\William Lloyd Garrison: Staining My Peace Profession For Every Slave Insurrection On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and several followers seized the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The actions of Brown's men brought national attention to the emotional divisions concerning slavery. Soon after this raid, Brown was hanged for fighting to abolish slavery. William Lloyd Garrison later delivered a speech in honor of John Brown. William Lloyd Garrison’s purpose in this speech was to persuade his audience to become abolitionists. He did this by beginning to commemorate what John Brown stood for and then taking it one step further. He transitioned his speech by stating, “But I do not stop there; if I did, I should be a monster. I also disarm, in the name of God, every slaveholder and tyrant in the world” (Line 42). Garrison uses the anger of the audience and channels it towards his purpose of uniting people to speak out against the cruelties of slavery. This also proves that his main purpose is not to commemorate the life of John Brown, but to convince his audience that what was done to Brown was unfair and Browns death cannot be in vain.
The flow of argument in William Garrison’s speech seems to begin by acknowledging the death of the abolitionist John Brown and talking about what John Brown stood for and why his actions were justified. Then he begins to turn his argument into a call to action. By giving this speech about two weeks after John Brown’s death, he is able to turn John Brown into a martyr for the abolishment of slavery.
Garrison chooses his words in his speech very carefully in order to excite his audience with the idea that slavery is immoral. During his speech, Garrison says, “John Brown meant to effect, if possible, a peaceful exodus from Virginia” (Line 6). By using the word exodus, he is implying that Virginia has committed moral crimes and needs to be delivered to become righteous. The exodus in the bible refers to...
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