The most vocal Call for Equality in America – The 180th Anniversary of William Lloyd Garrisons Anti-Slavery Speech on The Fourth of July 1829

June 27, 2009

Tribute to Architects of Abolition, Freedom and Liberation, Anniversary of Historical Dates of 1835 & 1855

Led by Joseph Edgecombe, Urban Historical Scholar

 New Trail-Location Discovers Boston Roots During the Abolitionist Revolution Era in American History and a Major Center of Abolitionist Boston.

Newly discovered historical site location, by Joseph Edgecombe, Urban history Scholar and trail announcement gives outstanding 19th Century version of the Boston’s (Colonial) freedom trail. The new trail explores the cross-section of Black, White and Women’s History Activity in the Abolitionist/Anti-Slavery movement’s era to bring about change in this country, in this All American Trail. After the American Revolution all was not great in these United States until Anti-Slavery Abolitionist emphasized and exercised their rights to meet and convene in public halls and their right to freedom of speech, without having their constitutional rights violated by being attacked by Proslavery mobs interrupting or breaking up their meetings. The central focus of the trail details the famous climactic event where The whole city was in an uproar and William Lloyd Garrison and The Boston Female Anti Slavery Society were forced to abandon a major meeting as the angry mob converged on the building –  and where Garrison was caught, roped and dragged through the street to be lynched by an angry mob to the original City Hall/the old State House (Southside- Near the same location where Crispus Attucks was shot down at the dawn of the American Revolution).

The women of the BFASS – Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society voted to relocate the meeting, and departed the building by the request of the Mayor Theodore Lyman, who with his constables escorted them out of the building, in a narrow line through the angry raucous mob to continue to hold their meeting at another historic location, they marched hand and hand 5-6 blocks away to relative safety on West Street between the Boston Common and Washington Street at the home of Maria Weston Chapman.

Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison publisher of the Liberator newspaper  and speaker at the meeting would spend the rest of the night at the Leverett Street (near Charles St.) Jail it was the only place of safety to be found in the city.

The event came to be known as “The Boston Mob Riot of 1835” a mob of 5,000 men.

This dramatic event which happened in a public meeting hall at 46 Washington Street (at Cornhill) which came to be known as Stacy Hall, the event is one of the most storied episodes or epic topics of American history, 19th century Abolitionist and African-American related history in challenging America to change and end slavery as the country. 

Garrison founded the Liberator newspaper was in1831, New England Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1832.  In 1833, William Lloyd Garrison, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and others formed the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia, The Massachusetts antislavery society was formed by Garrison, The BFASS Boston female Anti Slavery Society was formed in 1834.

Joseph Edgecombe, Urban Historical Scholar, Email:

Six years before the 1835 event and outbreak at the meeting Hall at 46-48 Washington Street ( Stacy Hall)   which sparked and ignited the national abolitionist movement – in 1829 on Americas Independence day William Lloyd Garrison Gave his first profound statement and stand against slavery in America and spoke for the Freedom & Independence of the oppressed and enslaved inthe name of God.

Garrison’s Four Propositions, Introduced at Park Street Church:

1. Above all others, slaves in America deserve “the prayers, and sympathies, and charities of the American people.”

2. Non-slave-holding states are “constitutionally involved in the guilt of slavery,” and are obligated “to assist in its overthrow.”    

3. There is no valid legal or religious justification for the preservation of slavery.

4. The “colored population” of America should be freed, given an education, and accepted as equal citizens with whites.

Garrison’s Antislavery Address
Park Street Church, July 4, 1829

I call upon the ambassadors of Christ everywhere to make known this proclamation: ‘Thus saith the Lord God of the Africans, Let this people go, that they may serve me.’”
—William Lloyd Garrison, July 4, 1829.

Four decades before the United States Congress amended the Constitution to outlaw slavery, Park Street Church played a significant role in the American abolitionist movement. In 1823, Park Street began hosting an antislavery lecture series dedicated to raising funds for African missions. Held annually on Independence Day for six years, the series gathered many Bostonians in the spirit of benevolence towards “a long divided and suffering people.” At the conclusion of the series in 1829, organizers invited a twenty-three year old newspaper editor named William Lloyd Garrison to give the final lecture. In what was Garrison’s first public address, the famous abolitionist eagerly accepted the invitation and delivered a monumental speech from the Park Street pulpit. 

His address, entitled “Dangers to the Nation,” introduced a bold new approach to the antislavery effort. Referring to the words of the Declaration of Independence, Garrison declared America to be shamefully hypocritical for simultaneously celebrating the notion that “all men are born equal” while keeping two million slaves in “hopeless bondage.” He then charged all Americans with the moral obligation to demand an end to the “national sin” of slavery. “Let us, then, be up and doing,” he urged his listeners. “Sound the trumpet of alarm and plead eloquently for the rights of man.” By presenting four powerful propositions that laid the foundation for a new drive for emancipation, Garrison turned his afternoon lecture at Park Street Church into what historian Henry Mayer calls “an epochal moment in the history of freedom.”

To understand the significance of Garrison’s Park Street address, it is helpful to know that few Americans supported the abolitionist cause in the 1820’s. Though many believed slavery was wrong, there seemed no way to eradicate it without breaking apart the national Union. As a result, the vast majority took a stance of toleration and believed that the issue should be handled by the local rather than the federal government. Even in Massachusetts, where slaves were freed in 1781 and antislavery sentiment was strong, most citizens did not feel responsible for the practice of slavery outside their own state. Thus, anyone at the time who called for a national mandate to ban slavery in slaveholding states was considered a reckless extremist. For the most part, those who spoke against slavery advocated a policy of compensating slave masters and sending their freed slaves back to Africa where they could live in designated colonies.

After his Park Street Address, Garrison rose to national prominence as he continued to press hard for abolition. In 1831, he organized the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which demanded that slaves be immediately freed and treated equally with whites. That same year he established the famous abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, in which he announced, “On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation…I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.” Completely uncompromising and purposely inflammatory, Garrison attracted many angry critics in both the North and the South. Yet his tireless effort for emancipation and equal rights helped pave the way for the abolishment of slavery in 1866.


Joseph C. Edgecombe, June27th 2009 – Web Announcement


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