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William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison
Nathaniel Jocelyn, 1796 - 1881
William Lloyd Garrison, 10 Dec 1805 - 24 May 1879
Oil on wood
Panel: 75.9 × 63 × 1.3cm (29 7/8 × 24 13/16 × 1/2")
Frame: 105.4 x 92.1 x 8.3cm (41 1/2 x 36 1/4 x 3 1/4")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
William Lloyd Garrison: Male
William Lloyd Garrison: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Lecturer
William Lloyd Garrison: Journalism and Media\Newspaper publisher
William Lloyd Garrison: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist
William Lloyd Garrison: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
William Lloyd Garrison: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist\Suffragist
William Lloyd Garrison: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Temperance
United States\Connecticut\New Haven\New Haven
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; bequest of Garrison Norton
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Newburyport, Massachusetts
William Lloyd Garrison helped transform 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 wrote in the first salutatory address of the Liberator.
Garrison’s attack on slavery grew so fierce that he condemned the Constitution as a corrupt document for permitting it. Although his extremism was not shared by all, 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.
Nacido en Newburyport, Massachusetts
William Lloyd Garrison contribuyó a que el movimiento antiesclavista pasara de mera discusión sobre el fin gradual de la esclavitud a ser una cruzada moral que exigía la “emancipación inmediata y completa”. Este impresor y editor experimentó una conversión casi religiosa al abolicionismo hacia 1828 y fundó la Sociedad Antiesclavista Americana en 1833. Al principio fue una voz solitaria, valiente e impopular. En Boston, su ciudad natal, llegaron casi a lincharlo. Pero se negó a retroceder: “No voy a ceder ni una pulgada, ¡y van a oírme!”, escribió en su primer mensaje de saludo en el Liberator.
Garrison llegó al extremo de afirmar que la Constitución era un documento corrupto por permitir la esclavitud. Aunque su extremismo no era compartido por todos, él y su creciente grupo de seguidores forzaron al norte a asumir la postura, antes considerada radical, de que la esclavitud era inmoral y antitética de cara a los principios fundacionales del país.
Estate of Garrison Norton [d.1995], Washington, D.C.; bequest to NPG
The Frick Art Reference Library records: Robert W. Purvis, Philadelphia; purchased by Edward M. Davis,Philladelphia; his heirs; Charles Henry Davis, Bass River, Mass.; his widow; purchased 1951 by Foster Wild Rice, Rowayton, Conn.; Garrison Norton, great grandson of sitter
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery