Cover image for Growing up abolitionist : the story of the Garrison children
Growing up abolitionist : the story of the Garrison children
Alonso, Harriet Hyman.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 409 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Fanny's story -- Lloyd and Helen -- Establishing the family -- Raising little Garrisons -- Schooling and socializing -- George's search -- Enter Ellie and Lucy -- The family redefined -- Their parents' sons -- Another Fanny's story.
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E449 .A46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A portrait of a close-knit family dedicated to ending slavery and social injustice; Much has been written about the life of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (1805-79), but relatively little attention has been paid to his wife, Helen Benson Garrison, and their seven children. In Growing Up Abolitionist, Garrison's public image recedes into the background and the family's private world takes center stage. The lives of the Garrison children were shaped within the context of the great nineteenth-century campaigns against slavery, racism, violence, war, imperialism, and the repression of women. As children, they became apprentices of these movements and grew up adoring their dissident parents. Collectively and individually, they carried on their parents' values in distinctive ways. Their path was not always easy. When the Civil War erupted, the entire family had to come to grips with a basic contradiction in their lives. While each member passionately yearned for the end of slavery, all but the eldest son, George, who served as an officer with the 55th Massachusetts Colored Regiment, opposed military participation. The Civil War years also brought four marriage partners into the Garr

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This absorbing narrative deals mainly with the lives of the children of the renowned abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and his wife, Helen. The Garrisons provided a nurturing home for their children, where nonsectarian Christian moral precepts were both preached and practiced. Home was often a quasi-hotel and salon where many of the luminaries of 19th-century reform were hosted, thus exposing the children to discussions on the many social questions facing the antebellum US. As adults, they readily espoused racial justice, nonviolence, woman suffrage, and anti-imperialism. Overall, Alonso (City College of New York) provides a sympathetic treatment of the Garrison children and their relationships with their parents, while successfully integrating their lives with the major issues of their times. The author offers a view of the elder Garrisons that seldom appears in works that deal primarily with William Lloyd Garrison and abolitionism. The book should be a model for future collective biographers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Most collections. L. B. Gimelli emeritus, Eastern Michigan University

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Rootsp. 7
I Fanny's Storyp. 9
II Lloyd and Helenp. 24
Family Lifep. 45
III Establishing the Familyp. 47
IV Raising Little Garrisonsp. 78
V Schooling and Socializingp. 109
The Garrisons and the Civil Warp. 135
VI George's Searchp. 137
VII Enter Ellie and Lucyp. 178
VIII The Family Redefinedp. 213
A Legacy of Social Consciousness and Political Activismp. 257
IX Their Parents' Sonsp. 259
X Another Fanny's Storyp. 295
A Note on Sourcesp. 335
Abbreviationsp. 341
Notesp. 345
Acknowledgmentsp. 391
Indexp. 395