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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Abolitionist movement and the role of media?

What was the role of the media in the Abolitionist Movement? I'm having trouble finding information. Thank you for any info, help, sources, or websites!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 12, 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts,[1] the son of immigrants from the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Under the Seaman’s Protection act, Abijah Garrison, a merchant sailing pilot and master, had obtained American papers and moved his family to Newburyport in 1805. With the impact of the Congressional Embargo Act of 1807 on commercial shipping, the elder Garrison became unemployed and deserted the family in 1808. Garrison's mother, Frances Maria Lloyd, was reported to have been tall, charming and of a strong religious character. At her request, Garrison was known by his middle name, Lloyd. She died in 1823.

    Young Lloyd Garrison sold homemade molasses candy and delivered wood to help support the family. In 1818, at thirteen, Garrison began working as an apprentice compositor for the Newburyport Herald. He soon began writing articles, often under the pseudonym Aristides, taking the name of an Athenian statesman and general known as “the Just.” After his apprenticeship ended, he and a young printer named Isaac Knapp bought their own newspaper, the short lived Free Press. One of their regular contributors was poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier. In this early work as a small town newspaper writer, Garrison acquired skills he would later use as a nationally known writer, speaker and newspaper publisher. In 1828, he was appointed editor of the National Philanthropist in Boston, Massachusetts, the first American journal to promote legally mandated temperance.

    [edit] Career as a reformer

    When he was 25, Garrison joined the Abolition movement. For a brief time he became associated with the American Colonization Society, an organization that believed free blacks should immigrate to a territory on the west coast of Africa. Although some members of the society encouraged granting freedom to slaves, the majority saw the relocation as a means to reduce the number of free blacks in the United States and thus help preserve the institution of slavery. By 1828, Garrison had rejected the Society's programs.

    [edit] Genius of Universal Emancipation

    Garrison began writing for and become co-editor with Benjamin Lundy of the Quaker Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. Garrison's experience as a printer and newspaper editor allowed him to revamp the layout of the paper and freed Lundy to spend more time traveling as an anti-slavery speaker. Garrison initially shared Lundy's gradualist views, but, while working for the Genius, he became convinced of the need to demand immediate and complete emancipation. Lundy and Garrison continued to work together on the paper in spite of their differing views, agreeing simply to sign their editorials to indicate who had written it.

    One of the regular features that Garrison introduced during his time at the Genius was "The Black List," a column devoted to printing short reports of "the barbarities of slavery — kidnappings, whippings, murders." One of Garrison's "Black List" columns reported that a shipper from Garrison's home town of Newburyport, Massachusetts — one Francis Todd — was involved in the slave trade, and that he had recently had slaves shipped from Baltimore to New Orleans on his ship Francis. Todd filed a suit for libel against both Garrison and Lundy, filing in Maryland in order to secure the favor of pro-slavery courts. The state of Maryland also brought criminal charges against Garrison, quickly finding him guilty and ordering him to pay a fine of $50 and court costs. (Charges against Lundy were dropped on the grounds that he had been traveling and not in control of the newspaper when the story was printed.) Garrison was unable to pay the fine and was sentenced to a jail term of six months. He was released after seven weeks when the antislavery philanthropist Arthur Tappan donated the money for the fine, but Garrison had decided to leave Baltimore and he and Lundy amicably agreed to part ways.

    [edit] The Liberator

    In 1831, Garrison returned to New England and founded a weekly anti-slavery newspaper of his own, The Liberator. In the first issue, Garrison stated:

    I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten th

  • 1 decade ago

    Just look at the number of abolitionist newspapers: The Liberator, Frederick Douglass' Journal, Kansas Herald of Freedom, etc. These newspapers were founded and run by abolitionists, and had somewhat of a wide following. The print media as a whole, however, tended to view abolitionists as ideologues who were trying to overturn societal norms. Even anti-slavery Whig/Republican newspapers tended to bash abolitionists. So, if anything, the media attempted to undermine the abolitionist movement, but abolitionists did fight back through their own newspapers.

  • 1 decade ago

    Consider the role that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" played. In the 19th century, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was a bestseller, the equivalent of a blockbuster movie today.

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