Sunday, May 15, 2016
William Lloyd Garrison
This 1833 portrait of William Lloyd Garrison by Nathaniel Jocelyn hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Single-handedly, William Lloyd Garrison transformed the antislavery movement from a discussion about gradually ending slavery into a moral crusade demanding 'immediate and complete emancipation.' A printer and editor, Garrison experienced his near-religious conversion to abolitionism around 1828 and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. At first, he was a lone, fierce, and unpopular voice; at one point, he was almost lynched in his hometown of Boston. But Garrison refused to back down: 'I will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard!' he thundered. His attack on slavery grew so fierce that he condemned the Constitution as a corrupt document for permitting it. Garrison's extremism was not shared by all, yet he and his growing number of followers forced the North to the previously radical proposition that slavery was both immoral and antithetical to the country's founding principles." -- National Portrait Gallery