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Haverford College
Quaker and Special Collections

Articles on Special Subjects in The Liberator, 1853 - 1865
Available in the Rare Newspaper Collection

The Liberator was published weekly from Boston from January 1, 1831 to December 29, 1865. According the prospectus the editor William Lloyd Garrison promised to "strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population." His motto for The Liberator was "Our Country is the World - Our Countrymen are Mankind."

The reference numbers below correspond to entries in Blassingame and Henderson's Antislavery Newspapers and Periodicals. This valuable reference tool supplies an annotated index of letters and articles in The Liberator, and other antislavery publications. It can be consulted or the researcher can go directly to the date of the newspaper to be found in Special Collections.

This Guide will assist researchers to quickly find articles of interest in issues of The Liberator held in Special Collections in the areas of:



2511: "Arbitrary Conformity of Dress," 28 January 1853
Comments on Garrison's scorn of the Quakers' "peculiar dress."

3411: "Philadelphia Quakerism," 29 June 1855
Written by a Quaker in response to an article in the Boston Courier, this letter denounces abolitionism as fanatical and abstract, while complimenting "the higher spiritualism of Unitarianism."

3802: "Letter From Lydia Maria Child," 4 July 1856
Letter to the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends. Praises their actions against religious sectarianism.

4342: "Meeting of Progressive Friends," 16 October 1857
Tells Garrison about the Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends 4931: "Letter From Lydia Maria Child," 5 August 1859 In this letter to the Progressive Friends, Child emphasizes the need for moral courage in the fight for truth.

4945: "Letter From Rev. Samuel Johnson," 12 August 1859
Directed to the Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends. A long article in which Johnson emphasizes the importance of the love of truth.

5653: "Annual Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress," 21 June 1861
Tells of the new religious and moral reforms supporting freedom during this time of crisis that were made during the annual meeting.

5905: "Miss Dickinson at Providence," 25 April 1862
Tells of the lectures of the Quaker Anna Dickinson on the National Crisis and the Position of Women.

7112: "Letter From John G. Whittier Upon Edward Everett," 10 March 1865
By John Whittier, this letter commemorates Everett's ability to look towards peace, and his respect for the union and freedom.

Women's Rights

2691: "Lucy Stone Before the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention," 1 July 1853
Interesting early arguments for women's right to vote. Describes Lucy Stone's and Wendell Phillips' speeches to the Massachusetts constitutional convention advocating a new amendment.

3249: "Woman an Ecclesiastic," 15 December 1854
Written by a female, Rev. Antoinette Brown, this letter argues in favor of the right of women to become ministers.

7470: "Political Rights of Woman," 29 December 1865
By Elizabeth Cady Stanton, this letter argues for women's rights, and encloses a petition to Congress.

Political--Laws and Opinions

2682: "Character of the US Constitution," 1 July 1853
Continuation of a debate on the constitutionality of slavery.

2967: "Nothing but Compromise," 31 March 1854 Contains references to the Missouri Compromise and Nebraska Bill. Comments that everything passed by Congress is a compromise. The author believes that these compromises are due to the fact that the Constitution is itself a compromise, establishing freedom for whites and slavery for blacks.

2969: "Illinois a Slaveholding State," 31 March 1854
Interesting account of slavery in Illinois. While the state does have a slave code, the slaveholders neglect any part of it that is unfavorable, and public sentiment seems superior to the law.

2971: "Gerrit Smith on the Homestead Bill," 31 March 1854
In this letter to Frederick Douglass, Smith explains his vote against the Homestead Bill and its favoring of white people.

3021: "The Deed of Infamy Consummated," 9 June 1854
An interesting description of Northern resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law and its consequences. Following the trial of Anthony Burns, Mayor Joseph Hayes resigns from office, refusing to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.

3245: "Slave Catching in Vermont,"15 December 1854
Reports on Vermont's new law, which protects escaped slaves from kidnappers in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law.

3778: "Wisconsin and the United States," 20 June 1856
Explains the developments Wisconsin's defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law. Wisconsin's Supreme Court has decided that the Federal government has no right to imprison a citizen of Wisconsin for violating the Fugitive Slave Law.

3791: "A Northern Confederacy," 27 June 1856 Blames problems in Kansas and in Congress on the compromise between liberty and slavery. Argues that the only way to end the crisis is to create a Northern Confederacy.

4928: "The US Constitution and Slavery," 5 August 1859
In this letter from Alabama, the author appeals to the country's "thinking men" to understand the South's constitutional rights.

5658: "There Must Be No Compromise," 28 June 1861
An interesting letter against the Crittenden Compromise, this letter urges closer reading of the propositions in order to expose the hidden pro-slavery clauses. For example, one article permits the transportation of slaves across any state lines, even free states.

5904: "Slavery in Maryland," 25 April 1862
This reprinted article from the Baltimore American shows some Southern support for compensated emancipation, based on the idea that Lincoln's policies will be strongly supported.


3793-4: "Brooks and His Constituents," 4 July 1856
Reprint of a letter from Charleston showing the Southern support of Brooks and his attack on Charles Sumner.

5523: "Hon. Lucius Slade on the Crisis," 8 February 1859
Reprinted from the Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader, this letter from member of the Massachusetts legislature Lucius Slade to a Georgia citizen reveals his sympathy for the South and his desire to preserve the Union as one of two Democratic legislature members.

Foreign Opinions

2684: "The New Faith- The American Union," 1 July 1853
This letter from France expresses support for abolition, especially through the religion of science.

