William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator On January 1, 1831, 24-year-old reformer William Lloyd Garrison of Massachusetts began publishing his newspaper The Liberator, dedicated to the abolition of slavery. Garrison’s stridency and uncompromising position on both the institution of slavery and slaveowners offended many in the North and South, but he vowed to continue the fight until slavery was abolished. In the first issue of his newspaper, he wrote, ‘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 speak, or write, with moderation. No! No!’ Garrison once burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution, condemning it as ‘a covenant with death and an agreement with hell’ because it did not forbid slavery. The Liberator ceased publication in 1865 after the 13th Amendment was passed, outlawing slavery.
Image: National Archives