Born around December 10, 1805
, William Lloyd Garrison
joined the Abolutionist
at the age of 25.
Garrison edited the world's first temperance paper, the National Philanthropist, in Boston
during 1828 and the Journal of the Times in Bennington, Vermont from 1828 to 1829. In 1829, Garrison joined Benjamin Lundy in Baltimore as co-editor of the Genius of Universal Emancipation. He was
jailed for seven months for libelling a Newburyport merchant engaged in the coastal slave trade.
Before taking up Abolutionism William Lloyd Garrison was an active member of the American Colonization Society, an
organization which supported returning free coloured people to Africa.
In 1831 Garrison established The Liberator, a newspaper which would become known as the most
uncompromising of American anti-slavery journals and circulated widely in both England and the United States. It was in the first issue of The Liberator that Garrison made
his well-known statement against slavery:
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 to 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
The Liberator Inaugural Editorial, January 1, 1831
founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society
and helped organize the American
, writing its Declaration of Sentiments
and serving as its first corresponding secretary. Garrison's
strong beliefs regarding Women's Rights
would eventually split this organization (indeed the
whole of the Absolutionist Movement
In 1837 Garrison embraced the doctrines of Christian Perfectionism, which combined
Abolutionism, Women's Rights and nonresistance. He influenced, among others, Wendell Phillips, Theodore Parker and
Henry David Thoreau. William Lloyd Garrison died on May 24, 1879 in New York City.
Along with Benjamin Lundy, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Sumner, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Governor
Andrew Johnson, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Lucy Stone and Lucretia Mott, Frances E. W. Harper makes special
mention of Garrison in her poem entitled Then and Now:
To Garrison, valiant, true and strong,
Whose face was as flint against our wrong.
- The African American Journey:
- Encyclopedia Britannica: