Skip to main content

William Lloyd Garrison collection

Identifier: 11-MWalB02655

Scope and Contents

This collection contains over 251 written pieces relating to American abolitionist and Boston newspaper publisher William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879). The collection includes numerous autograph manuscripts (1-12 pages in length) of lectures and editorials which appeared in Garrison's newspaper, the Liberator, before, during, and after the American Civil War. Also included are many notes and extracts, jotted down for reference by Garrison for Liberator editorials and lectures; dockets on some indicate use. In addition, the collection includes 88 letters authored by William Lloyd Garrison, his family members, and various other writers. Many of these letters were written by well-known fellow abolitionists on the occasion of the Garrison Testimonial Fund Drive, including ones by Mary Livermore, Samuel May, Jr., G.F. Noyes, Isaac Pitman, Samuel Fessenden, G.P. Bigelow, Benjamin Cheever, and Caroline Weston. Another significant portion of the letters offers condolences to Francis Jackson Garrison upon the death of his wife and son.


  • 1831-1916
  • Majority of material found in 1860-1868

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


0.50 Linear Feet

1 manuscript box other_unmapped


Arranged in sixteen folders, according to a previously existing Brandeis manuscript collection record: 1. The pre-war slavery controversy; 2. The conduct of the war (Copperheads, Emancipation Proclamation); 3. Black competence; 4. Readmission of former Confederate states; 5. Abolitionism and reform movements; 6. The Bible/Sabbath; 7. Temperance; 8. On free speech; 9. Woman suffrage; 10. Spiritualism; 11. Assorted notices presumed to have appeared in the Liberator; 12. Garrison family correspondence; 13. The Garrison Testimonial Fund Drive; 14. Letters to Francis Jackson Garrison; 15. Unclassified items; 16. Miscellaneous items. Note that many items in this collection are undated; dates noted in brackets are generally those noted in the original Brandeis manuscript collection record and/or those surmised from the content of the texts. Each item is also marked with its item number (e.g., 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, etc.). Some items have writing on their reverse sides which is not that of William Lloyd Garrison, as Garrison evidently recycled paper for future reuse. Numbers in parentheses in item descriptions refer to these other writers. For example, 3/5 (1) means three pieces of paper, five page sides of relevant material, and one page side of unrelated material; an item listed only as 3/5 includes three pieces of paper, 5 page sides of relevant material, and one blank page side. Only a small attempt has been made to identify the various correspondences on the backs of the Garrison material. T: typed; A: autograph; L: letter; N: note(s); D: document; S: signed; I: initialed. E.g., ALI: autograph letter initialed. For more information about each folder, please consult the descriptions in the box and folder listing.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Philip D. Sang.

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Anne Marie Reardon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections