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Chapter 3: Apprenticeship.—1818-1825.

Mastering the mechanical art, he soon writes anonymously for the Herald, and receives encouragement, especially from Caleb Cushing, who discovers his secret. His mother dies in Baltimore, where he makes a last visit to her.

The boy had not been many days in the printing-office before he was convinced that he had at last found his right place; but his first feeling was one of discouragement as he watched the rapidity with which the compositors set and distributed the types. ‘My little1 heart sank like lead within me,’ he afterwards said. ‘It seemed to me that I never should be able to do anything of the kind. However, I was put to learn the different boxes and to ascertain where the capitals and small capitals were placed, and, in the lower case, how the types were diversified, and very soon learned the whole.’ From that time on throughout his life it was a delight, and, as he used to express it, ‘a positive recreation,’ to him to manipulate the types; and the last time that he ever handled the composing-stick was in that same Herald office, just sixty years from the day on which he had first entered it as an apprentice. He was so short at first, that when he undertook to work off proofs he had to stand on a fifty-six-pound weight in order to reach the table. He quickly grew expert and accurate as a compositor, and was much liked and trusted by his master, of whose family he now became a member, according to the custom with apprentices in those days. As Mr. Allen's house was close by Deacon Bartlett's, on Summer Street, the boy was still near his old friend and protector, and he became very happy in [37] his new home, caring for the younger children of the family as if he were an elder brother, and making himself always helpful.

His mother was not yet fully reconciled to his remaining in Newburyport, and again suggested his joining her in Baltimore during the following spring; but she2 left it wholly optional with him. He decided to remain in the printing-office, much to her disappointment, though she approved his choice. On May 5, 1819, she wrote him:

All things considered, I think you have acted wisely in3 staying and learning your trade. Your dear Sister must have felt the loss of your company, and your prospect here was not the best, although you might have had a chance of doing well. You was to have nothing here but your board. I was to have found you all your clothes, mending and washing, &c., and if my life should not be prolonged (perhaps I shall not live) you will be among your dear N. P. [friends]. Was you here, if such a thing should take place, you might be led astray by bad company, which may God grant that you never may. . . .

Thank you for your kindness respecting the balsam of Quito. There is none of it here, and I wish for nothing more than the balm of Gilead, the great Physician of Souls, to heal the wounds that sin has made. . . . I should like to have Mr. Allen specify in writing what he intends to do. He is very partial to you and says he never had a better boy. Once more adieu, may Heaven bless you and my dear M. E.


The allusion to the Balsam of Quito which Lloyd had recommended to her betrays, even at that early day, a faith in advertised remedies which was ever characteristic of him. His mother's letter was written under much depression of spirits, after months of illness which had greatly shattered her. Five months later she wrote him5 of the terrible ravages which the yellow fever was then making in Baltimore, and of the happy fortune which had kept him in Newburyport and deterred him from joining her in the spring; for the youth who had taken his place had fallen a victim to the fever, with seventeen others in the same house or neighborhood. ‘A fierce [38] terror has entered Baltimore,’ she wrote, ‘and has 6 removed hundreds in a week with the yellow fever. The countenances of the citizens wear a solemn gloom. (Every one imagines that “I may be next.” ) Days of fasting and prayer are daily appointed through all the city. The youth, the aged, and the middle-aged are cut down in a few hours, raving like wild creatures,—no sense of this world or any other until they appear before the Judgment.’

She herself fled with the multitude into the country, and while there was called to attend Mrs. Dorsey, a daughter of Timothy Pickering, in her last illness. ‘I lost a dear friend in her,’ she wrote.7 Returning to the city in the fall, she again fell sick and was confined to the house for months, and she only rallied from one attack to succumb to another, so that her letters for the next three years are mainly a record of the constant inroads which disease was making upon her. Much of the time she was dependent upon the charity of friends, of whom she seems never to have known a lack, and all necessary care and attendance were constantly assured to her. A severe hemorrhage of the lungs in the spring of 1820 nearly proved fatal to her, and she experienced much agony of mind at the thought of leaving her children alone and unprovided for.

‘Thank God,’ she wrote to Lloyd in her convalescence, ‘I8 am well taken care of, for both Black and White are all attention to me, and I have every thing done that is necessary. The ladies are all kind to me, and I have a Coloured woman that waits on me, that is so kind no one can tell how kind she is, and although a Slave to Man, yet a free born soul, by the grace of God. Her name is Henny, and should I never see you again, and you should ever come where she is, remember her for your poor mother's sake.’


In a pathetic letter to her daughter she contrasts the happiness of her early life with the sorrows which later years have brought her:

‘At an early period of life I was surrounded with every 9 comfort that was necessary, nurtured with peculiar care and tenderness in the bosom of parental affection, blessed with the friendship of an extensive acquaintance, and beloved by all my relations. I had enough to attach me to this world. Gay and thoughtless, vain and wild, I looked forward for nothing but pleasure and happiness, but alas! have not my subsequent years taught me that all was visionary? How has the rude blast of misfortunes burst over my head, and had it not been for an overruling Providence, I must have sunk under their pressure. I was taught to see that all my dreams of happiness in this life were chimerical; the efforts we make here are all of them imbecility in themselves and illusive, but religion is perennial. It fortifies the mind to support trouble, elevates the affections of the heart, and its perpetuity has no end.’

