William Lloyd Garrison

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William Lloyd Garrison

Born December 10, 1805
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Died May 24, 1879
New York City
Political Party Republican
Spouse Helen Eliza Benson
Religion Unitarian

William Lloyd Garrison (December 10, 1805 – May 24, 1879) was a prominent leader of the abolitionism movement in America. Based in Boston, he published the anti-slavery newspaper The Liberator. In 1833, he founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Garrison, who did not originally feel that Abraham Lincoln was sufficiently opposed to slavery, wrote:[1]

Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion.

The former slave Frederick Douglass wrote in My Bondage and My Freedom (1855):

After reaching New Bedford, there came a young man to me with a copy of the Liberator...edited by William Lloyd Garrison... His paper took its place with me next to the Bible...It detested slavery...and, with all the solemnity of God's word, demanded the complete emancipation of my race... His words were... holy fire...The Bible was his text book... Prejudice against color was rebellion against God.

Garrison, like other conservative-minded abolitionists, detested labor unions who compared chattel slavery with "wage slavery," denouncing their arguments as defenses of slavery itself.[2] (see: Labor unions and racism)

See also


  1. Garrison, Wendell Phillips; Garrison, Francis Jackson (1894). William Lloyd Garrison, 1805–1879: The Story of His Life Told by His Children. Internet Archive. Retrieved May 22, 2023.
  2. Moreno, Paul D., (2010). Cato Journal, Vol 30, No. 1: Unions and Discrimination, p. 70. Cato Institute. Retrieved May 22, 2023.