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July 22, 2024

“The Liberator” – 1831-1865 …

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 6, 2014

While browsing thru some old documents in this laptop in order to free up space on the hard drive, I came across this piece that I had copied for a class several years ago. I think we were supposed to find a journalist who took a stand and made a difference in the lives of others, and then give a quick oral presentation of it.  After reading it again, I thought the quote from the “To The Public” article might still apply today, but for a different cause. I thought you might enjoy it also, so here it is:

“The Liberator” – 1831 – 1865

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison, upon his return to New England, founded a weekly anti-slavery newspaper of his own, The Liberator.

The Liberator faced harsh resistance from several state legislatures and local groups: for example, North Carolina indicted Garrison for felonious acts, and the Vigilance Association of Columbia, South Carolina, offered a reward of $1,500 ($25,957.20 in 2005 dollars) to those who identified distributors of the paper.

The opening letter in his first issue was entitled “To The Public”, and below is part of that article in which Garrison was talking about his stance on slavery, and stated:

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.”

Sources: WikiMedia and PBS



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1 Comment
  • Brad VanHoose
    Posted at 20:03h, 06 July Reply

    The Inaugural Edition is priceless. William Lloyd Garrison was a man of principle and passion. Garrison courageously spoke and wrote about what is right and wrong. Garrison wrote with passionate indifference to those who failed to see the light.

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