Chapter 1: the Liberator
Oliver Johnson gives a graphic description of the room under the eaves of Merchants' Hall, Boston, in which Garrison printed the early numbers of his Liberator in January, 1831. “The dingy walls, the small windows bespattered with printer's ink, the press standing in one corner, the composing stands opposite, the long editorial and mailing table covered with newspapers, the bed of the editor and publisher on the floor-all these,” he tells us, “make a picture never to be forgotten.” “It was a pretty large room,” says a later visitor, “but there was nothing to relieve its dreariness but two or three very common chairs and a pine desk in the far corner at which a pale, delicate and apparently overtasked gentleman was sitting. . ... He was a quiet, gentle and I might say handsome man.” The editor and his partner,
In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,
Toiled o'er the types one poor, unlearned young man;
The place was dark, unfurnitured and mean;
Yet there the freedom of a race began.