and other developments concerning the subject. In February 1849, Garrison's name headed the women's suffrage petition sent to the Massachusetts legislature, the first such petition sent to any American legislature, and he supported the subsequent annual suffrage petition campaigns organized by Lucy Stone and Wendell Phillips. Garrison took a leading role in the May 30, 1850, meeting that called the first National Woman's Rights Convention, saying in his address to that meeting that the new movement should make securing the ballot to women its primary goal. [23] At the national convention held in Worcester the following October, Garrison was appointed to the National Woman's Rights Central Committee, which served as the movement's executive committee, charged with carrying out programs adopted by the conventions, raising funds, printing proceedings and tracts, and organizing annual conventions. [24]

Controversy Edit

In 1849, Garrison became involved in one of Boston's most notable trials of the time. Washington Goode, a black seaman, had been sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow black mariner, Thomas Harding. In The Liberator Garrison argued that the verdict relied on "circumstantial evidence of the most flimsy character . " and feared that the determination of the government to uphold its decision to execute Goode was based on race. As all other death sentences since 1836 in Boston had been commuted, Garrison concluded that Goode would be the last person executed in Boston for a capital offense writing, "Let it not be said that the last man Massachusetts bore to hang was a colored man!" [25] Despite the efforts of Garrison and many other prominent figures of the time, Goode was hanged on May 25, 1849.

Garrison became famous as one of the most articulate, as well as most radical, opponents of slavery. His approach to emancipation stressed "moral suasion," non-violence, and passive resistance. While some other abolitionists of the time favored gradual emancipation, Garrison argued for the "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves." On July 4, 1854, he publicly burned a copy of the Constitution, condemning it as "a Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Hell," referring to the compromise that had written slavery into the Constitution. [26]

[27] In 1855, his eight-year alliance with Frederick Douglass disintegrated when Douglass converted to classical liberal legal theorist and abolitionist Lysander Spooner's view (dominant among political abolitionists) that the Constitution could be interpreted as being anti-slavery. [28]

The events in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, followed by Brown's trial and execution, were closely followed in The Liberator. Garrison had Brown's last speech, in court, printed as a broadside, available in the Liberator office.

Garrison's outspoken anti-slavery views repeatedly put him in danger. Besides his imprisonment in Baltimore and the price placed on his head by the state of Georgia, he was the object of vituperation and frequent death threats. [29] On the eve of the Civil War, a sermon preached in a Universalist chapel in Brooklyn, New York, denounced "the bloodthirsty sentiments of Garrison and his school and did not wonder that the feeling of the South was exasperated, taking as they did, the insane and bloody ravings of the Garrisonian traitors for the fairly expressed opinions of the North." [30]

After abolition Edit

After the United States abolished slavery, Garrison announced in May 1865 that he would resign the presidency of the American Anti-Slavery Society and offered a resolution declaring victory in the struggle against slavery and dissolving the society. The resolution prompted a sharp debate, however, led by his long-time friend Wendell Phillips, who argued that the mission of the AAS was not fully completed until black Southerners gained full political and civil equality. Garrison maintained that while complete civil equality was vitally important, the special task of the AAS was at an end, and that the new task would best be handled by new organizations and new leadership. With his long-time allies deeply divided, however, he was unable to muster the support he needed to carry the resolution, and it was defeated 118–48. Declaring that his "vocation as an Abolitionist, thank God, has ended," Garrison resigned the presidency and declined an appeal to continue. Returning home to Boston, he withdrew completely from the AAS and ended publication of The Liberator at the end of 1865. With Wendell Phillips at its head, the AAS continued to operate for five more years, until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granted voting rights to black men. (According to Henry Mayer, Garrison was hurt by the rejection, and remained peeved for years "as the cycle came around, always managed to tell someone that he was not going to the next set of [AAS] meetings" [594].) [ citation needed ]

After his withdrawal from AAS and ending The Liberator, Garrison continued to participate in public reform movements. He supported the causes of civil rights for blacks and woman's rights, particularly the campaign for suffrage. He contributed columns on Reconstruction and civil rights for The Independent and The Boston Journal. [ citation needed ]

In 1870, he became an associate editor of the women's suffrage newspaper, the Woman's Journal, along with Mary Livermore, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Lucy Stone, and Henry B. Blackwell. He served as president of both the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) and the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. He was a major figure in New England's woman suffrage campaigns during the 1870s. [31]

