January 6, 1831 — The New England Anti-Slavery Society was formed today by prominent American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator.
Based in Boston, members of the New England Anti-slavery Society supported immediate abolitionand viewed slavery as immoral and non-Christian. It was particularly opposed to the American Colonization Societywhich proposed sending African Americans to Africa.
The Society sponsored lecturers or “agents” who traveled throughout the New England area, speaking in local churches or halls, and also selling abolitionist tracts or The Liberator. Whenever possible, the Society’s agents would also encourage the formation of local anti-slavery societies.
By 1833 there were 47 local societies in ten northern states, 33 of them in New England. The Society also sponsored mass mobilizations such as yearly anti-slavery conventions and celebrations of July 4 or the Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the West Indies, August 1.
Words of Wisdom
With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.