cover image featuring a photo of garrison

William Lloyd Garrison and His Times; or, Sketches Of The Anti-Slavery Movement in America, and of the Man Who Was Its Founder and Moral Leader

by Oliver Johnson, Introduction by John G. Whittier

Purchase

William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 10, 1805. Despite the title of this work, he was certainly not the founder of the Anti-Slavery Movement in America, which had long preceded him. However, he made many notable contributions to the fight for the end of the barbarous practice. He founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, initially the New England Anti-Slavery Society, and was the editor of The Liberator. He also supported women’s suffrage, which actually split the abolitionist movement to split into various factions. Garrison never joined politics however, considering it against his morals. In 1879, Garrison passed away from kidney disease after a long and meaningful life.This work was written by Garrion’s friend, Oliver Johnson. There is much focus on Garrion’s role in the abolitionist movement, with limited and static portrayals of his family. Garrison felt he was central to the abolitionist movement, which is reflected in this biography. Fellow friend, John G. Whittier also wrote a glowing introduction to this book, which was released the year that Garrison died.

John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on December 17, 1807. His family farmed, although he was able to have access to some schooling, roughly 12 weeks annually. Whittier was motivated to learn, and became self-educated, so much so that he moved from farming to becoming an editor. Unfortunately, he was of poor health, and the occupational change suited his health needs as well. He worked for a variety of publications, including Haverhill Gazette, the New England Weekly Review, American Manufacturer in Boston, and the Pennsylvania Freeman. He gained a solid reputation through his work as an editor, and then became a politician. In 1833, William Lloyd Garrison contacted Whittier for assistance with the abolitionist movement. Whittier was dedicated to the cause, and advocated tirelessly against slavery. After the close of the Civil War, he gained fame for his narrative poem, Snowbound, which reflected both Whittier’s personal mourning the loss of his family within the turmoil of the United States during the Civil War. Whittier wrote a great deal of poetry in particular, but other content regarding the horrors and incredible injustice of slavery. This work highlighting the life and experiences of William Lloyd Garrison is an excellent example. Whittier’s life is well preserved in The Whittier Home Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark located in Amesbury, MA.