In 1873, he healed his long estrangements from Frederick Douglass and Wendell Phillips, affectionately reuniting with them on the platform at an AWSA rally organized by Abby Kelly Foster and Lucy Stone on the one-hundredth anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. [32] When Charles Sumner died in 1874, some Republicans suggested Garrison as a possible successor to his Senate seat Garrison declined on grounds of his moral opposition to taking office. [33]

Garrison spent more time at home with his family. He wrote weekly letters to his children and cared for his increasingly ill wife, Helen. She had suffered a small stroke on December 30, 1863, and was increasingly confined to the house. Helen died on January 25, 1876, after a severe cold worsened into pneumonia. A quiet funeral was held in the Garrison home. Garrison, overcome with grief and confined to his bedroom with a fever and severe bronchitis, was unable to join the service. Wendell Phillips gave a eulogy and many of Garrison's old abolitionist friends joined him upstairs to offer their private condolences. [ citation needed ]

Garrison recovered slowly from the loss of his wife and began to attend Spiritualist circles in the hope of communicating with Helen. [34] Garrison last visited England in 1877, where he met with George Thompson and other longtime friends from the British abolitionist movement. [35]

Suffering from kidney disease, Garrison continued to weaken during April 1879. He moved to New York to live with his daughter Fanny's family. In late May, his condition worsened, and his five surviving children rushed to join him. Fanny asked if he would enjoy singing some hymns. Although he was unable to sing, his children sang favorite hymns while he beat time with his hands and feet. On May 24, 1879, Garrison lost consciousness and died just before midnight. [36]

Garrison was buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood on May 28, 1879. At the public memorial service, eulogies were given by Theodore Dwight Weld and Wendell Phillips. Eight abolitionist friends, both white and black, served as his pallbearers. Flags were flown at half-staff all across Boston. [37] Frederick Douglass, then employed as a United States Marshal, spoke in memory of Garrison at a memorial service in a church in Washington, D.C., saying, "It was the glory of this man that he could stand alone with the truth, and calmly await the result." [38]

Garrison's namesake son, William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. (1838–1909), was a prominent advocate of the single tax, free trade, women's suffrage, and of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. His second son, Wendell Phillips Garrison (1840–1907), was literary editor of The Nation from 1865 to 1906. Two other sons (George Thompson Garrison and Francis Jackson Garrison, his biographer and named after abolitionist Francis Jackson) and a daughter, Helen Frances Garrison (who married Henry Villard), survived him. Fanny's son Oswald Garrison Villard became a prominent journalist, a founding member of the NAACP, and wrote an important biography of the abolitionist John Brown.

Leo Tolstoy was greatly influenced by the works of Garrison and his contemporary Adin Ballou, as their writings on Christian anarchism aligned with Tolstoy's burgeoning theo-political ideology. Along with Tolstoy publishing a short biography of Garrison in 1904, he frequently cited Garrison and his works in his non-fiction texts like The Kingdom of God Is Within You. In a recent publication, American philosopher and anarchist Crispin Sartwell wrote that the works by Garrison and his other Christian anarchist contemporaries like Ballou directly influenced Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., as well. [39]

William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison, one of the most prominent white abolitionists before the Civil War, published The Liberator and shaped the debates that guided the anti-slavery movement. Garrison was held at Leverett Street Jail in the old West End for his own safety during one harrowing case of mob violence.

A young Garrison by Nathaniel Jocelyn

William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 10, 1805 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was born to a merchant sailor who deserted the family in 1808 after his livelihood was severely restricted by the Embargo Act of 1807. William had to work at a very young age, delivering wood or selling candy, but by the age of 11 he started an apprenticeship as editor and writer for the Newburyport Herald. Garrison continued in the newspaper business as editor of National Philanthropist in Boston, and joined the abolitionist movement in 1829 by co-editing the Genius of Universal Emancipation in Baltimore, Maryland. Between 1829 and June 1830, Garrison actually served jail time for libel because of his published criticism of a Newburyport merchant invested in the slave trade. Garrison joined the abolitionist movement after having previously joined the American Colonization Society in 1825. The American Colonization Society sought to raise money for free Black Americans to move to Liberia, a new territory in West Africa, in lieu of ever becoming full-fledged American citizens. Garrison repudiated the American Colonization Society by 1830 after coming to the understanding that Black people belonged in American society and deserved equal rights. On January 1, 1831, Garrison released the first issue of his own publication, The Liberator , and conveyed his firm moral commitment to abolition by stating that “I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation….I will not retreat a single inch–AND I WILL BE HEARD.” Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832, and soon helped create the American Anti-Slavey Society in 1833.

