Abolitionists and Antiabolitionists: William Lloyd Garrison and the Broadcloth Mob
Overview: During the nineteenth century, the greatest blemish on America as a free society was slavery, which grew ever more entrenched in the South as cotton production expanded. Many Americans throughout the United States favored slavery: in the North there were textile mills that made money by weaving southern cotton into cloth; so northern manufacturers and laborers also had a stake in slavery. But other Americans, known as abolitionists, demanded the abolition of slavery and became increasingly outspoken. But they were faced with sometimes-violent “push back” even in the north. This essay focuses on a dramatic moment when a Boston mob nearly killed the great Abolitionist leader, William Lloyd Garrison, and it explores Garrison's personality and his reasons for being and Abolitionist.
1. An Antiabolishionist Mob forms in Boston: Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, "Anti-Slavery Rooms," George Thompson, British abolitionist, "snake Thompson out," "a bucket of green tar," William Lloyd Garrison, ladies-in disguise, mounting one another's shoulders, Mary Parker, "howling with rage," "an awful, sublime, and soul-thrilling scene, Boston's mayor Theodore Lyman, Maria Weston Chapman, "it is dangerous to remain," martyrdom, the crowd, "broadcloth" mob, gentleman of "property and standing," black women, Samuel Sewall, "transformed with malice and passion."
2. Explaining Antiabolitionism in Boston: Massachusetts, manufacture of textiles, prejudice against blacks, Alton-Illinois, Elijah Lovejoy, antislavery hall, Philadelphia, "gag" resolution, antiabolitionism, Faneuil Hall, Liberator, Richmond Whig, must go hanging, "Anti-Slavery Rooms," Commercial Gazette, James Homer.
3. Garrison's Background and Ordeal in Boston: Expression of calm rectitude, Harriet Martineau, sea captain, Newburyport-Massachusetts, Frances Maria Lloyd Garrison, Newburyport Herald, Benjamin Franklin, Newburyport Free Press, National Philanthropist, Benjamin Lundy, Quaker, profitable enterprise, Genius of Universal Emancipation, "within sight of Bunker Hill," "I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation," "AND I WILL BE HEARD," northern gradualists, Revolution's emphasis on Freedom, legalizing manumission, gradual emancipation, new cotton gin, returning free black to Africa, Nat Turner's Revolt, "the house was on fire...," New England Anti-Slavery, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, British West Indies, depart through back window, carpenter's shop, "I shall go down to the mob unresistingly," "Don't let's kill him outright," not clear what would occur next, Aaron and Daniel Cooley , "You shan't hurt him! He's an American," Britisher George Thompson, Cooley brothers, state of total confusion, nearly blind, man walked with head erect, Henry Ingersoll Bowditch, "an abolitionist from this very moment," city hall, his "consecrated spot," Sheriff Parkman, instigating their action, "incredibly perilous" journey, Leverett Street Jail, several visitors, good spirits, "respectable and influential mob," indictment read.
4. Understanding Garrison: Boston's support of the Union and stability, varying opinions, risked own skin, efforts on Garrison's behalf, welcoming martyrdom, "calm, saintly, composure," George W. Benson, " I felt perfectly calm, nay, very happy," price on his head, psychologically disturbed, being misfits and malcontents, stability of his personality, Helen Benson Garrison, "domestic quietude and happiness," humane ballast, the sale of her beloved partner at auction, sense of humor, ending slaver in the District of Columbia, "Judge Lynch," fine museum artifact, Brooklyn-Connecticut, return to Boston, George Thompson- an abolitionist reunion, Mary Parker, "A happy meeting this," own house, domestic shelter, purring and playing, infantile joke, backlash of sympathy, anonymous contribution, two ladies on the train, "we are not antislavery," "What! Not antislavery," George Thompson Garrison, most outspoken character, supporting women abolitionist, Angelina, Sarah Grimke, burned a copy of the Constitution, American Anti-Slavery Society, Arthur Tappan, conservative American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, riots in support of runaway slaves, Fugitive Slave Law (1850), Emancipation Proclamation, Sumter-South Carolina, "I hate slavery as I hate nothing else."