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Douglass had a long career in the abolition movement (and after the Civil War) and many allies and rivals. Perhaps the most important was William Lloyd Garrison, whose friendship catapulted Douglass into the national movement and made him, by mid-nineteenth century standards, a celebrity. Garrison was at the vanguard of a new, uncompromising wing of the abolition movement that called for immediate, uncompensated abolition. He regarded slavery as a sin and a stain on the national character. Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838, and attended, and often spoke at, abolitionist meetings. Garrison attended one of these meetings, and was struck by Douglass's eloquence as well as the power of his story. It was Garrison who encouraged Douglass to begin touring the nation as a speaker, as well as to publish his autobiography, a powerful antislavery document. The two eventually had a sort of falling out over differences in strategy, but both remained committed to the abolitionist cause. So because his newspaper proved to be such an important platform for Douglass, Garrison, it could be argued, was his most important ally.
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