Anxious to see Elizabeth settled in a good home before she herself should pass away, her mother sent for the little girl, then only twelve years old, and scarcely less reluctant to leave her Newburyport friends than Lloyd had been. She made the voyage to Baltimore without any friend accompanying her, and for the next two years was with or near her mother, assisting in the care of the latter during her more severe illnesses, and at one time ‘going to live in the capacity of a servant with a very worthy woman.’ She was a remarkably sweet, affectionate, and conscientious child, with a deep spiritual nature, and readily imbibed her mother's strong religious feelings. When, immediately on her arrival in Baltimore, she was prostrated by a severe illness from which recovery seemed impossible, she faced death with remarkable composure, comforted her distracted mother, sent cheerful messages to her brother and other friends, ‘prayed most sweetly, to the admiration of ministers and people that visited her,’ and joined her feeble voice with theirs in singing a consoling hymn. [40]

Letters passed between Lloyd and his mother and sister much less frequently than the boy wished, and when he playfully chided the latter for not writing oftener, and asked if ‘the splendour of the city’ had not engrossed her attention, she replied, ‘It is not so. It is the expense that you have to pay, for we are not able to do it’; and certainly postage was a circumstance in those days, every letter costing twenty-five cents, which the apprentice-boy, who was receiving little more than his board and clothes, had to pay. Even his clothes seem to have been partly supplied by his mother, who sent him at one time a trunkful of garments which she had managed to gather and prepare for him in her intervals of convalescence, and begged him to keep them for her sake, as the last token of love she should ever be able to send him.

Meanwhile, Lloyd was devoting himself with diligence and enthusiasm to his trade, and had become so expert and thorough in all departments of the business that Mr. Allen made him foreman of the office. One of his fellow-apprentices (Joseph B. Morss, of Newburyport) wrote of him thus:

He made up the pages of the newspaper and prepared the10 forms for the press. He also attended to the job-work, and was noted for his good taste in this department. He was the most rapid compositor I ever knew, excepting one, and more correct than this one. With fair copy before him he would easily set a thousand ems an hour for several successive hours, and there would hardly ever be more than two or three slight errors in a column of his matter, when it was proved. He was an excellent pressman on the old Ramage and the then new Wells iron press.

In recalling his apprenticeship days in after years, Mr. Garrison said:

I always endeavored to do my work thoroughly, if I could,11 without any errors, and therefore my proofs were very clean, as the technical phrase is. I recollect with great pleasure one who was in the office for a considerable portion of my apprenticeship, who has now gone to his reward, who was, I think, a [41] journeyman at that time; but who, by his beautiful spirit and fine example, had a great influence upon my mind; and I feel grateful to him and shall ever cherish his memory with deep feeling. I allude to the late Rev. Tobias H. Miller, a city missionary in Portsmouth.

My acquaintance with him began when I entered the office12 of the Newburyport Herald as an apprentice to learn the “art and mystery” of printing; and great was my indebtedness to him in regard to my initiation and on the score of neverfailing kindness. I was drawn to him magnetically from the beginning; and whether working side by side at the case or the press, unbroken friendship subsisted between us to the end. Indeed, so far as he was concerned, it would have been extremely difficult for the most irascible to have picked a quarrel with him. He had wonderful self-command, patience, cheerfulness, urbanity, and philosophic composure, far beyond his years. I never saw him out of temper for a moment under the most trying circumstances, (and a printing-office often presents such,) nor cast down by any disappointment, nor disposed to borrow trouble of the future. He was a very Benjamin Franklin for good sense and axiomatic speech, and in spirit always as fresh and pure as a newly-blown rose. In his daily walk and conversation he was a pattern of uprightness, and from his example I drew moral inspiration, and was signally aided in my endeavors after ideal perfection and practical goodness. His nature was large, generous, sympathetic, self-denying, reverent. He was as true to his highest convictions of duty as the needle to the pole. No one was ever more yielding in the matter of accommodation where no principle was involved; none more inflexible in pursuit of the right. . . .

Among my pleasant recollections of him in the printingoffice, are the following sententious expressions, which frequently came from his lips, as, for example, in case of a shockingly bad proof to be corrected at midnight, or of a pied form, or of any other trying mishap :— “Patience and perseverance!” “'Tisn't as bad as it would be if it were worse!” “Never mind! 'Twill be all the same a thousand years hence!” How literally and admirably did he enter into the spirit of those sayings, though possessing a most sensitive temperament! They made a deep impression upon my memory, and through all the subsequent years of my life, in all cases of trial, have been of invaluable service to me.


