Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-79, American abolitionist, b. Newburyport, Mass. He supplemented his limited schooling with newspaper work and in 1829 went to Baltimore to aid Benjamin Lundy in publishing the Genius of Universal Emancipation. This led (1830) to his imprisonment for seven weeks for libel. On Jan. 1, 1831, he published the first number of the Liberator, a paper that he continued for 35 years (to Dec. 29, 1865), until after the Thirteenth Amendment had been adopted. In the Liberator, Garrison took an uncompromising stand for immediate and complete abolition of slavery. Though its circulation was never over 3,000, the paper became famous for its startling and quotable language. Garrison relied wholly upon moral persuasion, believing in the use of neither force nor the ballot to gain his end. His language antagonized many. In 1835 he was physically attacked in Boston by a mob composed of seemingly respectable people, and thereby won a valuable convert to his cause in Wendell Phillips. Garrison opposed the work of the American Colonization Society in his Thoughts on African Colonization (1832). He was active in organizing (1831) the New England Anti-Slavery Society and (1833) the American Anti-Slavery Society, of which he was president (1843-65). Garrison also crusaded for other reforms that he united with abolitionism, notably woman suffrage and prohibition. He went so far as to advocate Northern secession from the Union because the Constitution, which Garrison characterized as "a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell," permitted slavery. He burned the Constitution publicly at an abolitionist meeting in Framingham, Mass., on July 4, 1854, and opposed the Civil War until Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Garrison's preeminence in the antislavery cause has been characterized as a "New England myth," some arguing that while Garrison attracted attention, the effective fight against slavery was carried on by lesser known, more realistic men (see abolitionists). Garrison, a difficult personality, was not himself a good organizer.

See his letters, ed. by W. M. Merrill (1971); William Lloyd Garrison … His Life Told by His Children (4 vol., 1885-89, repr. 1969); biographies by W. M. Merrill (1963), J. L. Thomas (1963), A. H. Grimké (1891, repr. 1969); study by A. S. Kraditor (1969); H. Mayer, All On Fire (1998).

Garrison is a city in Benton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 413 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Garrison is located at (42.143604, -92.143015).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 413 people, 159 households, and 113 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,673.3 people per square mile (637.8/km²). There were 177 housing units at an average density of 717.1/sq mi (273.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.82% White, 0.24% African American, 0.73% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.69% of the population.

There were 159 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $187,485, and the median income for a family was $215,983. Males had a median income of $205,423 versus $164,824 for females. The per capita income for the city was $126,857. About 10.5% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.

Life in Garrison

In 2007 a remarkable description of life years ago in Garrison was published. The book is called Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression (ISBN 978-0-553-38424-6). It was written by Mildred Armstrong Kalish who grew up in Garrison and became a Professor of English. The book tells of "a time, a place, and a way of life long gone." Elizabeth Gilbert in the New York Times Book Review wrote of Little Heathens: "Not only trustworthy and useful, but also polished by real, rare happiness. It is a very good book, indeed. In fact, it's averyveryverygoodbook."


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