About this Site

William Lloyd Garrison, nineteenth century radical Abolitionist, in addition to publishing the Boston-based Liberator newspaper, wrote hundreds of letter to both friends and foes. Those letters, collected in several places, become the source material of this site.

Another site is a companion location for this one.  Both  are made possible by and are sites of the Boston African American National Historic Site.  National Park Service Ranger, and historian, Horace Seldon, is responsible for the choice of items which appear in both sites.  At theliberatorfiles.com the viewer can read selected items from the Liberator, which are also indexed in over one hundred categories.

This site is centered in a purpose to gain additional insight into the thought, work and full life of Garrison.  The source used is the superb six-volume set of Letters of William Lloyd Garrison, edited by Walter M. Merrill and Louis Ruchames, from the Belknap Press of Harvard University.  Citations from those volumes will indicate the Letter date for each entry, and provide access to the set of volumes.  It is hoped that the items excerpted here may encourage viewers for a more full perusal of the letters in those volumes.  Researchers may also find it helpful to compare items from the Liberator with items from the letters in the same time period.  The goal here is to facilitate that search.

This is a work in-progress, begun in 2007, with no anticipated date for completion.  As I begin the work, I have read most of the several hundred letters, and will continue them, with an expectation that I will find categories into which I will arrange the comments, hoping to illuminate the person, William Lloyd Garrison.  Most frequently the items selected for inclusion are not the main subject of the letter, but are references to persons or issues important to Garrison.

Initially I begin with these categories, which may be expanded as readings continue. Viewers will see changes with each viewing, as my reading of the letters goes forward.  If the words “Later Letters” appear on a page, viewers can see additional entries.

Garrison and Family

Garrison Persona

The Newspaper

Politics/Political Awareness & Action/Political Parties

Individual Persons

Violence and Non-Violence