William Lloyd Garrison

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
William Lloyd Garrison
BirthplaceNewburyport, Massachusetts, U.S.

Garrison, William Lloyd,

1805–79, American abolitionist, b. Newburyport, Mass. He supplemented his limited schooling with newspaper work and in 1829 went to Baltimore to aid Benjamin LundyLundy, Benjamin,
1789–1839, American abolitionist, b. Sussex co., N.J., of Quaker parentage. A pioneer in the antislavery movement, Lundy founded (1815) the Union Humane Society while operating a saddlery in Ohio.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in publishing the Genius of Universal Emancipation. This led (1830) to his imprisonment for seven weeks for libel. On Jan. 1, 1831, he published the first number of the Liberator, a paper that he continued for 35 years (to Dec. 29, 1865), until after the Thirteenth Amendment had been adopted. In the Liberator, Garrison took an uncompromising stand for immediate and complete abolition of slavery. Though its circulation was never over 3,000, the paper became famous for its startling and quotable language. Garrison relied wholly upon moral persuasion, believing in the use of neither force nor the ballot to gain his end. His language antagonized many. In 1835 he was physically attacked in Boston by a mob composed of seemingly respectable people, and thereby won a valuable convert to his cause in Wendell PhillipsPhillips, Wendell,
1811–84, American reformer and orator, b. Boston, grad. Harvard (B.A., 1831; LL.B., 1834). He was admitted to the bar in 1834 but, having sufficient income of his own, he abandoned his law practice to devote his life to fighting for sound causes, chiefly
..... Click the link for more information.
. Garrison opposed the work of the American Colonization SocietyAmerican Colonization Society,
organized Dec., 1816–Jan., 1817, at Washington, D.C., to transport free blacks from the United States and settle them in Africa. The freeing of many slaves, principally by idealists, created a serious problem in that no sound provisions were
..... Click the link for more information.
 in his Thoughts on African Colonization (1832). He was active in organizing (1831) the New England Anti-Slavery Society and (1833) the American Anti-Slavery Society, of which he was president (1843–65). Garrison also crusaded for other reforms that he united with abolitionism, notably woman suffrage and prohibition. He went so far as to advocate Northern secession from the Union because the Constitution, which Garrison characterized as "a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell," permitted slavery. He burned the Constitution publicly at an abolitionist meeting in Framingham, Mass., on July 4, 1854, and opposed the Civil War until Lincoln issued the Emancipation ProclamationEmancipation Proclamation,
in U.S. history, the executive order abolishing slavery in the Confederate States of America. Desire for Such a Proclamation

In the early part of the Civil War, President Lincoln refrained from issuing an edict freeing the slaves despite
..... Click the link for more information.
. Garrison's preeminence in the antislavery cause has been characterized as a "New England myth," some arguing that while Garrison attracted attention, the effective fight against slavery was carried on by lesser known, more realistic men (see abolitionistsabolitionists,
in U.S. history, particularly in the three decades before the Civil War, members of the movement that agitated for the compulsory emancipation of the slaves.
..... Click the link for more information.
). Garrison, a difficult personality, was not himself a good organizer.


See his letters, ed. by W. M. Merrill (1971); William Lloyd Garrison … His Life Told by His Children (4 vol., 1885–89, repr. 1969); biographies by W. M. Merrill (1963), J. L. Thomas (1963), A. H. Grimké (1891, repr. 1969); study by A. S. Kraditor (1969); H. Mayer, All On Fire (1998).

Garrison, William Lloyd


Born Dec. 12, 1805, in Newburyport, Mass.; died May 24, 1879, in New York. American political figure, journalist, and poet.

From 1831 to 1865, Garrison published The Liberator, a weekly that played an important role in the development of the abolitionist movement. He initiated the establishment of a society to combat slavery (1832). During the Civil War (1861-65), having united with revolutionary circles of abolitionists, he fought actively for the emancipation of the slaves. Garrison’s literary works were also devoted to the struggle against Negro slavery.


Garrison, William Lloyd

(1805–79) journalist, abolitionist, social activist; born in Newburyport, Mass. With little formal education, he was a printer by trade who became editor of several small New England papers (1824–28). Turning his attention away from temperance to slavery, in Boston (1829) he delivered the first of his innumerable and inflammatory public addresses against slavery; later that year he joined Benjamin Lundy in Baltimore to help edit the Genius of Universal Emancipation. If not the first abolitionist, Garrison was one of the earliest to demand the "immediate and complete emancipation" of slaves. Founder/editor of The Liberator (1831–65), he continued his uncompromising attacks on slavery despite threats and harassment from pro-slavery opponents and often disagreement and dismay from other less absolute abolitionists. Cofounder and agent for the New England Anti-Slavery Society (1831) and its president (1841–63), he favored a peaceful separation of the North and South. To dramatize his contempt for the U.S. Constitution's acceptance of slavery, he publicly burned a copy in Framingham, Mass. (1854), but as a pacifist he opposed the actions of John Brown and others who supported violence. With the end of the Civil War and slavery, he turned his passions and energies to crusading for such reforms as prohibition, the plight of Native Americans, and, above all, women's rights. In 1840, when the world's antislavery convention met in London, he had refused to attend sessions because women were excluded.
References in periodicals archive ?
William Lloyd Garrison chose an even loftier horizon with his observation: "My country is the world.
The most prominent and vitriolic of those abolitionists was William Lloyd Garrison.
In 1831, Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison founded the Liberator, which certainly framed slavery differently than the social and legal norms of the day.
And because it would not fit his thesis, O'Reilly obfuscates the reality that FDR allowed First Lady Eleanor to champion the rights of blacks in a few-holds-barred fashion unmatched since the days of William Lloyd Garrison.
For instance, William Lloyd Garrison opposed the fusion of abolition with national politics, while most black abolitionists believed it quite proper to put the moral issue of abolition into the political arena.
Norton & Company) Henry Mayer, "All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of American Slavery" (St.
Tyneside has provided a warm T welcome to campaigners for freedom and political reform down the centuries from all over the world - from Oluadah Equiano in the 1770s to William Lloyd Garrison in the 1850s and Dr Martin Luther King in the 1960s, who received his only honorary British degree at our local university at Newcastle.
Some, like William Lloyd Garrison, renewed their call for immediate abolition and some, like Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Worcester minister, would soon consider secession -- secession, that is, of the North, with the North leaving a corrupt Union, one which seemed to be in the grip of growing slave power.
Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, on the other hand, famously saw the Constitution in biblical terms as "a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell.
At a time when abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison denounced the Constitution as a pro-slavery "covenant with death and an agreement with hell," Spooner responded with a powerful book rifled The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (1845), making him a hero to the anti-slavery Liberty Party and a major influence on the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.
Bacon liberally uses evidence from the newspapers to examine the anti-slavery ideology, the lives and the opinions held by African-Americans--not white abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, or Arthur and Lewis Tappan.
William Lloyd Garrison published the first issue of The Liberator on January 1, 1831 with the motto: "Our country is the world -- our countrymen are mankind.