Enrgved two-sided newspaper masthead with enslaved men, women, and children being sold on one side, and happy scenes of libertaion on the other side
Original Author: William Lloyd Garrison, editor
Created: March 2, 1838
Medium: Engraved newspaper masthead

Masthead for The Liberator

This engraved masthead for The Liberator, a weekly abolitionist newspaper produced in Boston, Massachusetts, is divided into two vignettes. The scene at left depicts enslaved men, women, and children being sold at auction, with a sign reading that horses and cattle are also being offered for sale. A domed state capitol can be seen in the distance, and in the mid-distance, a white man whips an enslaved man who is tied to a post. In contrast, the scene at right offers a celebratory image of freedom. A well-dressed Black family is seen beneath a banner reading "Emancipation," while Black men carve timber in the middle distance as they create a new future. In the distance, a group of emancipated people joyfully raise their arms in front of the rising sun.

The Liberator was edited by the white abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, though its subscribers were primarily Black. This influential publication ran from 1831 to 1865, and over the course of its history there were three different mastheads, all with a similar theme. This particular masthead was used from March 2, 1838, until January 3, 1851.

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