Lloyd early evinced a taste for poetry, and was fond of works of fiction and romance. He delighted in the Waverley Novels. His favorite poets at that time were Byron, Moore, Pope, Campbell, and Scott, and, over and above all these, Mrs. Hemans, whose writings he knew by heart; and when he subsequently published a paper of his own, there was scarcely an issue which did not contain one of her poems. It was natural that in such a stronghold of the Federalists as Newburyport still was (though the party had ceased to have a national existence), and with party feeling throughout the State running so high at each annual election, he should also take an interest in politics, and, imbibing the prevailing sentiment of his locality, become an ardent Federalist. He studied the writings of Fisher Ames, and was a fervent admirer of Timothy Pickering and Harrison Gray Otis. While yet in his teens he wielded his pen in defence of the two latter when they were under fire and their political fortunes under a cloud; but his first attempt at writing for the press was not in a political direction. In May, 1822, he wrote, in a disguised hand, and sent through the post-office his first communication to the Herald, under the nom de guerre of ‘An13 Old Bachelor.’ It was entitled ‘Breach of the Marriage Promise,’ and professed to be the reflections of a bachelor on reading the recent verdict in a breach of promise case in Boston, by which a young man who had ‘kept company’ with a girl for two years and then refused to marry her, was fined seven hundred and fifty dollars. While freely conceding that any man who had actually broken an express promise should ‘feel the effects of the law in a heavy degree,’ he maintained that the mere fact of a man's having ‘kept company with,’ or paid attentions to, one of the opposite sex for a year or two, was not conclusive evidence of a promise or engagement, but rather indicated that he desired to be assured of the wisdom of his choice before taking such a momentous step as matrimony involved; and the [43] ‘old bachelor’ of sixteen then discoursed in this cynical fashion:

The truth is, however, women in this country are too much14 idolized and flattered; therefore they are puffed up and inflated with pride and self-conceit. They make the men to crouch, beseech, and supplicate, wait upon and do every menial service for them to gain their favor and approbation; they are, in fact, completely subservient to every whim and caprice of these changeable mortals. Women generally feel their importance, and they use it without mercy.

For my part, notwithstanding, I am determined to lead the “single life” and not trouble myself about the ladies.

Lloyd was at work at the case when his master received and opened this youthful production, and he awaited anxiously the verdict as to its acceptance. It happened to strike Mr. Allen's fancy, and after reading it aloud for the edification of others in the office, he unsuspectingly handed it to its author to put in type, and it filled nearly a column of the Herald. Elated by this first success, the boy wrote a second communication in a similar vein, which appeared three days later; and a15 week after this he furnished a highly imaginative account of a shipwreck, which was so palpably the work of one innocent of the sea and of ships as to make its acceptance rather surprising; but the editor was probably equally innocent, if many of his seafaring patrons and readers were not. The signature appended to this article was abbreviated to the initials ‘A. O. B.,’ which mark most of his subsequent articles for the Herald. He still, and for nearly the whole of the ensuing year, concealed his authorship, although his master was so well pleased with the communications of his unknown correspondent that he wrote him through the post-office requesting him to continue them, and expressing a desire for an interview with him.

To his mother alone did Lloyd confide his secret, and she received it with mingled pride and misgiving, as appears by the following letter, dated July 1, 1822. She [44] had then been confined to her room for ten months, and, after describing her helpless condition,—unable to dress without assistance, ‘living on the charity of friends,’ and ‘feeling at times all the sensations of mortified pride,’—telling Lloyd how his kind attention to her and his good behavior cheered her drooping spirits, and exhorting him to learn his trade and be master of his business, she goes on to say:

I have had my mind exercised on your account, and please16 to let me know the particulars in your next. You write me word that you have written some pieces for the Herald. Anonymous writers generally draw the opinion of the publick on their writing, and frequently are lampoon'd by others. If Mr. Allen approves of it, why, you have nothing to fear, but I hope you consulted him on the publication of them. I am pleased, myself, with the idea, provided that nothing wrong should result from it. You must write me one of your pieces so that I can read [it] on one side of your letter, and I will give you my opinion whether you are an old bachelor, or whether you are A. O. B., as A may stand for Ass, and O for Oaf, and B for Blockhead. Adieu, my dear. You will think your Mother is quizzing. Your dear Mother until death.

In July he contributed two articles respecting South17 American affairs, in which he expressed astonishment and indignation that the young republics of that country, after receiving the sympathies and ardent wishes of the United States for their success, during their long struggle with Spain, should now countenance such outrages as had been committed at Valparaiso and Lima on American vessels and their captains, by enforcing various extortionate demands upon them. He declared that the United States Government should authorize the commanders of its ships of war in South American ports to obtain redress for the wrongs done American citizens. ‘The only expedient to command respect and protect our citizens will be to finish with cannon what cannot be done in a conciliatory and equitable manner, where justice demands such proceedings.’ And after hoping that the South Americans would ‘soon learn to prize the blessings [45] of freedom and independence in a correct manner,’ he advised them to ‘take the United States as a fair and beautiful model by which to govern the affairs of their country—a model which no other nation under heaven can boast its equal, for correctness of sound republican principles and wise and judicious administration:—let them take this, we repeat, as an example, and then can we cordially and joyfully hail them as freemen—while Liberty's bright and glorious beams would shine with redoubled splendor over their land, and dispel every cloud of tyranny and civil discord.’