In 1835, Garrison was held at the Leverett Street Jail in the West End for his personal protection. A violent mob broke up a meeting at the offices of The Liberator , where Garrison spoke to the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. As Garrison arrived at the offices to speak, the mob was already forming and soon broke in the doors. After the mob caught Garrison and threw epithets at him, potentially giving Garrison a physical beating, Boston’s police arrived and took Garrison into custody at Leverett Street Jail. There were many cases of violence by angry mobs against abolitionists during the 1830s, such as in New York and Illinois. The West End Museum previously covered the “Garrison mob” and the abolitionist’s connection to the West End in an exhibit, “Lords of the Loom.”

Garrison is often known for his intense disagreement with Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1851. Douglass argued that the Constitution was a vehicle for ending slavery, but Garrison was immensely critical of Douglass’s pro-Constitution position. Douglass originally agreed with Garrison that the Constitution was inherently connected to the maintenance of slavery, because of the many pro-slavery compromises baked into the Constitutional Convention in 1787. But Douglass later believed that the Constitution could be reinterpreted, despite the intentions of its framers, for the anti-slavery cause. Both Garrison and Douglass would support Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency in 1861, and the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Garrison published the final issue of The Liberator in December 1865, and retired from public life until his death in May 24, 1879.

Statue of Garrison on Commonwealth Ave.

Prepared by Adam Tomasi Sourced by Encyclopedia Britannica PBS Finkelman, “Frederick Douglass’s Constitution: From Garrisonian Abolitionist to Lincoln Republican” West End Museum

Well-received since its release, Netflix’s “The Liberator” made history by becoming the first big market series to employ an animated technology known as Trioscope, a cost-effective blend of live-action and CGI animation that provided the show’s creator Jeb Stuart (“Die Hard,” “The Fugitive”) the flexibility to sculpt …

Polaris sits almost perfectly directly over the Earth’s northern axis, it is only off by 0.75 % so to the naked eye appears stationary in the sky in spite of the Earth’s rotation. This can make it seem brighter because it is so easy to find by looking in the same place.

William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison began publication of The Liberator, the premier antislavery newspaper in Boston and the United States. While he played a central role in the antebellum abolitionist movement here, Garrison&rsquos efforts were only part of a larger&mdashsometimes uneasy&mdashalliance of black and white Bostonians in a crusade for freedom and equality that already was underway when The Liberator first appeared. Even in the &ldquocradle of liberty,&rdquo abolitionists faced the hostility of fellow citizens who did not share their egalitarian ideals, or thought that antislavery agitation would lead to civil war.

The Liberator commenced January 1st 1831, Garrison antislavery banner
Cotton, paint, silk fringe, 1843 William Lloyd Garrison
Marble bust by Anne Whitney, 1878 William Lloyd Garrison
Photomechanical Imposing stone for The Liberator
Pine, iron, [circa 1840] The Liberator (first issue)

What was the impact of the Liberator?

The Liberator, weekly newspaper of abolitionist crusader William Lloyd Garrison for 35 years (January 1, 1831&ndashDecember 29, 1865). It was the most influential antislavery periodical in the pre-Civil War period of U.S. history.

Secondly, what was the liberator in Frederick Douglass? Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass The Liberator. The Liberator was an abolitionist newspaper founded in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison in 183. Garrison published the four-page newspaper out of Boston for 35 years, never missing an issue.

People also ask, what did the Liberator say?

On January 1, 1831 the first issue of The Liberator appeared with the motto: &ldquoOur country is the world&mdashour countrymen are mankind.&rdquo Garrison was a journalistic crusader who advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves and gained a national reputation for being one of the most radical of American abolitionists.

How did William Lloyd Garrison change the nature of the antislavery movement?

He called for the immediate abolition of slavery and a commitment to racial justice. The use of violence by slaves to secure their freedom from white masters.

Helen Benson Garrison

While her husband got all the glory, Helen Benson Garrison was an abolitionist in her own right. She raised funds for the American Anti-Slavery Society in many ways, particularly as a manager of the annual Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar.

Helen Benson was born on February 23, 1811 in Providence, Rhode Island to George and Sarah Thurber Benson. At the June session of the General Assembly, in 1790, an “Act to incorporate certain Persons by the Name of the Providence Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, for the Relief of Persons unlawfully held in Bondage, and for improving the Condition of the African Race” was passed. Helen’s father, George Benson, became an active member of that society.

