Farewell to The Liberator and Further Reading
In 1865, after thirty-five years of publication, William Lloyd Garrison planned to close The Liberator at the end of that year. The newspaper had never been financially successful and final victory in the Civil War as well as the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment seemed to mark an appropriate stopping point. Garrison almost missed his deadline—the formal end of slavery did not come until 18 December 1865—and he set some of the type for the last issue on the same imposing stone that he had first used in 1831 when The Liberator began. Although many of Garrison’s readers and supporters, including William C. Nell, thought the battle for black civil rights was just beginning, they flooded the paper with congratulatory messages, forcing him to print an “extra” final issue.
Digital Collections at the MHS
African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts: Web displays of manuscripts and early printed works about the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery in the state in 1780.
The Case for Ending Slavery: Primary sources and lesson plans arranged around five topics relating to slavery, the end of slavery, and the Civil War.
Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts: Online displays of photographs, paintings, and other visual materials illustrating the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery.
Books and Manuscript Collections
Please note: The links below go to bibliographic descriptions and collection guides for the printed and manuscript materials.
Liberator. Boston, Mass.: William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp, 1831-1865.
Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.
Reynolds, David S. John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 2005.
Stevens, Charles Emery. Anthony Burns: A History. Boston: John P. Jewett and Co., 1856.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly. Boston: J.P. Jewett; Cleveland: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852, c1851.