It is evident from this sophomoric burst of patriotic eloquence that the boy knew and had thought no more about slavery than about war, at that time, and little suspected how far his country was from being a model republic. Nor did he gain wisdom or inspiration from those about him. Caleb Cushing had then an editorial connection with the Herald, and to him may safely be ascribed the authorship of two editorials which appeared in the paper within this same month. The first, in 18 recording the recent suppression of a slave insurrection in Charleston, S. C., and expressing a fear that the United States would yet see another San Domingo, looked to the future with despair and dread, because immediate or gradual colonization seemed to the writer hopeless and impossible, and gradual emancipation improbable and impracticable. Three weeks later, the writer maintained19 that the holding of slaves was not subversive of republican habits, as men who see others deprived of the blessings of freedom must learn more highly to apprize its enjoyments themselves! And yet he admitted the demoralizing effects of slavery upon the slaveholders, and that ‘there can never be so much purity, decorum, exactness and moderation in the morals of a people among whom slaves abound.’

This is a fair specimen of the hopeless, aimless, manner in which slavery was discussed or referred to at the North after the Missouri Compromise of 1820 had [46] practically pledged the free States against any further reopening of the question, and sealed their complicity in the maintenance and protection of the accursed institution. While that measure was pending, John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, lamented the fatality by which all the most eloquent orators were found on the pro-slavery side.

‘There is,’ he wrote, ‘a great mass of cool judgment and20 of plain sense on the side of freedom and humanity, but the ardent spirits and passions are on the side of oppression. O! if but one man could arise with a genius capable of comprehending, a heart capable of supporting, and an utterance capable of communicating those eternal truths which belong to the question,—to lay bare in all its nakedness that outrage upon the goodness of God, human slavery,—now is the time, and this is the occasion, upon which such a man would perform the duties of an angel upon earth.’

The Massachusetts statesman who confided this fervent wish to his diary and then, as Cabinet minister, gave his assent to the Compromise, was clearly not the man for the occasion, and he little dreamed that the one he sighed for was even then, in his own State of Massachusetts, mastering the use of the weapon with which, a decade later, he was to startle and arouse a guilty nation. Neither did he recognize and welcome him when the tocsin of the Liberator convulsed the South with terror, and proclaimed the beginning of the end of slavery. As little did Caleb Cushing suspect that the apprentice-boy who put his editorials in type, and in whom, as a bright and promising lad, he took a friendly interest, was destined to prove his assertion that colonization was impossible, and gradual emancipation impracticable, and to show the only right and safe way to cure a gigantic evil. And no more did the boy himself realize for what work he was marked out.21 [47]

For the next two years current polities chiefly were the theme of his anonymous contributions to the press. In March and April, 1823, under the signature of ‘One of the People,’ he wrote three articles for the Herald22 under the title of ‘Our Next Governor,’ and warmly advocated the election of Harrison Gray Otis, as one who, in the numerous positions which he had already occupied, had ‘conferred lasting honor on Massachusetts, being one of the brightest constellations in her political horizon.’ His final article was one of glowing panegyric of Otis, and impassioned appeal to his ‘fellow-electors’ to rally to the polls. ‘Upon you, then, fellow-electors, much is depending—the liberties of the people! And on Monday next arise in the greatness of your might, and cease not from the most strenuous exertions till you repose in the lap of victory!’

In spite of this eloquence, Otis was defeated by Eustis,23 the Democratic candidate, to the intense disgust of his youthful advocate, who next turned his attention to foreign politics. Under the title of ‘A Glance at Europe,’ and under his old signature of ‘A. O. B.,’ he contributed in April and May three articles, remarkably24 well written for a boy of seventeen, on the ‘mad project of France, backed by the Holy Alliance, in attempting to restore Ferdinand of Spain to his throne, . . . and subjugating the people into an ill-timed acquiescence.’ A single passage from the second article shows that even at that early age he had acquired the vigor of characterization and power of invective which were afterwards to be used against domestic tyranny:

‘The Holy Alliance, from its first formation, has met 25 throughout Europe and America with that general burst of indignation which it justly merits. It is the grand engine of destruction by which to extirpate the rights and privileges of nations, and to dig up and destroy the seeds which Liberty has planted. It is a Royal Banditti, leagued together for the unhallowed purpose of robbing the world of its richest treasure, and placing in its stead the sceptre of tyranny. It is a combination of military despots, brought together and cemented with the atrocious intention [48] of shackling the fairest portions of the globe with manacles that ages cannot decay or sever. Such is this self-styled Holy Alliance,—but which has stamped an indelible stigma upon a name so sacred,—with such unrighteous views was it formed.’

