He was an American Journalist a crusader against slavery, leading a successful abolitionist crusade in the U.S. He was born in 1805, December 10 in Massachusetts. He started his journalism career in 1818 at the age of 13 years by getting appointed as a writer under Ephraim Allen an Editor to Newburyport Herald. His skills in Journalism that he acquired through all that period helped him to start his own newspaper known as Newburyport free press. He used the paper to express his sentiments against slavery. He later went to Boston to work as an editor to National philanthropist.
It was during this time that he met Benjamin Lundy an editor to Genius of Emancipation which was speaking against slavery. Lundy offered him a job and this so him enter the Abolitionist movement. He later joined ‘American colonization society’ in the thought that the group was protecting blacks’ rights. He however realized later that their true intention was to reduce number of slaves in the U.S. He started his on Abolitionist paper referred to as ‘the liberator’ which marked his career as a true Abolitionist. In 1832 he went ahead to form ‘New England Antislavery Society’ that help to achieve the abolitionist objectives. He saw the end of slavery at the end of the civil war passing on in 1879, May 24th in New York City.
Historical Context of the Author’s materials
In the first material the author is referring to the period of 1682-1796 where there was a great campaign against slavery among the U.S citizens, in Jamaica the start of the Haitian revolution. He is also referring to the time U.S attained independence in 1774 July 4th bringing to an end the reign of the United Kingdom on the American citizens. The author is comparing this period to the time they are in Philadelphia to launch a convention of National Anti-Slavery. These two periods are similar because in both they are calling an end to oppression of others.
In the second material the Author is comparing the slavery going on in America to the African slave trade that was also happening at the moment. Many Americans thought that the two were totally different but the Author differs with their views as both are against people’s rights as they are being treated like market commodities. During the trade almost half a million African slaves were transported to the U.S to do hard labor. The Author is emphasizing that both the transportation of Africans from their original countries and them becoming slaves in America is against the fundamental Human rights of freedom (Garrison, 1833).
In the third material the Author is comparing the slavery happening in his country to that that existed during the time of Pharaoh and the Israelites and he sees more comparisons that differences. This is so because, just as Moses fought for the Israelites’ freedom, so is the purpose for their convention to set the American slaves free.
In the fourth material, Garrison is referring to the time when the congress was coming up with legislations to curb slavery. He is of the view that instead of America interfering with other countries sovereignty they should focus on eliminating slavery totally as per the country’s constitution. They should call to end slavery as a moral and political responsibility and stop supporting slave owners to take slaves as own property (1833, p. 322).
In the 5th material the Author is declaring war against slavery .He is swearing that even though they personally fail to achieve their goals, the four principles of truth, justice, humanity and reason will live on.
Who is the Audience?
The audiences include the congress leaders, the anti-slavery campaigners, the slaves and the world at large. Anybody who can dare listen and do something against slavery is the likely Audience of the writer’s piece.
Main points of the Article
According to Garrison (1833, p.325), slave trade of African’s from their countries to America to work as slaves is very wrong. Despite dying in huge numbers while in transit the slaves are going through inhuman treatment which should not happen to anyone. According to the Author even the Americans themselves fought to gain independence from the United Kingdom in an effort to experience total freedom, thus the need for them to do the same to their slaves and let them attain freedom.
Garrison is also against the congress decision to support slavery which is against the country’s constitution. He is encouraging the congress to end slavery as it is a moral and political right supported by the country’s constitution. He is against laws that support slave owners to own their slaves as personal property (1833, p.321).
The article also expresses the commitment the Abolitionists have to end slavery, and stresses that even if they personal fail to achieve their course their principles of justice, truth, humanity and reason will never be eroded.
The Importance of the Article to today’s society
The importance of the Article in today’s society is that it helps us appreciate the journey of human freedom which should be supported by everyone. As much as today’s slavery is different form the one in the 18th century, slavery still exists in form of hunger, deforestation, nuclear weapons, climate change, terrorism and inequality. This article gives as an opportunity to fight against these vices that we are facing today. It shows as that active civil right groups and lobbies are key in us speaking against vices that undermine our fundamental freedom as human beings.
The document emphasizes the importance of activism against any form of discrimination, and even though on personal level you might fail to achieve the goals, the principles you are fighting for will still remain and one day the discrimination will end even if it is not in your lifetime. We should speak against the modern slavery happening today of cheap lives for big profits by multinationals and governments.
Garrison, W. (1833). “Declaration of the National Anti- Slavery Convention”.1st edition, Boston: R. F. Wallcut.