William Lloyd Garrison: First Liberator Editorial

(1831)

On January 1, 1831, a twenty-five-year-old editor named William Lloyd Garrison leaped to prominence as an advocate of immediate slave emancipation with the first publication of the Liberator. Garrison’s new weekly journal was only four pages in size and boasted few initial subscribers, but it sent shock waves through the nation by virtue of its relentless attacks upon slavery and its unwillingness to make peace with more moderate slavery opponents. In his First Liberator Editorial, Garrison spelled out his essential beliefs, ones he adhered to during the thirty-five years of his publication’s existence. Provocative, accusatory, and steeped in religious fervor, the editorial’s words served as the opening shot in a campaign of ideas that would cease only with the emancipation of America’s slaves. In 1865, following the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery, Garrison ended publication with his Valedictory Editorial, in which he...

Image for: William Lloyd Garrison: First Liberator Editorial

William Lloyd Garrison (Library of Congress)

View Full Size