In the previous month of December, Mr. Allen had26 gone to Mobile for the winter, leaving Lloyd in charge of the office, while Mr. Cushing attended to the editorial conduct of the Herald, and it was the latter who now first discovered that the author of these and previous articles under the same signature was no other than Mr. Allen's senior apprentice. He instantly commended and encouraged him, lending him books, and calling attention editorially to the papers on the Holy Alliance, ‘in27 which,’ he said, ‘we recognize the hand of a correspondent who at different times has favored us with a number of esteemed and valuable contributions.’ It is probable that the boy's interest in European affairs was largely due to Mr. Cushing himself, who had written, at the beginning of the year, a series of articles for the Herald, giving a resume of the political situation and outlook at home and abroad.

Circumstances now arose to prevent Lloyd's writing further for the press for a considerable period. In September, 1822, his sister Elizabeth had died in Baltimore, leaving the mother bereft and desolate, and in March, 1823, the latter wrote and earnestly entreated her son to come and see her before she, too, should pass away. She had then been confined to her bed for several weeks and felt that her end was near:

‘I trust,’ she wrote, ‘I have no one in N. P. that would say28 one word against your coming under existing circumstances; besides, I want to see you on some business of mine that would ease my mind very much. Should the Lord spare me, and Mr. Allen returns from Mobile, perhaps you can come. You have a Master that claims my warmest wishes. I feel grateful to him for all his kindness to you. May the Lord repay him an hundred fold, spiritual and temporal. Likewise I tender my thanks to all your friends at N. P. for their goodness to you, [49] and hope you may merit the approbation of them all by your good behavior. O Lloyd, if I was to hear and have reason to think you was unsteady, it would break my heart. God forbid! You are now at an age when you are forming character for life, a dangerous age. Shun every appearance of evil for the sake of your soul as well as the body. . . . I am still keeping house and have a woman to take care of me, and, thank God! I have accumulated friends that are very kind to me. I have not money, but I do not want for anything to make me comfortable.’

Mr. Allen's prolonged absence at the South made it impossible for Lloyd to go to his mother until his master's return in May, when he wrote a long letter to her, explaining why he could not at once hasten to her, and requesting her, as Mr. Allen was loth to let his valued apprentice go, even for a short time and on such an errand, to write directly to him and state the urgency of the case. This letter, written in his clear hand and punctuated with scrupulous exactness, is especially interesting for its allusions to his anonymous contributions to the Herald:

W. L. Garrison to his mother.

Newburyport, May 26th, 1823.
29 Dear Mother: . . . Your letter was alike a source of pleasure and of pain. Of pleasure, because it was pleasing to receive a letter couched in such tender language from an affectionate mother, whose prop of comfort and consolation devolves upon her son, who, should he fail, would bring her in sorrow to the grave.—Of pain, because it brought the intelligence of your having experienced another bleeding at the lungs, which had almost laid you at death's door—but this was mitigated in some degree with the assurance that you had recovered in some measure from the effects of the same.

Since I have received your letter, my time has been swallowed up in turning author.—I have written in the Herald three long political pieces, under the caption of ‘Our Next Governor,’ and the signature of ‘One of the People’—rather a great signature, to be sure, for such a small man as myself.—But vain were the efforts of the friends and disciples of Washington, the true [50] Federal Republicans of Massachusetts Democracy has finally triumphed over correct principles, and this State may expect to see the scenes of 1811-12 revived in all their blighting influence ;—may they be as short-lived as they were at that period. You will undoubtedly smile at my turning politician at the age of eighteen—but, ‘true 'tis, and (perhaps) pity 'tis 'tis true’—and I cannot but help smiling myself at the thought.— I have likewise published another political communication under the same signature. Besides these, I have written three other communications under the head of ‘A Glance at Europe’ —analyzing the present state of political affairs between Spain and the Holy Alliance—and which called forth a very handsome30 notice of the same from Mr. Cushing, the Editor of the Herald.— But I am at last discovered to be the author, notwithstanding my utmost endeavors to let it remain a secret.—It is now but partially known, however, and has created no little sensation in town—so that I have concluded to write no more at present.

Thus you perceive, my dear mother, that my leisure moments have been usefully and wisely employed;—usefully, because it is beneficial in cultivating the seeds of improvement in my breast, and expanding the intellectual powers and faculties of my mind: wisely, because it has kept me from wasting time in that dull, senseless, insipid manner, which generally characterizes giddy youths. It is now about one year since I commenced writing for the Herald—and in that time I have written about fifteen communications.—When I peruse them over, I feel absolutely astonished at the different subjects which I have discussed, and the style in which they are written, Indeed, it is altogether a matter of surprise that I have met with such signal success, seeing I do not understand one single rule of grammar, and having a very inferior education.—But enough of my scribblings, in all conscience, for the present, to something that is more important and interesting.

Write particularly where I shall find you, should I come to B., and how I shall get to your boarding place.—I cannot but31 exclaim—‘Oh! had I the wings of a dove, then would I soar away, and be with you.’ Excuse this hasty scrawl, as it is now midnight. Adieu! dear mother, and O may Heaven grant that I shall clasp you again to my throbbing breast.