During his residence in Providence, Benson frequently sheltered slaves who were being pursued by slave traders or hunters. In the spring of 1824 he moved his family to Brooklyn, Connecticut, where he had purchased a farm near the center of the village. There, her father became president of the Windham County Peace Society, of which Samuel Sewell was secretary.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) was an abolitionist leader who gained national prominence as an advocate of the immediate abolition of slavery. In 1830 Garrison was invited by Samuel May, his brother-in-law Bronson Alcott (father of Louisa May Alcott) and their cousin Samuel Sewell to lecture against slavery at a Connecticut church. In the audience was the lovely 19-year-old Helen Eliza Benson.

Benson and Garrison were introduced by mutual friends, and soon found they shared not only a profound belief in radical politics but also a deep mutual attraction. According to Garrison, “If it was not ‘love at first sight’ on my part, it was something very like it – a magnetic influence being exerted which became irresistible on further acquaintance.”

On January 1, 1831, Garrison published the first issue of The Liberator, in which he took an uncompromising stand for immediate and complete abolition of slavery in the United States. The paper became famous for its startling language. By January 1832, he had attracted enough followers to organize the New England Anti-Slavery Society which soon had dozens of affiliates and several thousand members.

In December 1833, Garrison and Arthur Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society (AAS). The society’s activities frequently met with violence – mobs invaded meetings, attacked speakers and burned abolionist presses. In the mid-1830s, slavery had become so economically involved in the United States that getting rid of it would cause a major blow to the economy, especially in the South.

Many AAS affiliates were organized by women who responded to Garrison’s appeals for women to take active part in the abolitionist movement. The largest of these was the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, which raised funds to support The Liberator, publish anti-slavery pamphlets and conduct anti-slavery petition drives.

Marriage and Family
Helen Eliza Benson married William Lloyd Garrison on September 4, 1834. The couple had five sons and two daughters – a son and a daughter did not survive childhood. Their friend Rev. Samuel J. May officiated. By mutual agreement there was neither wine nor wedding cake for those who witnessed the ceremony a bountiful dinner was served instead.

Helen’s marriage to Garrison enabled her to become more deeply involved in social reform activities. The Garrison household became known as an open-door salon for leftist political figures. Helen and her husband read and discussed political tracts (pamphlets) together, attended abolitionist meetings, and even ventured abroad on various human rights missions.

The threat posed by anti-slavery organizations and their activities drew violent reactions. In the fall of 1835, a mob of several thousand surrounded the building housing Boston’s anti-slavery offices, where Garrison was giving a speech to a meeting of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. The mayor and police persuaded the women to leave the building, but the mob then began yelling for Garrison to be lynched or tarred and feathered.

The mayor managed to sneak Garrison out a window, but the mob pursued and captured him, tying a rope around his waist and dragging him through the streets of Boston. The sheriff rescued Garrison by arresting him and taking him to jail.

On another occasion, the following notice appeared in the Boston Transcript on September 17, 1835:

The residents in Brighton Street and vicinity were a good deal alarmed this morning on discovering a gallows erected in front of Mr. Garrison’s house, accommodated with cords, arranged with hangmen’s knots… It bore the superscription, ‘By order of Judge Lynch.’ It excited considerable curiosity and attracted a host of idlers, but occasioned no excitement, although it produced much merriment. It was taken down about half past ten, innocent of slaughter….

William Lloyd Garrison always had feminist leanings – early on insisting that sexual discrimination was as evil and pervasive as prejudice of the racial sort and that “universal emancipation” meant the redemption “of women as well as men from a servile to an equal condition.”

Anti-Slavery Work
Helen Garrison always invited to their home emerging individuals and groups in whom she had an interest, and through her, Garrison became acquainted with female abolitionists such as Lydia Maria Child and Abby Kelley, who became allied with him in the movement. More than an ordinary hostess, Helen always rolled up her sleeves and stuffed envelopes, edited tracts and raised funds for the cause.

In 1840, Garrison’s promotion of women’s rights within the anti-slavery movement caused some male abolitionists to leave the AAS and form the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which did not admit women. In June of that same year, when the World Anti-Slavery Convention meeting in London refused to seat America’s women delegates, Garrison refused to take his seat as a delegate and joined the women in the spectator’s gallery.

