The Liberator

The North Star


In theĀ Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society, by William Lloyd Garrison was a very interesting piece to read almost 200 years after it was written. The beliefs and the affirmations Garrison and the American Anti-Slavery Society stood for were very impressive for that time period. It was interesting to read on page 219 where Garrison said, “We also maintain that there are, at the present time, the highest obligations resting upon the people of the free States to remove slavery by moral and political action. They are now living under a pledge of their tremendous physical force, to fasten the galling fetters of tyranny upon the limbs of millions in the Southern States…”. This seems to me like Garrison is putting the blame and responsibility on the people living in the free States, not so much on the actual slave-owners. This was interesting because it felt that Garrison may have given on action from Congress doing something about slavery by saying, “But we maintain that Congress has a right, and is solemnly bound, to suppress the domestic slave trade between the several States, and to abolish slavery in those portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction”. It felt to me that Garrison knew the claims he and the Society were making were too much for Congress to handle at once and knew that putting the responsibility on the people of the free States was the best way to get his word out.

If there were more activists like Garrison, would the abolishment of slavery and the events leading up have gone any different, or was the action going to take it course like it did no matter what?