His mother received this letter on June 2, 1823, and promptly wrote an earnest and pathetic appeal to Mr. [51] Allen to allow her son to pay her a final visit; and this he could no longer refuse. To Lloyd she also wrote at the same time, giving him directions how to find her, on his arrival in Baltimore, and endeavoring to conceal her pride and interest in his literary efforts by warning him of the dangers and difficulties he was liable to encounter; but her exhortation ended with a blessing, and a request that he would bring his productions for her to read. This was probably the last letter she ever wrote to him:

Next, your turning Author. You have no doubt read and32 heard the fate of such characters, that they generally starve to death in some garret or place that no one inhabits; so you may see what fortune and luck belong to you if you are of that class of people. Secondly, you think your time was wisely spent while you was writing political pieces. I cannot join with you there, for had you been searching the scriptures for truth, and praying for direction of the holy spirit to lead your mind into the path of holiness, your time would have been more wisely spent, and your advance to the heavenly world more rapid. But instead of that you have taken the Hydra by the head, and now beware of his mouth; but as it is done, I suppose you think you had better go on and seek the applause of mortals. But, my dear L., lose not the favour of God; have an eye single to his glory, and you will not lose your reward. . . . Now, my dear, I must draw to a close and say that I love you as dear as ever, especially when you consider your dear mother and are trying by your good behaviour to soothe her path to the grave. May God bless you and be with you all the days of your life, is my ardent prayer. . . . Will you be so kind as to bring on your pieces that you have written for me to see? . . .

Adieu, my dear, for I am tired.

Your affectionate Mother,

Lloyd embarked from Boston for Baltimore on June 21, 1823. He had never been in Boston before, and it is evident from the letter which he wrote to his master from Baltimore that he did not enjoy his day's experience there: [52]

‘You wished me to call at No. 1, Cornhill, and ask Mr. Carter33 for some more leads for the paper. This I intended to have done: but, after wandering about 2 or 3 hours, and enquiring of 20 different persons, (none of whom, however, would take the trouble to show me,) I was forced to give up in despair. Being totally unacquainted with Boston, and never there before, I got lost several times in my travels—so that all was perplexity. Indeed, I felt truly homesick in being one short day in Boston.—I was seasick but about 15 minutes on my passage.’

The voyage was a tedious one of fourteen days, the ship encountering ‘very boisterous weather and considerable head winds,’ as the same letter describes. ‘The evening we sailed from Boston, a very heavy gale of wind tore our foretopsail, maintopsail, and jibs, besides renderinger other considerable damage. We were thus obliged to put in at Hyana Heads, for the purpose of repairing our34 tattered sails, where we remained two days, the winds and the weather conspiring against us.’

Of this storm, however, Lloyd knew nothing at the moment, for, wearied by his day's adventures in Boston, he went on board the vessel, and, after wondering how she could ever be worked out from the other shipping at the wharf, stretched himself in his berth and slept so soundly that he was unconscious of everything until Hyannis was reached, the next day. There he went ashore with some of his fellow-passengers, who decided to remain on land overnight rather than go back to the ship in such rough water, and when he undertook to return alone, he failed to get alongside the vessel, and wind and tide swept him and his boat a mile or more down the shore. He narrowly escaped being swamped, but finally managed to land, and trudged back to the town. In Chesapeake Bay a terrific thunderstorm was encountered, but a landing was finally made in Baltimore on the 5th of July. His meeting with his mother35 was most affecting. To Mr. Allen he wrote:

‘You must imagine my sensations on beholding a dearly36 beloved mother, after an absence of seen years. I found her [53] in tears—but, O God, so altered, so emaciated, that I should never have recognized her, had I not known that there were none else in the room. Instead of the tall, robust woman, blooming in health, whom I saw last, she is now bent up by “fell disease,” pined away to almost a skeleton, and unable to walk. She is under the necessity of being bolstered up in bed, being incompetent to lie down, as it would immediately choke her.’

The next two or three weeks, during which Lloyd was able to remain with his mother, were precious to them both, for they had many things to talk of before their final separation,—Lloyd's prospects for the future; the mystery attending his father; the recent death of his sister; and the possible fate of his wayward brother James, from whom nothing had been heard for years, and who was destined, poor waif! to be tossed and driven about the sea, suffering incredible hardships, for nearly a score of years longer, before he was finally discovered and rescued by his brother.

Not long after Lloyd had taken farewell of his mother and returned to Newburyport, a cancerous tumor which had formed on her shoulder necessitated an operation, from the effects of which she never rallied, and she steadily sank until the 3rd of September, when death37 ensued. Everything was done by the friends about her to make her last days comfortable, and her remains were interred in the private burial lot of a family who had been especially attached and devoted to her. Her son recorded her decease in the Newburyport Herald of September 9, 1823, as follows:

died. In Baltimore, 3rd inst., after a long and distressing illness, which she bore with Christian fortitude and resignation, Mrs. Frances Maria Garrison, relict of the late Capt. Abijah G., formerly of this town, aged 45. [The printers of the Eastport Sentinel and St. John Star are requested to copy this death into their respective papers.]

