Struggle against slavery In the early years of William Lloyd Garrison, Garrison believed in a gradual emancipation. In the later years, Garrison’s views on slavery changed. He believed that there was only one true way of abolishing slavery, and that the most powerful way was through moral persuasion. Although, Garrison was willing to allow a standard for slaves which was different from his personal views in using only moral persuasion. He believed that it was impossible to hold slaves to his standards of persuasion.
Garrison also believed that the oppressed may be justified in using force when necessary. Garrison and his colleague Isaac Knapp, and several others had started to write a journal called The Liberator. This journal struck at the very heart of slavery, bringing forth the evils of its creation and denying our utmost principles of humanity. The Liberator also struck at the Declaration of Independence declaring that all men are equal and by that very pen which the Declaration was created sets forth hypocrisy in which knows no bounds through the depths of slavery itself. The
Church was also held accountable for its refusal to condemn slavery. This journal was a radical viewpoint in the nineteenth century. Garrison’s views were particularly unpopular in the South where slaves were more abundant and was the essential element of the economy. Even in the North, with New York being the largest holding slave state, had no intentions of a total emancipation. Americans had no desire to live with people of African descent. Many white Americans believed that those of African descent were unfit for full participation in the new republic. Within the different areas of the
North free blacks were withheld from entry into public places, churches, schools and warned those free people of color that if they did not voluntarily leave that they would be removed. Often they were assaulted physically as well as verbally. Free blacks were also denied the right to vote, sit on a jury, testify in court, carry a gun or even travel freely. Free people of African descent faced many obstacles in America. Many opponents of slavery believed the only possible way of total abolition were upon removing free blacks from the country. In the first issue of The Liberator, Garrison apologized for his previous support for the pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition” a belief that he no longer supported. Garrison demanded an immediate end to slavery. He condemned slavery as a sin. He believed in the principles of humanequalityand he was persistent in denouncing the evils of slave holding. He believed in the eyes of God that white and black could not be distinguished. Therefore should not be distinguished in man made laws as well.
The Liberator sparked opposition due to the radical assault on the society of the American republic on white over black. Before the circulation of The Liberator the District of Columbia tried to keep it from being distributed by prohibiting free people of African descent from attaining copies at the post office. In North Carolina Garrison was indicted for distributing his literature and in Georgia the legislature offered a five thousand dollar bounty for anyone arresting Garrison. In the years that followed he began to attract the more moderate community. This group did not repudiate the Constitution for the antislaverycoalitionthey embraced it and worked within the system to build political parties that would overturn slavery. For some reason Garrison distanced himself from politicians who campaigned on the antislavery ticket. Although, he did not discourage their assault on slavery. Likewise, the antislavery politicians also distanced themselves from Garrison and his group. Although, no one would refuse the effectiveness of that was drawn from the assault on slavery. Soon after the reelection in 1864 Lincoln invited Garrison to the White House. Lincoln remarked that he considered himself “ only an instrument in the struggle for emancipation. ” “ The logic and moral power of Garrison and the antislavery people of the country and the army, have done it all. ” “ The liberator had been heard. ”