Biography of William Lloyd Garrison
Celebrated Americans

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, the great anti slavery pioneer and leader, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, December 12, 1804. He was apprenticed to the printing business, and in 1828 was induced to take charge of the "Journal of the Times" at Bennington, Vermont, While supporting John Quincy Adams for the presidency he took occasion in that paper to give expression of his views on slavery. These articles attracted notice, and a Quaker named Lundy, editor of the "Genius of Emancipation," published in Baltimore, induced him to enter a partnership with him for the conduct of his paper. It soon transpired that the views of the partners were not in harmony, Lundy favoring gradual emancipation, while Garrison favored immediate freedom. In 1850 Mr. Garrison was thrown into prison for libel, not being able to pay a fine of fifty dollars and costs. In his cell he wrote a number of poems which stirred the entire north, and a merchant, Mr. Tappan, of New York, paid his fine and liberated him, after seven weeks of confinement. He at once began a lecture tour of the northern cities, denouncing slavery as a sin before God, and demanding its immediate abolition in the name of religion and humanity. He opposed the colonization scheme of President Monroe and other leaders, and declared the right of every slave to immediate freedom.

In 1831 he formed a partnership with Isaac Knapp, and began the publication of the "Liberator" at Boston. The "immediate abolition idea began to gather power in the north, while the south became alarmed at the bold utterance of this journal. The mayor of Boston was besought by southern influence to interfere, and upon investigation, reported upon the insignificance, obscurity, and poverty of the editor and his staff, which report was widely published throughont the country. Rewards were offered by the southern states for his arrest and conviction. Later Garrison brought from England, where an emancipation measure had just been passed, some of the great advocates to work for the cause in this country. In 1835 a mob broke into his office, broke up a meeting of women, dragged Garrison through the street with a rope around his body, and his life was saved only by the interference of the police, who lodged him in jail. Garrison declined to sit in the World's Anti Slavers' convention at London in 1840, because that body had refused women representation. He opposed the formation of a political party with emancipation as its basis. He favored a dissolution of the union, and declared the constitution which bound the free states to the slave states ''A covenant with death and an agreement with hell." In 1843 he became president of the American Anti Slavery society, which position he held until 1865, when slavery was no more. During all this time the "Liberator" had continued to promulgate anti slavery doctrines, but in 1865 Garrison resigned his position, and declared his work was completed. He died May 24, 1879.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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