The controversy introduced the women’s rights question not only to England, but also to future women’s rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who attended the convention as a spectator with her husband, delegate Henry Stanton. Stanton was part of a group of abolitionists who disagreed with Garrison’s insistence that the U.S. Constitution was a pro-slavery document, and therefore abolitionists should not participate in politics and government.

A growing number of abolitionists – including Stanton and Amos Phelps – wanted to form an anti-slavery political party and seek a political solution to slavery. They withdrew from the AAS in 1840, formed the Liberty Party, and nominated James Birney for president. By the end of 1840, Garrison formed a third organization, the Friends of Universal Reform, with prominent reformers Maria Weston Chapman and Abby Kelley.

Although some members of the Liberty Party supported women’s rights, Garrison’s Liberator was the leading advocate of women’s rights, publishing editorials, speeches and legislative reports. In February 1849, Garrison’s name headed the women’s suffrage petition sent to the Massachusetts legislature – the first such petition sent to any American legislature – and he supported the subsequent annual suffrage petition campaigns organized by Lucy Stone and Wendell Phillips.

Critical at first of President Abraham Lincoln for making preservation of the union rather than abolition of slavery his chief aim during the Civil War, the Garrisons praised the President’s Emancipation Proclamation and supported his reelection in 1864. Many other abolitionists did not.

On December 4, 1863, Helen Garrison accompanied her husband to Philadelphia for the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Helen was received affectionately by others in the movement. Her long hours of work had provided fresh funds for the abolitionist cause, particularly her service as one of the managers of the Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar, year after year.

A few weeks later, on December 29, without warning, Helen suffered a stroke which paralyzed her entire left side and left her insensible and entirely helpless for a long period. Though still paralyzed, she later regained her faculties and enjoyed the remainder of her life as best she could.

On the advice of their family physician, they moved from Boston to Roxbury Highlands, three miles from the city. They found a beautiful home there and, sitting daily at the same window, Helen passed her days reading, writing letters and enjoying the visits of her numerous friends. Except for her paralysis, she enjoyed excellent health.

Late Years
With slavery abolished, William Lloyd Garrison announced in May 1865 he resigned the presidency of the AAS and offered a resolution to dissolve the society. Declaring that his “vocation as an Abolitionist, thank God, has ended,” he declined an appeal to continue. The AAS continued to operate for five more years, until ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted voting rights to black men.

He also ended publication of The Liberator, writing in his last editorial on December 29, 1865, in which he stated “the object for which the Liberator was commenced – the extermination of chattel slavery – having been gloriously consummated.” Retiring to Roxbury, he helped care for Helen and wrote weekly letters to his children.

Garrison continued to support reform causes, devoting special attention to rights for blacks and women. He contributed columns on Reconstruction and civil rights for The Independent and the Boston Journal, and in 1870, became an associate editor of the women’s suffrage newspaper the Woman’s Journal, along with Mary Livermore, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell.

After a severe cold worsened into pneumonia, Helen Benson Garrison died on January 25, 1876. A quiet funeral was held at home, but Garrison was confined to his bedroom with a fever and severe bronchitis, unable to join the service downstairs. This was the first fatal blow to his health. He recovered very slowly from the loss of his wife, and began to attend Spiritualist circles in the hope of communicating with Helen.

After Helen’s death, Garrison published a 32-page memoir Helen Eliza Garrison: A Memorial (1876). In thinking of their early years, Garrison wrote:

Even at this remote period, I confess that my emotional nature is powerfully stirred within me as I contemplate the loving trustfulness and moral courage exhibited by her in accepting my proffered hand and heart. For her own home was the abode of happiness and love… she was the specially favored one of the family, because the youngest daughter all the comforts of life were abundantly assured to her and her domestic and local attachments were exceedingly strong.

And what was my situation? I was struggling against wind and tide to maintain The Liberator the chances of speedily realizing what are “the uses of adversity,” even as touching the ordinary
conveniences of life, were imminent. Moreover, for my espousal of the cause of the despised Negro, I was then universally derided and anathematized I had the worst possible reputation as a madman and fanatic… and it was extremely problematical how long it would be before my abduction be effected by hired kidnappers… especially after the State of Georgia… offered a reward of five thousand dollars for my seizure and presentation within her limits.

It is true, I was not without warm friends, genuine sympathizers, inestimable co-workers but, numerically, these were only as drops to the pouring rain, and, being themselves also under ban, could confer no credit and afford no protection.