3708: "French Testimonies Against Slavery," 11 April 1856
Includes a letter from Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville claims that the United States is "almost the only one among civilized and Christian nations which yet maintains personal servitude." Not only does he believe slavery is hindering the nation's progress, but also that it is immoral and personally degrading.

5649: "England and America," 21 June 1861
In this letter to the English Earl of Shaftesbury, Justin Perkins tells of the wide- spread interest in the American conflict. He also states that it is a moral conflict, not a political one.

6357: (no title), 17 April 1863
A petition from England in which the Liverpool Emancipation Society urges Parliament to stop the support of the confederacy through shipbuilding and entry to ports.

Civil War Descriptions

3785: (no title), 27 June 1856 Short but interesting excerpt-tells the experience of a traveler captured by men from South Carolina

3803: "From Kansas," 11 July 1856
A reprinted letter from Southern troops in Camp Carolina, Kansas. Describes the conditions, actions, and victories against abolitionists.

5800: "Letter From Col. Crocker," 7 February 1862
In this interesting letter from an army camp in Missouri, Col. Crocker urges the secretary of state that war is necessary. The letter also tells that, from Crocker's experience, there are no loyal slaveholders.

5907: "The Barbarism of Slavery," 25 April 1862
Tells of the brutality of the Southern soldiers who treat the enemy dead disrespectfully and keep body parts as trophies.

6354: "Intercepted Letter From Jefferson Davis to Fernando Wood," 17 April 1863
An interesting printed letter in which Davis expresses his faith in a Southern victory and a permanent confederacy.

7113: "Letters From 'Carleton'," 10 March 1865
An interesting description of conditions in the South following Sherman's arrival. The author notes both the class relations there and the feelings of the citizens.

Western Settlement

3598: "Fugitives! Fugitives!," 25 January 1856
Interesting compilation of articles and rewards notices from the West. Tells of a group of ruffians led by an escaped slave that is invading Kansas and terrorizing the city of Lawrence.

3731: "Slavery and Polygamy in Utah," 2 May 1856
Interesting article commenting on the effects of popular sovereignty in Utah and the importance of slavery there. The author reprints a letter to an unnamed congressman, showing the involvement of two Utah judges with the slave trade.

3799: "Kansas," 4 July 1856
Interesting description of the lives of Kansas settlers and the dangerous conditions there.

4167-8: "Indian Troubles at the West," 8 May 1857
An interesting account of conflicts between Native Americans and settlers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

4890: "Letter From Henry C. Wright," 17 June 1859
In these three interesting and easy to read letters, Wright tells of his travels in the Ohio farmland, which has been destroyed by frost. Into these narratives, Wright incorporates his sentiments against the Fugitive Slave Law.

Opinions on Slavery

2510: "Russia and the Russians," 28 January 1853
Interesting comparison of Russian serfdom to slavery in America

2616: "Meetings at Abington," 22 April 1853
Begins by describing the anti-slavery meetings at Abington. Then comments on the Constitution, saying that it is pro-slavery and the principles of the Declaration of Independence need to be carried out instead.

3474: "Political Action in Maine," 7 September 1855
Argues that "as long as the constitution and the union last, slavery will continue." The author believes that not only will simply trying to stop the spread of slavery ail, but it is just as bad as slaveholding itself.

4891: "Anti-Slavery Versus Colonization," 17 June 1859
A comparison of ideologies and actions of abolitionism and the American Colonization Society, in which the author attacks the ineffectiveness of the ACS.

2536: "Card of Acknowledgement," 25 February 1853
Account by a former slave of buying his wife's freedom from a slaveholder.

4565: "African Emigration to the United States," 18 June 1858
Written by United States Secretary of the Treasury, Howell Cobb Discloses a Southern plot to restart the slave trade by bringing African "emigrants" to the United States.

4843: "Equal Political Rights," 8 April 1859
Argues that, after settling in the north, free blacks deserve equal rights.

4932: "Crispus Attucks Once a Slave in Massachusetts," 5 August 1859
An interesting article in reference to the escaped slave Crispus Attucks and his role in the Boston Massacre. The author believes that Attucks deserves justice and recognition for his support of liberty.

5902: "Gerrit Smith to Montgomery Blair," 18 April 1862
Writing in response to a claim that freed slaves would be "massacred," Smith argues that instead, they would be accepted and succeed.

6334: "Anti-Slavery Authority," 27 March 1863
Gives a list of anti-slavery writings (as well as quotes) located at the Boston Atheneum which were bound by the Founding Fathers.

7456: "Congratulation and Farewell," 29 December 1865
While thanking the Liberator for its work against slavery, the author cautions that the feelings of hatred and prejudice brought forward by the war and by slavery will be hard to erase.

Accounts of Slavery and of Freed Slaves

2735: "A Female Impostor," 5 August 1853
A very interesting letter advising abolitionists of a female fugitive slave imposter who is addicted to opium. Also, there is a reference to Lucretia Mott as one of the fake witnesses or references given by the woman.

5923: "The Liberated Slaves at Beaufort," 2 May 1862
This account by a teacher of freed slaves explains the system of payment, living conditions, and daily actions of the group.

7111: "Letter From 'Brooklyn Heights'," 10 March 1865
By Henry Ward Beecher, this article explains the success of emancipation (for political reasons) in Maryland, and the development of schools there. However, Beecher also worries that Davis will try to defeat the Amendment Act.

Special Collections, Haverford College
Compiled by Rachel Freedman
May 2007