With three exceptions, when he contributed some trifling and unimportant verses under his old signature [54] of ‘A. O. B.,’ Lloyd wrote nothing for the Herald during the next year. In June, 1824, however, he was moved by the publication of Timothy Pickering's “Review of John Adams's Letters to William Cunningham,” to send two long communications to the Salem Gazette, under the38 signature of ‘Aristides.’ These were highly eulogistic of Mr. Pickering, whose pamphlet in defence of himself against the attacks of Mr. Adams had caused a wide sensation and led to an acrimonious war of words between the partisans of those eminent statesmen. Walsh's National Gazette of Philadelphia was the mouth-piece of the Adams party, while the Salem Gazette was understood to speak by authority for Mr. Pickering; and such was the interest in the discussion that raged for a time, that the letters of the Newburyport apprentice attracted much notice, and were believed to have come from a maturer hand. The controversy had an indirect bearing on the impending Presidential election, in which John Quincy Adams was a candidate, and the Pickering party aimed their darts at the son, therefore, quite as much as at the father. The youthful ‘Aristides,’ who, four years later, ardently advocated his reelection, now joined in decrying him. His conception of the character of General Andrew Jackson was much more clear and accurate, and his next contribution to the Gazette was an open letter to39 that military chieftain, endeavoring to convince him of his utter unfitness for the office of President, and the hopelessness of his efforts to gain that position. This letter was forcible, dignified, and mature in thought and expression.

His remaining contributions to the Gazette were a40 series of six articles entitled ‘The Crisis,’ which appeared at intervals between the beginning of August and end of October, and discussed the political situation. The importance of united action on the part of the Federalists, now so largely in the minority, was emphasized, and their support of William H. Crawford for the Presidency in opposition to John Quincy Adams was [55] strongly urged; yet while ‘Aristides’ had much to say in depreciation of the latter, he evidently knew very little of the former, and simply supported him because he was the candidate of the Pickering faction. Quotations from Shakespeare and Junius prefixed to two or three of the letters indicate that the writer was already familiar with those masters of the language.

Aside from his great sorrow in the loss of his mother and sister, the last three years of Lloyd's apprenticeship were very happy years to him. Trusted by his master with the entire supervision of the printing-office, and with the editorial charge of the Herald when he was himself absent; devoting his spare hours to reading and study; encouraged by the recognition of merit in his various essays at writing for the press, and by the ready acceptance and insertion of his articles and communications: fond of social intercourse, and a universal favorite with his friends of both sexes; full of health, vigor and ambition; known and respected by all his townspeople as an exemplary and promising young man—success in life seemed easily within his grasp. An oil portrait taken about this period by Swain, a local artist, represents him with a smooth face, abundant black hair, a standing collar, and a ruffled shirt bosom. ‘He was an 41 exceedingly genteel young man,’ writes Mr. Morss, ‘always neatly, and perhaps I might say elegantly dressed, and in good taste, and was quite popular with the ladies.’ And the Rev. E. W. Allen, a son of the Herald proprietor, has a vivid recollection of Lloyd's handsome face, glowing color, quick and active movements, and his ever bright and happy presence in the household.

His most intimate friend at this time was a young man named William Goss Crocker, who was, like himself, warmly attached to the Baptist church, and who subsequently became a missionary to Liberia, where he died in 1844. He was only a few months older than Lloyd, and they spent many evenings together in a room over the bookstore and printing-office of W. & J. Gilman, [56] engaged in reading and study and literary composition. Crocker had been on the shoemaker's bench for a time, but afterwards went into the office of the Gilmans as an apprentice, probably succeeding, in that capacity, a youth named Isaac Knapp, who, like Crocker, was warmly attached to Lloyd and greatly influenced by his strong magnetism. Others felt this, also, and a debating society known as the Franklin Club, before which Lloyd one year delivered a Fourth of July oration, was really founded by him.42 The intimacy between him and Crocker waned after they separated and left Newburyport, the one to seek a journalistic career, and the other to enter a theological school;43 but that with Knapp, as will abundantly appear, was more enduring and of the highest importance.

Though Lloyd was not, like Crocker, a communicant in the church, he was a constant attendant at its meetings, and had become, as his mother had fondly anticipated, ‘a complete Baptist as to the tenets.’ He had never been baptized, himself, but he was yet zealous for44 immersion as the only acceptable baptism; he believed in the clerical order and the organized church as divinely instituted, and was a strict Sabbatarian. He early became familiar with the Bible, and could repeat scores of verses by heart, but he did not realize their full meaning and power until his consecration to the cause of the slave led him to study the book anew.

It was during the year 1824 that he first discovered his near-sightedness, and when he one day chanced to try the spectacles of Miss Betsey Atkinson, an old friend of his mother, and discerned things that he had never seen [57] before, he was full of delight, for ‘a new world seemed opened’ to his vision, and from that time he wore glasses.

