Archive for the 'Garrison Family' Category

Helen’s injury

October 13,  1843

Remembering the time, when two months ago, Helen had been injured in a fall from a carriage,  here is a long account, to the Liberator,  telling of the attention she  has received from a “natural bone-setter” Doctor.   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Death of Isaac Knapp

Sept 17, 1843

Though not a member of the Garrison family, here was a close companion, and early co-editor of the Liberator, and one with whom, from boyhood, Garrison “had been in terms of the closest intimacy”.   “In an evil hour he was led by adversity and business management, to put the cup of intoxication to his lips; and for the last three or four years sustained a wretched existence, though he made several attempts (alas! how ineffectual!) to return to the path of rectitude… Dropping a tear over his sad fate, let us ever associate his name with those who never turned their backs upon a great and good cause, because it was unpopular.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Family illness

Feb. 28, 1843

To Elizabeth Pease, after “cheering news” that she is in better health, after illness:  “I, too, have been ill, severely so, and know experimentally how to sympathize with those who are prostrated on beds of sickness… My dear Helen was called to summon all her fortitude and devotedness as a wife and a mother, and faithfully did she perform her part.  With a babe at her breast, a husband sick almost unto death, and three children lying ill at the same time  of that dreadful disorder scarlatina, she nobly passed through the ordeal; and it was not until we were all convalescent, that her exhausted frame gave out, when she was brought down by a slow, intermittent fever, from which she has since happily recovered.  Truly, we have been afflicted as a household, but the wings of divine love and mercy have overshadowed us all the while.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

James’ death

October 14, 1842

“The sufferer is at rest from his bodily pains.  My poor afflicted brother James threw off his mortal habiliments this morning, at 3 o’clock, but death had no power over his spirit.  Till within half an hour of his departure, his sufferings were very great; but he finally died so quietly, that I supposed he had fallen asleep, and did not discover my error until at least half an hour after the event had transpired.  As his case had long been hopeless his release from the flesh is cause of consolation, rather than sorrow.  He retained his senses to the last, and died with all possible fortitude and resignation, being perfectly aware that his end was approaching.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Liberator and personal finances

October 11, 1842

“My expenses, this year in consequence of James’s illness, and in other ways, have been very considerable; so that I now stand in debt, over my salary, $150; and should James be taken away, the funeral expenses would probably amount to $50 or more.  What is  worse, the receipts of the Liberator up to the lst inst. have fallen short of the expenses nearly $200 –so that I have not been able to get the $100 due me for my last month’s services.   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Birth of son, Charles Follen Garrison

Oct. 1, 1842

In a letter to Henry Wright:  ” Three weeks ago, my dear Helen presented me with a fourth son, whose name we shall call Charles Follen.  The mother and child are both doing remarkably well.  Thus, it is undeniable that, in spite of all opposition, ‘Garrisonism’ is on the increase!”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI


Jan 4, 1841

Garrison writes to his brother, still in Connecticut.  “As for what I have done for you, let it not be named.  You are welcome to it all, and to as much more as I may from time to time, be able to do for you; and the only remuneration that I want is, to see you leading a sober and virtuous life. … you have an excellent opportunity to recover yourself in every particular, and to begin the world anew. … So long as you have any appetite for ardent spirit — so long as you are not sure that you can resist its sorcery power — take the advice of a brother who loves you he does himself, and remain where you will be the least exposed to be tempted and overcome.  Liquor has been your worst foe. It has made you die a thousand deaths …”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Concern for brother, James

Sept. 17,  1840

Garrison confides to George Benson, his hope that James will stay in Brooklyn during the winter.  His health is not sufficient for a voyage, and “He could not be in Boston, or Cambridgeport, without being in the way of strong temptation, which would be difficult, if not impossible, for him to resist.  This is not to be regarded in him as a fault, but as a misfortune… ”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Birth of a son

July 3, 1840

Garrison has received word of the birth of a son.  “Every thing appears to have transpired in the best possible manner.  The relief which has been given to my anxious mind is more than words can express.  Most sincere and heart-felt is my gratitude to the Giver of every good and perfect gift … The lock of hair delivered…I gaze upon with rapturous delight.  The babe is a boy — ah! you are disappointed, and so am I; for we had both fondly hoped that it would be prove to be a girl.  But the gift is none the less precious, and I am thankful, for it.  Bro. J.  (Oliver Johnson), intimates that the lad has uncommonly good lungs, and thinks that be may heard almost across the Atlantic.  He begins early to make a noise in the world…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Love to family

May 28, 1840

On board ship, Garrison writes to Helen. At the conclusion:  “I think a great deal of my dear children, and long to hear their pleasant voices — more vocal to my spirit than the melody of birds.  But I must leave you all in the hands of Him who is infinitely wise and good, trusting that we shall all meet around the family board again, before the month of September shall have entirely passed away.  Distribute my affectionate remembrances among all at home, and all inquiring friends, and never for a moment doubt the fidelity and affection of Your faithful and loving husband…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI