William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

Overview
William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805 – May 24, 1879) was a prominent American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 abolitionist
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States. Garrison was also a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement.

William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 12, 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, 35 miles northeast of Boston. The population was 21,189 at the 2000 census. A historic seaport with a vibrant tourism industry, Newburyport includes part of Plum Island...

, the son of immigrants from the British colony of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, in present-day Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.
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Quotations

Our country is the world — our countrymen are all mankind.

Motto of The Liberator (1831)

Let Southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their Northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.

No. 1 (1 January 1831)
Encyclopedia
William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805 – May 24, 1879) was a prominent American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 abolitionist
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States. Garrison was also a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement.

Early life


William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 12, 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, 35 miles northeast of Boston. The population was 21,189 at the 2000 census. A historic seaport with a vibrant tourism industry, Newburyport includes part of Plum Island...

, the son of immigrants from the British colony of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, in present-day Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Under the Seaman’s Protection act, Abijah Garrison, a merchant sailing pilot and master, had obtained American papers and moved his family to Newburyport in 1806
. With the impact of the Congressional Embargo Act of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807
The Embargo Act of 1807 and the subsequent Nonintercourse Acts were American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade between the years of 1807 and 1812. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests...

 on commercial shipping, the elder Garrison became unemployed and deserted the family in 1808. Garrison's mother, Frances Maria Lloyd, was reported to have been tall, charming and of a strong religious character. At her request, Garrison was known by his middle name, Lloyd. She died in 1823, in the town of Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

.

Garrison sold homemade lemonade and candy as a youth, and also delivered wood to help support the family. In 1819, at fourteen, Garrison began working as an apprentice compositor for the Newburyport Herald. He soon began writing articles, often under the pseudonym Aristides
Aristides
Aristides , 530 BC – 468 BC was an Athenian statesman, nicknamed "the Just".- Biography :Aristides was the son of Lysimachus, and a member of a family of moderate fortune. Of his early life, it is only told that he became a follower of the statesman Cleisthenes and sided with the aristocratic party...

,
taking the name of an Athenian statesman and general known as “the Just.” After his apprenticeship ended, he and a young printer named Isaac Knapp bought their own newspaper, the short lived Free Press. One of their regular contributors was poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets...

. In this early work as a small town newspaper writer, Garrison acquired skills he would later use as a nationally known writer, speaker and newspaper publisher. In 1828, he was appointed editor of the National Philanthropist in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, the first American journal to promote legally mandated temperance.

Career as a reformer


At age 25, Garrison joined the Abolition movement. For a brief time he became associated with the American Colonization Society
American Colonization Society
The American Colonization Society , founded in 1816, was the primary vehicle to support the "return" of free African Americans to what was considered greater freedom in Africa. It helped to found the colony of Liberia in 1821–22 as a place for freedmen...

, an organization that believed free blacks should emigrate to a territory on the west coast of Africa. Although some members of the society encouraged granting freedom to slaves, the majority saw the relocation as a means to reduce the number of free blacks in the United States and thus help preserve the institution of slavery. By late 1829–1830 "Garrison rejected colonization, publicly apologized for his error, and then, as was typical of him, he censured all who were committed to it." (William E. Cain, William Lloyd Garrison and the fight against Slavery: Selections from the Liberator)

Genius of Universal Emancipation


Garrison began writing for and became co-editor with Benjamin Lundy
Benjamin Lundy
Benjamin Lundy was an American Quaker abolitionist from Ohio who established several anti-slavery newspapers and worked for many others...

 of the Quaker Genius of Universal Emancipation
Genius of Universal Emancipation
The Genius of Universal Emancipation was an abolitionist newspaper from Mount Pleasant, Ohio run by Benjamin Lundy.Elihu Embree established the Manumission Intelligencier in 1819 which became The Emancipator in 1820. In 1821 the paper was bought by Benjamin Lundy and renamed Genius of Universal...

newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. Garrison's experience as a printer and newspaper editor allowed him to revamp the layout of the paper and freed Lundy to spend more time traveling as an anti-slavery speaker. Garrison initially shared Lundy's gradualist views, but, while working for the Genius, he became convinced of the need to demand immediate and complete emancipation. Lundy and Garrison continued to work together on the paper in spite of their differing views, agreeing simply to sign their editorials to indicate who had written it.