About this same period he had a boyish desire to go to Greece and join the forces of the revolutionists against Turkish tyranny, and he also thought of seeking a military education at West Point. He was enthusiastic over Lafayette's visit to Newburyport, at the end of August,45 1824, and was among the thousands who awaited his arrival late at night, in a drenching rain. He used to narrate how Lafayette, who was deeply moved by the sight, begged the people, with tears in his eyes, no longer to expose themselves so for his sake, but to disperse and come and shake him by the hand the next morning, and Lloyd was one of the multitude who availed themselves of that privilege.

His most considerable contribution to the Herald 46 during the last year of his apprenticeship was a threecolumn article on ‘American Writers,’ in reply to an attack by John Neal in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine; but most of the writers in whose behalf he sharpened his quill are now forgotten and unknown.

On the 10th of December, 1825, he completed his apprenticeship of seven years and two months in the Herald office, and under the (as it subsequently appeared, mistaken) impression that the year of his birth was 1804, and that he had now attained his majority, he signalized the event by a fervid poem of eight stanzas, entitled ‘Twenty-One!’ with this concluding invocation:

Spirit of Independence! where art thou?—47
I see thy glorious form—and eagle eye,
Beaming beneath thy mild and open brow—
Thy step of majesty, and proud look high:
Thee I invoke!—O to this bosom fly;
Nor wealth shall awe my soul, nor might, nor power;
And should thy whelps assail,—lank poverty!
Or threatening clouds of dark oppression lower,—
Yet these combined—defied! shall never make thee48 cower!


He remained a few weeks longer in the Herald office, as a journeyman, and his last contribution to that paper bore, like his first, his bachelor initials, and was devoted to a similar theme, being an ‘Essay on Marriage,’ which49 he discussed with the same affectation of cynicism as at first, declaring that ‘of all the conceits that ever entered into the brains of a wise man, that of marriage is the most ridiculous.’ And with this light and trivial conclusion to his boyish essays, he graduated from the office of the Herald, and went forth to establish a paper of his own, and to see what place in the world he could now show himself able to fill.

1 Speech at Dinner given by Franklin Club, Boston, Oct. 14, 1878.

2 1819.

3 Ms.

4 Maria Elizabeth

5 Oct. 5, 1819.

6 Ms.

7 See “Life of Timothy Pickering.” 4.319, for a letter from Mrs. Pickering to Mrs. Garrison on this event.

8 Ms., May 12, 1820.

9 Ms., May 24, 1820.

10 Ms., Sept. 13, 1880.

11 Speech at Dinner given by Franklin Club, Boston. Oct. 14, 1878.

12 Letter to Frank W. Miller, Apr. 30, 1870, published in Portsmouth (N. H.) Weekly, May 31, 1879.

13 May 21, 1822.

14 N. P. Herald, May 21, 1822.

15 May 24, 1822.

16 Ms.

17 N. P. Herald, July 16 and 19, 1822.

18 N. P. Herald, July 12, 1822.

19 N. P. Herald, August 2, 1822.

20 J. Quincy's Memoir of J. Q. Adams, p. 102.


He knew not that his chosen hand,
Made strong by God, his native land
Would rescue from the shameful yoke
Of Slavery—the which he broke!

Coleridge, after Stolberg's Tell's Birthplace.

22 March 14, and April 1 and 4, 1823.

23 Wm. Eustis.

24 N. P. Herald, April 22, May 2 and 16, 1823.

25 N. P. Herald, May 2, 1823.

26 1822.

27 N. P. Herald, April 22, 1823.

28 Ms. to W. L. G., March 24, 1823.

29 Ms.

30 Caleb Cushing.

31 Baltimore.

32 Ms. to W. L. G., June 3, 1823.

33 Ms. to E. W. Allen, July 7, 1823.

34 Hyannisport.

35 1823.

36 Ms., July 7, 1823.

37 1823.

38 June II and 29.

39 July 27, 1824.

40 Salem Gazette, Aug. 6, 10, 20, Sept. 7, Oct. 22, 29, 1824.

41 Ms.

42 Mr. Charles J. Brockway, who was two years Lloyd's junior, and recalls him as ‘a handsome and an attractive youth, unusually dignified in his bearing for so young a man.’ says, in reference to this oration, that Lloyd practised his declamation in the ‘groves and green fields on the outskirts of his native town.’ ‘Old Maid's Hall,’ now a part of Oak Hill Cemetery, was one of his resorts for this purpose.

43 An acrostic addressed to William Goss Crocker, on his departure for Liberia, and signed ‘G.,’ on page 160 of the fifth volume of the Liberator (1835), gives evidence of their continued friendship, however.

44 Lib. 19.178.

45 Aug. 31.

46 N. P. Herald, May 17, 1825.

47 Ibid., Dec. 16, 1825.

48 The sense seems here to call for ‘me’ instead of ‘thee.’

49 N. P. Herald, January 3, 1826.

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