William Lloyd Garrison, Religious Patriot Essay

William Lloyd Garrison believed that slavery was the “greatest evil of all” (Hollitz 136), and that “there could be no compromise with evil” (Hollitz 136). Garrison strived to “persuade the entire nation of the sinfulness of slavery” (Hollitz 137), he became a supporter of the abolition movement, fought against slavery, and advocated for human rights; William Lloyd Garrison was a religious patriot. Garrison was raised by his mother after his alcoholic father abandoned him and his family when he was only three years old. After his father left, Garrison was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker and shortly after to the owner of a newspaper.

After a seven year apprenticeship at the Newburyport Herald, “Garrison headed to Boston and soon found work as editor of a temperance journal put out by a Baptist missionary” (Hollitz 136). In 1828, Garrison met Benjamin Lundy, the publisher for “The Genius of Universal Emancipation” (Hollitz 136). Garrison found this a more compelling cause than that of the Temperance and “set out to raise the moral tone of the country” (Hollitz 136). Benjamin Lundy was influential in Garrison’s belief that slavery was the greatest evil of all” (Hollitz 136).

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Garrison believed that “slavery was immoral and an abomination and that must be ended immediately. ” (Hollitz 136). In the pages of The Genius of Universal Emancipation, Garrison promoted what he called his new and alarming doctrine” (Hollitz 136). Garrison lashed out against slavery and those who promoted it. He “launched bitter attacks on individuals with the intention of provocation even going to the “extreme of calling two slave traders highway robbers and murderers,” (Hollitz 136) “There could be no compromise with evil” (Hollitz 136).

In lieu of his provocation and bitter attacks on different individuals, “one of the individuals responded with a libel suit against the paper” (Hollitz 136). Garrison was charged a $50 fee. Unable to pay the fee, garrison “sat in jail for forty-nine days” (Hollitz 136). Through it all, Garrison remained defiant declaring “My pen cannot remain idle, nor my voice be suppressed” (Hollitz 136). When Garrison was released, he was determined to start his own abolitionist newspaper. Garrison wanted to persuade the entire nation of the sinfulness of slavery” (Hollitz 137). In January 1831, Garrison published his first issue of his new paper. In the front page editorial Garrison explained that the Liberator stood for “immediate emancipation” (Hollitz 137).

Garrison stated, “I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation… . I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD” (Hollitz 137). Soon, more and more people began to pay attention to Garrison and his the Liberator. He quickly became the very symbol of abolitionist fanaticism and the target of numerous death threats” (Hollitz 138). Even with the threats, Garrison stood strong, he helped create the Massachusetts anti-slavery society and became an advocate for women’s rights. Garrison believed that the struggles for the liberation of slaves and women were inseparable. Garrison believed in the “universal emancipation of all humanity from all bondage to human government” (Hollitz 139).

He believed that slavery was the “greatest evil of all” (Hollitz 136), and that it was his duty to “persuade the entire nation of the sinfulness of slavery” (Hollitz 137). He did this by launching his moral crusade. Garrison was a strong supporter of the abolition movement, he fought against the evil of slavery, and advocated for human rights; William Lloyd Garrison was a religious patriot.

Works Cited

Hollitz, John. Contending Voices: Biographical Explorations of the American Past: To 1 8 7 7. 3rd Edition. Volume I. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2011. 67. Print.