One of the regular features that Garrison introduced during his time at the Genius was "The Black List," a column devoted to printing short reports of "the barbarities of slavery — kidnappings, whippings, murders." One of Garrison's "Black List" columns reported that a shipper from Garrison's home town of Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, 35 miles northeast of Boston. The population was 21,189 at the 2000 census. A historic seaport with a vibrant tourism industry, Newburyport includes part of Plum Island...

—one Francis Todd—was involved in the slave trade, and that he had recently had slaves shipped from Baltimore to New Orleans on his ship Francis. Todd filed a suit for libel against both Garrison and Lundy, filing in Maryland in order to secure the favor of pro-slavery courts. The state of Maryland also brought criminal charges against Garrison, quickly finding him guilty and ordering him to pay a fine of $50 and court costs. (Charges against Lundy were dropped on the grounds that he had been traveling and not in control of the newspaper when the story was printed.) Garrison was unable to pay the fine and was sentenced to a jail term of six months. He was released after seven weeks when the antislavery philanthropist Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan was an American abolitionist. He was the brother of Senator Benjamin Tappan, and abolitionist Lewis Tappan.-Biography:...

 donated the money for the fine, but Garrison had decided to leave Baltimore and he and Lundy amicably agreed to part ways.

The Liberator


In 1831, Garrison returned to New England and founded a weekly anti-slavery newspaper of his own, The Liberator. In the first issue, Garrison stated:
Initial circulation of The Liberator was relatively limited; there were fewer than 400 subscriptions during the paper's second year. However, the publication gained subscribers and influence over the next three decades, until, after the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery nation-wide by the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, Garrison published the last issue (number 1,820) on December 29, 1865, writing in his "Valedictory" column,

Organizations


In 1832, Garrison founded the New-England Anti-Slavery Society
New-England Anti-Slavery Society
The New England Anti-Slavery Society was formed by William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator, in 1831. The Liberator was also its official publication....

. The next year, he co-founded the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

. That same year, 1833, Garrison also visited the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and assisted in the anti-slavery movement there. He intended that the Anti-Slavery Society should not align itself with any political party and that women should be allowed full participation in society activities. Garrison was influenced by the ideas of Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement...

, Lucretia Mott
Lucretia Mott
Lucretia Coffin Mott was an American Quaker, abolitionist, social reformer, and proponent of women's rights.- Early life and education:...

, Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women's rights and against slavery at a time when women were discouraged...

 and other feminists who joined the society. These positions were seen as controversial by the majority of Society members and there was a major rift in the Society. In 1839, two brothers, Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan was an American abolitionist. He was the brother of Senator Benjamin Tappan, and abolitionist Lewis Tappan.-Biography:...

 and Lewis Tappan
Lewis Tappan
Lewis Tappan was a New York abolitionist who worked to achieve the freedom of the illegally enslaved Africans of the Amistad. Contacted by Connecticut abolitionists soon after the Amistad arrived in port, Tappan focused extensively on the captive Africans...

, left and formed a rival organization, the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society split off from the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 over a number of issues, including the increasing influence of anarchism , hostility to established religion, and feminism in the latter...

 which did not admit women. A segment of the Society also withdrew and aligned itself with the newly founded Liberty Party
Liberty Party (1840s)
The Liberty Party was a minor political party in the United States in the 1840s . The party was an early advocate of the abolitionist cause...

, a political organization which named James G. Birney
James G. Birney
James Gillespie Birney was an abolitionist, politician and jurist born in Danville, Kentucky. From 1816 to 1818, he served in the Kentucky House of Representatives...

 as its Presidential candidate. By the end of 1840, Garrison announced the formation of a third new organization, the Friends of Universal Reform, with sponsors and founding members including prominent reformers Maria Chapman
Maria Weston Chapman
Maria Weston or Maria Weston Chapman was an American abolitionist. She was elected to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1839 and from 1839 until 1842, she served as editor of the anti-slavery journal, Non-Resistant.-Family:Weston was born in 1806 in Weymouth,...

, Abby Kelley Foster
Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley Foster was an American abolitionist and radical social reformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society, where she worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and other radicals...

, Oliver Johnson, and Bronson Alcott (father of Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868...

).

Meanwhile, on September 4, 1834, Garrison married Helen Eliza Benson (1811–1876), the daughter of a retired abolitionist merchant. The couple had five sons and two daughters, of whom a son and a daughter died as children.

