Archive for the 'Garrison Persona' Category

Garrison does not want “to be eaten”

Aug 28, 1837

Responding to public criticism, Garrison refers to an abolitionist who says that he never ‘swallowed William Lloyd Garrison, and I never tried to swallow him’.  Garrison responds:  “For myself, I feel within me the instinct of self-preservation too strongly to be willing to allow either man or beast to swallow me, either in a figuratrive or literal sense.  I desire to remain uneaten; my earnest entreaty is, that no man will think of making a meal of me, either in the gross, or in choice proportions….”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Gerrit Smith, support of Liberator

Dec. 17, 1836

“I have received a letter from Gerrit Smith, enclosing a check of $50 … a donation to help sustain the Liberator, which paper, he says, “is, and ever should be, dearer to the heart of the thorough American abolitionist, than any other anti-slavery periodical.”  Garrison comments,  “After the difference which has existed between us, and the many severe things I have written in reference to his colonization conduct, is not the donation generous, and the panegyric still more liberal?  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Comparing Men and Women Abolitionists

Sept 28, 1836

“The abolition men in this city are somewhat drowsy, but the women are, as usual, wide awake, and the life of the cause.  I must put some goads into the former, and spur them up.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

The Sabbath

July 30, 1836

Writing to the New England Spectator, Garrison complains that he has been misrepresented as being “against the Sabbath”.    He explains his position.  “The Christian Sabbath is not one of time; it is not dependent upon the recurrence of one day in seven; it sanctifies every moment, and, being wholly spiritual, comes not by observation.  Is it not our daily prayer — ‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?’  If that kingdom be within us, if that will be truly obeyed by us, we enjoy, as to times and seasons, a liberty in Christ Jesus, unknown to those under the first covenant. It may no longer be imposed upon us  …..Am I opposed to the religious observance and bodily rest of one day in seven?  No –But provided it be voluntary.  But when men attempt to make this strict outward observance a test of Christian character, and to decide for me how far I may walk or ride on that day, and to brand innocent and useful acts as damning crimes, I must resist the attempt as pernicious and unauthorized by the gospel of Christ…”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Anti-Garrison effigy

July 5, 1836

Garrison tells of his effigy erected in Fall River.  “… some unknown but patriotic artist, (rejoicing in his liberty,) with considerable labor, but not much skill, made an effigy of straw, and suspended it upon a post in Main Street, to which was fastened a label containing these condemnatory words — ‘Garrison, the abolitionist;  fit subject for the gallows.’  The man of straw proved better than a town crier to urge all good citizens to attend our meeting in the afternoon.. He brought many to hear and see, who else might have remained at home.  I am much obliged to him, for he enabled me to put up the celestial goddess of Liberty in his stead, in the presence of the people. ”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Anti-Slavery Societies

Jan. 30, 1836

Garrison writes to the President of the Anti-Slavery Convention to be held in Providence, in February.  He congratulates the people of Rhode Island, (and comments that Connecticut is the only New England state presently where there is no such Society), but notes the existence of other state societies.  He mentions Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Kentucky.  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Message to the MASS

Jan 17, 1836

Garrison is in Connecticut, and writes to Samuel J. May, indicating that he cannot attend the fourth annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Here are a few sentences of his letter.  “Let me say to the brethren who shall assemble together — Be Bold For God.  These are times in which we are specially called upon not to count our lives dear unto  us — if, living, we are to be slaves ourselves, or to work at the enslavement of others.  Nay, we shall be unworthy of an existence, if we suffer ourselves to be awed into silence by the threats of oppressors.  The cause which we advocate is not ours, but God’s; and therefore I renew the charge — Be Bold For God.”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Gerrit Smith

Feb 7, 1835

In this letter to Smith, Garrison utilizes a favored method of placing in two parallel columns words of the person addressed, pointing out what Garrison believes to be glaring inconsistencies.  Here the columns are titled,  “Gerrit Smith vs. Gerrit Smith,  Hard Language vs. Soft and Hard Language”.   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Garrison Voted Once!

December 18, 1834

In a letter addressed to “the Colored Inhabitants of Boston”, Garrison writes against advertisements he had seen which urged them to “rally on the side of the Whigs”.  He notes that prior to the election “fully attended meetings” among colored voters passed resolutions in favor of Whigs.  He is confident that when they voted for Whigs, their motives were better than those actuated by white Whig supporters.  “ meant to act wisely for yourselves, and indirectly at least, to advance that sacred cause which we deem to be paramount to all others … I think you committed an error — I think you were misled, unintentionally, by those who you have every reason to believe are truly your well-wishers…”   He then indicates that he voted for Amasa Walker “on the ground of humanity, justice, benevolence and religion; and I think, as you valued your welfare, he ought to have received your votes…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Depravity of the times

April 25, 1834

Writing to Helen:  “The deeper I get in my moral researches, the more does my soul sicken at the depravity of the times.  As a nation, we are ‘full of wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores’.  Men are profane — impure –vicious –rebellious. The leprosy of corruption covers society, and the cancer of selfishness is preying upon its vitals. As a people, we are by no means backward in our professions of christianity and republicanism; but it is certain that we draw nigh unto God with our lips, while our hearts are far from  him –else we should bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness.”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI