William Lloyd Garrison and the Liberator

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William Lloyd Garrison and the Liberator

  1. 1. William Lloyd Garrison and the “ Liberator ”
  2. 2. The Background of Garrison and his involvement in the abolition movement <ul><li>Born on December 10, 1805 in Massachusetts </li></ul><ul><li>Garrison’s father left the family when he was 3, and his mother died when he was 18 </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the loss of his family members, William Lloyd Garrison had to help out his family by selling candy and delivering wood to households, then working later in life as an apprentice at a newspaper shop. </li></ul><ul><li>Garrison began writing articles under the pseudonym Aristides, an Athenian whose name meant “The Just” </li></ul><ul><li>He wrote first for the temperance movement and joined the Abolition movement at age 25, when he first joined the American Colonization Society. Within a few years, though, Garrison left the Society and continued writing for abolition, culminating in the creation of the “Liberator” </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Liberator and its stance <ul><li>From the initial issue of the Liberator (January 1, 1831) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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 dead. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why would Garrison eventually venture away from gradual aboltion? <ul><li>In the process of Gradual Abolition, most states would allow freedom to be granted to slaves that have reached the age of 28. The issue with this is that many slave-owners would sell the slaves to another state or country which would renew their slavery status and not allow them to be free at that age. </li></ul><ul><li>As well, most Southerners only agreed with Gradual Abolition if the government was willing to pay them the worth of the African American slave that was to be set free. In other words, $500 per slave. Otherwise, Southern States would refute such a gradual abolition law. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What eventually happened in the relationship that Garrison held with Douglass? <ul><li>For years, the two abolitionists toured together in major Northern cities, but when Garrison turned more radical in his cause and turned fully away from Gradual Abolition and praised John Brown’s work as a martyr, Douglass turned away from his good friend and the abolitionist cause was now split into three separate movements. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Garrison’s beliefs during the Civil War <ul><li>It appeared that the war may give Garrison exactly what he wanted… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Radical Republican party in control of Washington D.C. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Republican President who would finally pass a resolution to end slavery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lincoln had no immediate intentions of ending slavery at the beginning of the Civil War though, and Garrison chastised Lincoln for this, since this was the opportunity to push for freedom. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All that Lincoln cared for though, was to bring the Union back together… </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Abe Lincoln and the “Save the Union” Letter <ul><li>Executive Mansion, Washington, August 22, 1862. </li></ul><ul><li>Hon. Horace Greeley: Dear Sir. </li></ul><ul><li>I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable [sic] in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right. </li></ul><ul><li>As to the policy I &quot;seem to be pursuing&quot; as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. </li></ul><ul><li>I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be &quot;the Union as it was.&quot; If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. </li></ul><ul><li>I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free. </li></ul><ul><li>Yours, A. Lincoln. </li></ul>

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