Analysis of William Lloyd Garrison`s “To the Public”

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Analysis of William Lloyd Garrison’s “To the Public”

William Lloyd Garrison’s “To the Public” appeared for the firsttime in “The Liberator” publication in 1831. The excerpt raisedthe awareness on the dangers of slavery and how everyone needs tosupport the abolition movement. For instance, he asserts that theslave masters were wrong in oppressing the slaves and even thereligious teachings are against such behaviors. More important, heneeds people to understand how slavery is wrong and opposing the ideawill give the slaves the freedom they do need. This essay willcapture some of the essential issues that Garrison discussed in hisarticle.

Garrison highlights how people in the South are still against theidea of getting the freedom they deserve. He insists that he walkedthrough the communities and observed how people still had prejudiceand opposed the concept of freeing them1.He insists that such people reveal how backward the communities are.In fact, they are more willing to exploit their fellow human beingsand treat them like trash simply because they want certain chores tobe done. In reality, Garrison wants his people to acknowledge theessence of the move that they will take when they free the slaves. Healso reveals that such issues were wrong and God does not want othersto be treated unfairly just because of their skin color2.Eradicating slavery will be one step to civilization since everyonewill have an opportunity to be treated equally withoutdiscrimination. He even believes that gradual abolition will alsohelp the ones that oppose the idea embrace the changes with time3.Garrison goes ahead to disagree with the notion of moderation sinceit will not give the slaves the total freedom they need4.Instead, the slave owners need to keep using them for various tasksin their plantations since they do not know how they can survivewithout the slaves.

Despite the opposition of the people from the South, Garrison thinksthat they should go ahead with their decisions and implement the lawsthat will make the slaves free men. In this case, he even cites theguidelines in the American Declaration of Independence that asserteveryone is equal5.Hence, such assumptions show how the slaves are supposed to be freefrom the control of their masters that keep oppressing them becauseof their skin color. In fact, Garrison knew that raising awareness onthe issue will help the other individuals to change their perspectiveon their entire issue. Their support will be quite influential inmaking some relevant changes needed to make people accept slaves asindependent individuals. He even talks about the UniversalEmancipation at Baltimore, which was instrumental in providinginsights on what should be implemented in changing peoples’ minds6.Garrison believes that people need to understand the truth and avoidthe behavior of discriminating the slaves. His statement showed theneed to abolish slavery immediately. He knew that ignorance hadpushed some of the civilians to support slavery since they did nothave more information about the arrangement. Raising awareness wasone way of opposing any harmful ideas and focuses on making theslaves find a better solution.

In conclusion, Garrison’s statement was a way of reminding theAmericans that they do need to support the abolition movement. Forinstance, the society was being misled to believe that they shouldnot support the idea of stopping slavery. Instead, he wants people tounderstand that the Blacks are just normal and loving people that donot deserve the hate and prejudice that they are experiencing.Perhaps, changing such mentality will be one step in makinginstrumental changes needed in the society.


Garrison, WilliamLloyd. &quotTo the public.&quot The Liberator 1, no. 1(1831).

1 Garrison, William Lloyd. &quotTo the public.&quot The Liberator 1, no. 1 (1831).

2 Ibid, 1.

3 Ibid, 1.

4 Ibid, 1.

5 Ibid, 1.

6 Ibid,1.