In 1853, Garrison credited Reverend John Rankin
John Rankin (abolitionist)
John Rankin was an American Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist. Upon moving to Ripley, Ohio in 1822, he became known as one of Ohio's first and most active "conductors" on the Underground Railroad...

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 as a primary influence on his career, calling him his "anti-slavery father" and saying that Rankin's "... book on slavery was the cause of my entering the anti-slavery conflict." (Hagedorn, p. 58)

Controversy


Garrison made a name for himself as one of the most articulate, as well as most radical, opponents of slavery. His approach to emancipation stressed nonviolence and passive resistance, and he attracted a vocal following. While some other abolitionists of the time favored gradual emancipation, Garrison argued for "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves". On July 4, 1844 he went so far as to publicly burnt a copy of the Constitution condemning it as "declaring it "a Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Hell," referring to the compromise that had written slavery into the Constitution.

Garrison and The Liberator were ardently supported by the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society
Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society
The Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist, interracial organization in Boston, Massachusetts, in the mid-19th century. "During its brief history .....

, which held meetings, sponsored lectures, and helped to strengthen the female anti-slavery network throughout the Northeast. Garrison was an important contributor to the suffrage movement.
One of the most controversial events in pre-Civil War Boston history resulted from an Anti-Slavery Society lecture. In the fall of 1835, the society invited George Thompson
George Thompson (abolitionist)
George Donisthorpe Thompson was a British antislavery orator and activist who worked toward the abolition of slavery through lecture tours and legislation while serving as a Member of Parliament...

, a fiery British abolitionist, to address them. When Thompson was unable to attend, Garrison agreed to take his place. An unruly mob threatened to storm the building in search of Thompson. The Mayor and police persuaded the Boston Female Anti-Slavery members to leave. The mob, however, pursued Garrison through the streets of Boston, and upon seizing him, tied a rope around his waist and dragged him through Boston's streets. Garrison was rescued from lynching and lodged overnight in the Leverett Street Jail
Leverett Street Jail
The Leverett Street Jail in Boston, Massachusetts served as the city and county prison for some three decades in the mid-19th century. Inmates included John White Webster...

 before leaving the city for several weeks.

In 1849, Garrison became involved in one of Boston's most notable trials of the time. Washington Goode
Washington Goode
Washington Goode was an African American sailor who was hanged for murder in Boston in May of 1849. His case was the subject of considerable attention by those opposed to the death penalty, resulting in over 24,000 signatures on petitions for clemency to Massachusetts governor, George N. Briggs...

, a black seaman had been sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow black mariner, Thomas Harding. In The Liberator Garrison argued that the verdict relied on "circumstantial evidence of the most flimsy character ..." and feared that the determination of the government to uphold its decision to execute Goode was based on race. As all other death sentences since 1836 in Boston had been commuted, Garrison concluded that Goode would be the last person executed in Boston for a capital offense writing, "Let it not be said that the last man Massachusetts bore to hang was a colored man!" Despite the efforts of Garrison and many other prominent figures of the time, Goode was hanged on May 25, 1849.

Garrison's outspoken anti-slavery views repeatedly put him in danger. Besides his imprisonment in Baltimore, the government of the State of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 offered a reward of $5,000 for his arrest, and he was the object of vituperation and frequent death threats. On the eve of the Civil War, a sermon preached in a Universalist chapel in Brooklyn, New York, denounced "the blood thirsty sentiments of Garrison and his school; and did not wonder that the feeling of the South was exasperated, taking as they did, the insane and bloody ravings of the Garrisonian traitors for the fairly expressed opinions of the North."

Garrison occasionally allowed essays in The Liberator from a select few, including 14-year-old Anna Dickinson, who in 1856 wrote an impassioned article pleading for emancipation of the slaves.