The last paragraph in the book elegantly sums up the range of Helen Garrison’s interests and her role as a bridge between political movements:

At the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association held in Boston, January 25, 1876, the following resolution was adopted: ‘Resolved, that the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association deeply sympathize with their honored friend William Lloyd Garrison on the death of his wife, which occurred this morning, and that they extend to him their warmest sympathy in his great bereavement.’

The Liberator ends amid controversy

Although Garrison was only 60 in 1865, he was worn out from a lifetime of continuous labor and political struggle. He returned from a six-week lecture tour of the Midwest early in December 1865 and turned to preparing the last issues of The Liberator for the press since the abolitionist crusade had ended in victory. He was opposed by some of his oldest friends and closest allies including Wendell Phillips, a fellow antislavery orator and social reformer who had been one of The Liberator's most reliable financial backers Garrison, who had named a son for Phillips, had broken with his old friend the previous May at the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society. With ratification of the 13th amendment underway, Garrison had attempted to disband the organization that he had founded, but was defeated by Phillips and his supporters. Nevertheless, Phillips could not prevent the termination of The Liberator. Even after Garrison and Phillips divided over whether, with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, the work of the abolitionists really was finished, Phillips declared, "I have never uttered an anti-slavery word which I do not owe to his [Garrison's] inspiration. I have never done an anti-slavery act of which the primary merit was not his."

William L. Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American advocate of the abolition of the institution of slavery.

Garrison was born in 1805 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He received a limited education as a child, but he supplemented his schooling by working for various newspapers. He had several articles published in the Salem Gazette, before opening his own newspaper, the Newburyport Free Press, in 1826. That paper failed, and Garrison took a position as assistant editor of the Genius of Universal Emancipation. That newspaper was published in Baltimore, Maryland, by abolitionist Benjamin Lundy.

In 1831, Garrison started his own newspaper and called it the Liberator. This paper's purpose was to educate people, many of whom had never seen a slave, about the cruelty of slavery. He hoped to recruit new members to the abolition movement. Garrison continued to publish this newspaper for the next thirty-five years. He only ceased publication in 1865 after the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment ended slavery in America.

In 1833, Garrison helped establish the American Anti-Slavery Society with fellow abolitionists Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, and Theodore Dwight Weld. Garrison served as president of the American Anti-Slavery Society from 1843 to 1865. This organization sent lecturers across the North, including to Ohio, to convince people of slavery's brutality. Garrison, himself, gave several lectures in Ohio and also was instrumental in the establishment of the Western Anti-Slavery Society.

In 1840, the American Anti-Slavery Society split. Garrison and his supporters called for the creation of a new government that disallowed slavery from the very beginning. He said that the current United States Constitution was an illegal document because it denied African Americans their freedom. If the South would not agree to a new nation that outlawed slavery, Garrison argued that the North should secede from the United States and form its own country.

Other members of the American Anti-Slavery Society contended that Garrison's views were too radical. They agreed that slavery was wrong but they also thought that the United States Constitution had created a legitimate government under which the people had the right to end oppression. Rather than threatening to break apart the United States, these abolitionists hoped to elect people of their beliefs to political offices so that they could make laws outlawing slavery. To achieve this end, these abolitionists formed a political party, the Liberty Party. Over time, the Liberty Party was replaced by the Free-Soil Party and then the Republican Party. This division between abolitionists remained until the end of the American Civil War in 1865

In the decades leading up to the American Civil War, Garrison was the most well-known abolitionist in the United States. Many Southern slave owners despised him. The Georgia legislature placed a five thousand dollar bounty on his head, payable to anyone who brought the abolitionist to the state for prosecution. He received numerous death threats from white Southerners. Many Northerners also disagreed with his message. Mobs often attacked Garrison when he gave speeches. Despite the opposition that he faced, Garrison remained committed to fighting for an end to slavery. He urged President Abraham Lincoln to make the Civil War a war to end slavery and applauded the president for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862. . He also argued for equal rights for African Americans with white people. Garrison became less vocal as a supporter of the rights of African Americans following the adoption of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Garrison also participated in the women's rights movement and other efforts to reform American institutions. During the 1830s, he argued that women deserved leadership positions in the abolitionist movement due to the many contributions that they had already made to securing freedom for African Americans.

Watch the video: William Lloyd Garrison u0026 The Liberator AP United States History Documentary, Tim u0026 Shaurya (May 2022).