For 35 years The Liberator newspaper served as an anti-slavery platform of agitation and discussion advocating for immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves in the United States. The circulation of 3,000 reached many people including Frederick Douglass, and Sarah and Angelina Grimké.
William Garrison set almost every letter for the paper. Using narratives to disrupt public opinion, The Liberator interviewed people who escaped slavery including 2 former slaves of George and Martha Washington. Garrison’s writing included his perspective that the Constitution acted to maintain slavery. This view caused deep conflict between him and Frederick Douglass, who had been a long time friend.
Despite harsh resistance and violence toward The Liberator, it remained fiercely dedicated to abolition through the end of the Civil War.
This CPH poster printed at the worker-owned and union-run Community Printers, Santa Cruz, CA.
This is #179 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.
Kate DeCiccio is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer based in Oakland.