After abolition


After the abolition of slavery in the United States, Garrison continued working on other reform movements, especially temperance
Temperance movement
A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence , or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation or complete prohibition of alcohol.-Temperance movement by...

 and women's suffrage. He ended the run of The Liberator at the end of 1865, and in May 1865, announced that he would resign the Presidency of the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

 and proposed a resolution to declare victory in the struggle against slavery and dissolve the Society. The resolution prompted sharp debate, however, by critics — led by his long-time ally Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

 — who argued that the mission of the AAS was not fully completed until black Southerners gained full political and civil equality. Garrison maintained that while complete civil equality was vitally important, the special task of the AAS was at an end, and that the new task would best be handled by new organizations and new leadership. With his long-time allies deeply divided, however, he was unable to muster the support he needed to carry the resolution, and the motion was defeated 118–48. Garrison went through with his resignation, declining an offer to continue as President, and Wendell Phillips assumed the Presidency of the AAS. Garrison declared that "My vocation, as an Abolitionist, thank God, has ended." Returning home to Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, he told his wife resignedly, "So be it. I regard the whole thing as ridiculous." He withdrew completely from the AAS, which continued to operate for five more years, until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude"...

. (According to Henry Mayer, Garrison was hurt by the rejection, and remained peeved for years; "as the cycle came around, always managed to tell someone that he was not going to the next set of [AAS] meetings" [594].)
After his withdrawal from AAS and the end of The Liberator, Garrison continued to participate in public debate and to support reform causes, devoting special attention to the causes of women's rights and of civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 for blacks
Negro
The word Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance, whether of African descent or not...

. During the 1870s, he made several speaking tours, contributed columns on Reconstruction and civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 for The Independent and the Boston Journal, took a position as associate editor and frequent contributor with the Woman's Journal
Woman's Journal
Woman's Journal was a women's rights periodical published from 1870-1931.Woman's Journal was founded in 1870 in Boston, Massachusetts by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Browne Blackwell as a weekly newspaper. The new paper incorporated Mary A...

, and participated in the American Woman Suffrage Association with his old allies Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley Foster was an American abolitionist and radical social reformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society, where she worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and other radicals...

 and Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women's rights and against slavery at a time when women were discouraged...

. While working with the AWSA in 1873, he finally healed his long estrangements from Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

 and Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

, affectionately reuniting with them on the platform at an AWSA rally organized by Kelly and Stone on the one hundredth anniversary of the Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government and the monopolistic East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies...

. When Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

 died in 1874, some Republicans suggested Garrison as a possible successor to his Senate seat; Garrison declined on grounds of his moral opposition to taking government office.

Final years and death


Garrison spent more time at home with his family, writing weekly letters to his children, and caring for his increasingly ill wife, who had suffered a small stroke on December 30, 1863, and was increasingly confined to the house. Helen died on January 25, 1876, after a severe cold worsened into pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

. A quiet funeral was held in the Garrison home, but Garrison, overcome with grief and confined to his bedroom with a fever and severe bronchitis, was unable to join the service downstairs. Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

 gave a eulogy and many of Garrison's old abolitionist friends joined him upstairs to offer their private condolences. Garrison recovered slowly from the loss of his wife, and began to attend Spiritualist circles in the hope of communicating with Helen. Garrison made a final visit to England in 1877, where he visited George Thompson
George Thompson (abolitionist)
George Donisthorpe Thompson was a British antislavery orator and activist who worked toward the abolition of slavery through lecture tours and legislation while serving as a Member of Parliament...

 and other old friends from the British abolitionist movement.

Garrison, ailing from kidney disease, continued to weaken during April 1879, and went to live with his daughter Fanny's family in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. In late May his condition worsened, and his five surviving children rushed to join him. Fanny asked if he would enjoy singing some hymns, and although Garrison was unable to sing, his children sang his favorite hymns for him while he beat time with his hands and feet. On Saturday morning, Garrison lost consciousness, and died just before midnight on May 24, 1879. Garrison was buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery
Forest Hills Cemetery
Forest Hills Cemetery is a historic cemetery, greenspace, arboretum and sculpture garden located in the Forest Hills section of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The cemetery was designed in 1848.-Overview:...

 in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood on May 28, 1879, after a public memorial service with eulogies by Theodore Dwight Weld
Theodore Dwight Weld
Theodore Dwight Weld , was one of the leading architects of the American abolitionist movement during its formative years, from 1830 through 1844.Weld played a role as writer, editor, speaker, and organizer...

 and Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

. Eight abolitionist friends, both white and black, served as his pallbearers. Flags were flown at half-staff all across Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

, then employed as a United States Marshal, spoke in memory of Garrison at a memorial service in a church in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, saying "It was the glory of this man that he could stand alone with the truth, and calmly await the result."

