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William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879, was a prominent abolitionist who advocated immediate emancipation of slaves. He founded the anti-slavery paper The Liberator in 1831 and served as its editor until the publication ended in 1865. In 1833, he co-founded the American Anti-Slavery Society. Garrison fell into the radical wing of the abolition movement and was both a supporter of women playing a prominent role in the movement and a critic of the U.S. Constitution, which he believed supported the institution of slavery. A moralist and pacifist, Garrison believed in the use of moral suasion to end slavery and eventually became an advocate of disunion of free from slave states. Only when the Civil War came did Garrison set aside his pacifism in favor of the opportunity to end slavery.

Further Reading:
Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. New York: St. Martinís Press, 1998.
Stewart, James Brewer. ed. William Lloyd Garrison at Two Hundred: History, Legacy, and Memory. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008


Chapter Three: The Abolitionist Calling

His Soul Goes Marching On

West Virginia Archives and History