41+ Best William Lloyd Garrison Quotes: Exclusive Selection

William Lloyd Garrison, who signed and printed his name Wm. Lloyd Garrison, was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer. He published a newspaper, The Liberator (1831–65), and helped lead the successful abolitionist campaign against slavery in the United States. Inspirational William Lloyd Garrison quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for famous activist quotes to inspire change that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of most gripping David Walker quotes, important quotes by John Brown, and top Sojourner Truth quotations.

Most Famous William Lloyd Garrison Quotes

We may be personally defeated, but our principles never! – William Lloyd Garrison

Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril. – William Lloyd Garrison

There must be no compromise with slavery – none whatever. Nothing is gained, everything is lost, by subordinating principle to expedience. – William Lloyd Garrison

A man’s country is the world. – William Lloyd Garrison

In proportion as we perceive and embrace the truth do, we become just, heroic, magnanimous, – William Lloyd Garrison

My country is the world. My countrymen are all mankind. – William Lloyd Garrison

I am in earnest–I will not equivocate–I will not excuse–I will not retreat a single inch–and I will be heard! – William Lloyd Garrison

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. – William Lloyd Garrison

It is for us to discharge the high duties that devolve on us and carry our race onward. To be no better, no wiser, no greater than the past is to be little and foolish and bad; it is to misapply noble means, to sacrifice glorious opportunities for the performance of sublime deeds, to become cumberers of the ground. – William Lloyd Garrison

Liberty for each, for all, and forever! – William Lloyd Garrison

The success of any great moral enterprise does not depend upon numbers. – William Lloyd Garrison

The standard of matrimony is erected by affection and purity, and does not depend upon the height, or bulk, or color, or wealth, or poverty of individuals. Water will seek its level; nature will have free course; and heart will answer to heart. – William Lloyd Garrison

It [slavery] has exercised absolute mastery over the American Church… With the Bible in their hands, her priesthood have attempted to prove that slavery came down from God out of heaven. They have become slaveholders and dealers in human flesh. – William Lloyd Garrison

Better to be always in a minority of one with God – branded as madman, incendiary, fanatic, heretic, infidel – frowned upon by “the powers that be,” and mobbed by the populace – or consigned ignominiously to the gallows, like him whose “soul is marching on,” though his “body lies mouldering in the grave,” or burnt to ashes at the stake like Wickliffe, or nailed to the cross like him who “gave himself for the world,” – in defence of the RIGHT, than like Herod, having the shouts of a multitude crying, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man! – William Lloyd Garrison

What shall be said, then, of those who insist upon ignoring the question of slavery as not involved in this deadly feud, and maintain that the only issue is, the support of the government and the preservation of the Union? Surely, they are “”fools and blind””; for it is slaveholders alone who have conspired to seize the one and overturn the other. As long as the enslavement of a single human being is sanctioned in the land, the curse of God will rest upon it. – William Lloyd Garrison

To say that everything in the bible is to be believed, simply because it is found in that volume, is equally absurd and pernicious… To discard a portion of scripture is not necessarily to reject the truth but may be the highest evidence that one can give of his love of truth. – William Lloyd Garrison

Since the creation of the world there has been no tyrant like Intemperance, and no slaves so cruelly treated as his. – William Lloyd Garrison

Slavery will not be overthrown without excitement, a most tremendous excitement. – William Lloyd Garrison

The Sabbath, as now recognized and enforced, is one of the main pillars of Priestcraft and Superstition, and the stronghold of a merely ceremonial Religion. – William Lloyd Garrison

Our country is the world-our countrymen are all mankind. – William Lloyd Garrison

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? – William Lloyd Garrison

I will be as harsh as truth, and uncompromising as justice… I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard. – William Lloyd Garrison

Everyone should be treated fairly no matter what they look like. – William Lloyd Garrison

My crime is that I will not go with the multitude to do evil. My singularity is that when I say that freedom is of God and slavery is of the devil, I mean just what I say. My fanaticism is that I insist on the American people abolishing slavery or ceasing to prate on the rights of man. – William Lloyd Garrison

No man shall rule over me with my consent. I will rule over no man. – William Lloyd Garrison

Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. – William Lloyd Garrison

There is no safety where there is no strength; no strength without Union; no Union without justice; no justice where faith and truth are wanting. The right to be free is a truth planted in the hearts of men. – William Lloyd Garrison

I have a need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt. – William Lloyd Garrison

Be faithful, be vigilant, be untiring in your efforts to break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free. Come what may – cost what it may – inscribe on the banner which you unfurl to the breeze, as your religious and political motto – “”NO COMPROMISE WITH SLAVERY! NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS – William Lloyd Garrison

The compact which exists between the North and the South is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. – William Lloyd Garrison

Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion? – William Lloyd Garrison

And now let me give the sentiment which has been, and ever will be, the governing passion of my soul: ‘Liberty for each, for all, and forever!’ – William Lloyd Garrison

You cannot possibly have a broader basis for government than that which includes all the people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights. – William Lloyd Garrison

Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice. – William Lloyd Garrison

That which is not just is not law. – William Lloyd Garrison

Little boldness is needed to assail the opinions and practices of notoriously wicked men; but to rebuke great and good men for their conduct, and to impeach their discernment, is the highest effort of moral courage. – William Lloyd Garrison

Let Southern oppressors tremble-let their secret abettors tremble-let their Northern apologists tremble-let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble. – William Lloyd Garrison

Has not the experience of two centuries shown that gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice? Is there an instance, in the history of the world, where slaves have been educated for freedom by their task-masters? – William Lloyd Garrison

In firing his gun, John Brown has merely told what time of day it is. It is high noon. – William Lloyd Garrison

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. – William Lloyd Garrison

We are the friends of reform; but that is not reform, which, in curing one evil, threatens to inflict a thousand others. – William Lloyd Garrison

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