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The Liberator: 19th century abolitionist newspaper at your finger tips

Nov 16, 2012 by Alice Whiteside

Over the summer (how long ago that feels!) LITS acquired a number of new subscriptions to important online resources. We are excited to offer access to these amazing materials, and we want you to know about them and use them!

We've told you about a couple of them already (Cambridge Histories Online, The Gerritsen Collection) and this week I want to highlight a historic newspaper that provides a treasure trove of information about the abolitionist movement.

The Liberator (1831)

In the first issue of The Liberator, co-founder William Lloyd Garrison vowed, "I will be as harsh as truth, as un-compromising as justice...urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD."

The Boston-based newspaper had a run of thirty-five years, publishing weekly issues from January 1, 1831 through the end of December 1865. The content includes fierce editorials, news reports, calls to action, obituaries and births, personal stories, updates on activity of abolitionist efforts, and even poetry. The Liberator published some of the most important writings about the abolitionist cause.

screenshot of The Liberator search in Accessible Archives

Our subscription via Accessible Archives is full text in html. While you won't see reproductions of the pages like the masthead image above, you can search, browse and read every word that was published in the paper. Find The Liberator through the Journals search on the LITS homepage (newspapers as well as journals are included here!) or on our relevant research guides, and, as always, stop by the Research Help Desk if you have any questions!



Friedman, Walter. "Liberator, The." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 1287-1288. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.

Garrison, William Llyod. "To the public." The Liberator [Boston] 1 Jan. 1831. Accessible Archives. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.

Image credits:

The Liberator masthead from the Library Company of Philadelphia via Wikimedia Commons

Screenshot taken from Accessible Archives on 16 Nov. 2012


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