Garrison's son, also named William Lloyd Garrison (1838–1909), was a prominent advocate of the single tax, free trade, woman's suffrage, and of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. A second son, Wendell Phillips Garrison
Wendell Phillips Garrison
Wendell Phillips Garrison was an American editor and author.He was born at Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, a son of William Lloyd Garrison. He graduated from Harvard in 1861 and was literary editor of the Nation from 1865 to 1906. He had assisted E. L. Godkin in establishing the magazine...

 (1840–1907), was literary editor of the The Nation from 1865 to 1906. Two other sons (George Thompson Garrison and Francis Jackson Garrison, his biographer) and a daughter, Helen Frances Garrison
Fanny Garrison Villard
300px|thumb|Fanny Garrison Villard at the International Woman Suffrage Congress, Budapest, 1913.Helen Frances “Fanny” Garrison Villard was a women's suffrage campaigner and a co-founder of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People...

 (who married Henry Villard
Henry Villard
Henry Villard was an American journalist and financier who was an early president of the Northern Pacific Railway....

), survived him. Fanny's son Oswald Garrison Villard
Oswald Garrison Villard
Oswald Garrison Villard was an American journalist. He provided a rare direct link between the anti-imperialism of the late 19th century and the conservative Old Right of the 1930s and 1940s.-Biography:...

 was a prominent journalist and a founding member of the NAACP.

Honoring Garrison's 200th birthday, in December 2005 his descendants gathered in Boston for the first family reunion in about a century. They discussed the legacy and impact of their most notable family member.

Veneration


Garrison is honored together with Maria Stewart a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA)
Calendar of saints (Episcopal Church in the United States of America)
The veneration of saints in the Episcopal Church is a continuation of an ancient tradition from the early Church which honors important people of the Christian faith. The usage of the term "saint" is similar to Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Those in the Anglo-Catholic tradition may...

 on December 17.

Works online

  • Address to the Colonization Society, a Fourth of July oration delivered in 1829 at the Park Street Church
    Park Street Church
    The Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts is an active Conservative Congregational Church at the corner of Tremont Street and Park Street. The church is currently pastored by Gordon P. Hugenberger.-History:...

     in Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    . This was Garrison's first major public statement against slavery.
  • An Address Delivered in Marlboro Chapel, a Fourth of July oration delivered in 1838, discussing Garrison's views of slave rebellion and the prospects for violence. From the Antislavery Literature Project.
  • To the Public, Garrison's introductory column for The Liberator (January 1, 1831).
  • Truisms, from The Liberator (January 8, 1831).
  • The Insurrection, Garrison's reaction to news of Nat Turner
    Nat Turner
    Nathaniel "Nat" Turner was an American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 60 white deaths and at least 100 black deaths, the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the American Civil War in the southern United States. He gathered...

    's rebellion, in The Liberator (September 3, 1831).
  • On the Constitution and the Union, from The Liberator (December 29, 1832).
  • Declaration of Sentiments, adopted by the Boston Peace Convention (September 18, 1838), reprinted in The Liberator (September 28, 1838).
  • Abolition at the Ballot Box, from The Liberator (June 28, 1839).
  • The American Union, from The Liberator (January 10, 1845).
  • The Tragedy at Harper's Ferry, Garrison's first public commentary on John Brown
    John Brown (abolitionist)
    John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

    's raid on Harpers Ferry
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. In many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe....

    , from The Liberator (October 28, 1859).
  • John Brown and the Principle of Nonresistance, a speech given for a meeting in the Tremont Temple
    Tremont Temple
    The Tremont Temple on 88 Tremont Street is a Baptist church in Boston, affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA. The existing structure opened in May 1896 and was designed by architect Clarence Blackall.-History:...

    , Boston, on December 2, 1859, the day that John Brown was hanged. Reprinted in The Liberator (December 16, 1859).
  • The War—Its Cause and Cure, from The Liberator (May 3, 1861).
  • Valedictory: The Final Number of The Liberator, closing column for The Liberator (December 29, 1865).
  • No Union With Slaveholders
  • William Lloyd Garrison works Cornell University Library Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection
  • William Lloyd Garrison works reprinted by Cornell University Digital Library Collections.
  • The Liberator Files, Horace Seldon's collection and summary of research of William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator original copies at the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Reading Garrison’s Letters, Horace Seldon's insight into the thought, work and full life of Garrison, based on "Letters of William Lloyd Garrison" edited by Walter M. Merrill and Louis Ruchames, from the Belknap Press of Harvard University.

External links