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CONGRATS to a HUGE UPSET (ALMOST as BIG as BRAT!) LARRY HOGAN: Governor of MARYLAND! NOW that there is a GOP GOVERNOR in MD there is only ONE THING TO DO: PARDON WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON!

I must congratulate the new Governor of Maryland:  Larry Hogan.  Along with Boyd Rutherford, his running mate, now Lt. Governor, my hat is off to both of you!  It is great to see a Republican win this election.  I almost despaired to see the day.  Now, I need to help the new chief executive out a bit:  Now that you are inaugurated, Governor Hogan, announce it:  I am taking this pen and pardoning William Lloyd Garrison right now.  Research the issue.  Spring it on the people.  (Perhaps invite a certain blogger to see it…)

Here is why in my four prior articles on this question:

Should/Has abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison be pardoned by the State of Maryland?  I am researching this issue as we speak with an email sent to the MD Secretary of State’s office today.  But there is a bit of background:

In 1830, Garrison co-edited a newspaper in Baltimore, MD that among other things supported abolition of slavery.  He accused a man named Francis Todd of  slave trading.  There is little doubt the charge was true, according to the late Henry Mayer’s opus on the abolitionist editor, All On Fire, but he was convicted of malicious libel.  At common law, libel was a criminal as well as a civil offense.  That was amended slightly in 1804 by the Maryland legislature to allow truth as a defense.

Notwithstanding the truth, Garrison was convicted and fined $50 plus court costs; he could not pay the fine so he was jailed for what would have been six months.  After 49 days in the Baltimore jail, Arthur Tappan of New York, who later became a abolitionist himself, paid the fine.

So the question I have asked the MD Secretary of State:  Has William Lloyd Garrison been pardoned by the State of Maryland?  I suggest my beau ideal and blogging inspiration should be pardoned if not already.  So I plan to follow up on this story after I hear from the Secretary of State’s office and if not, Governor Martin O’Malley should pardon the abolitionist leader.  It will be a good thing to do and it won’t hurt him politically, either.  (I deign to say I am not a supporter of the governor!)  It would correct a great historical wrong in that first libel ought not be a criminal offense and it is not so now because the United States Supreme Court has ruled criminal libel is unconstitutional and also, this was clearly a political trial with a bad verdict, and finally, no one can be imprisoned for failure to pay fines if they are unable to pay the fine.

***

I have not received any word from the MD Secretary of State’s office on the pardon of William Lloyd Garrison.  I wrote this blog post and sent this email on April 17:

Dear Secretary of State McDonough:

I am a blogger for Virginia Right (www.varight.com) and a great admirer of the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.  In 1830, Garrison was convicted in Maryland of seditious libel relating to his agitation against slavery while an editor in Baltimore.  I cannot find anywhere any evidence he was pardoned.  I plan to urge Governor O’Malley in my blog to formally pardon Garrison if it can be done legally.  Would you please check whether William Lloyd Garrison has been pardoned.

Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.

I also sent an email to the Governor of Maryland and he sent me back a form response.  That’s fine; I expect them to take a few days.  But I need to find out:  Was Garrison pardoned or not?  I have placed a useful issue in the hands of a liberal Democrat who might seek the Presidency.  I believe justice requires that William Lloyd Garrison be pardoned by the State of Maryland for its pro-slavery prosecution in 1830.  Time to find out if the abolitionist hero has been pardoned and if not why not?  I plan to call the Governor’s office this coming week.  Others can call too:  410.974.3901.  PARDON GARRISON TODAY!

***

Several months ago I wrote a couple of blog posts on the little-known fact about abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison – he was jailed in Baltimore for criminal libel for calling out a slave trader.

Garrison is my beau ideal as an agitator (The Liberator would surely have been a blog today.  Sometimes I look up into the sky and ask:  Mr. Garrison what would you do? He would probably be more fierce to call out on things that I am!) although it is a fair question whether the abolitionists caused as much harm as good by dividing North and South and raising fears of slave uprisings.  But I also admire Garrison for his Christian faith in political action!

I did not fully follow up with the Baltimore Sun or the various political characters in this drama, most of whom are Democrats I would not support, but who should do the right thing.

My readers who agree can write/email/contact Governor Martin O’Malley at this website or this number 410.974.3901.  Go!  Let’s get William Lloyd Garrison pardoned!

***

Richmond NBC 12 TV is reporting that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, spoken of as a potential Presidential candidate in 2016 (I think I’ll run this blog from Chile or Botswana if he wins!  :)  ) came for the McAuliffe inaugural and we’re glad to have him visiting!  Maybe he’ll read this local blog with his name in it and decide:  YES PARDON WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, the abolitionist who was convicted and jailed on seditious libel in Baltimore in 1830.  He called a slave trader, well, a slave trader!  Here and here and here are my prior posts on it!

So there you have it, Governor Hogan.  Pardon William Lloyd Garrison.  Do it as soon as you can.

 

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “CONGRATS to a HUGE UPSET (ALMOST as BIG as BRAT!) LARRY HOGAN: Governor of MARYLAND! NOW that there is a GOP GOVERNOR in MD there is only ONE THING TO DO: PARDON WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON!”

  1. Disgusted
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh, for God’s sake. Don’t we have more to worry about today then pardoning someone from 180 years ago? C’mon, Sandy.

    • Sandy Sanders
      Twitter:
      says:

      Thanks for coming by, Disgusted. Yes there are many issues out there and there are plenty of bloggers/news sources who choose to write on them. But it is important for this great wrong to be righted. This is one of them.

      Thanks again for coming.

      Sandy

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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