He learned how to set type, and as a journeyman printer he wandered widely, going even as far east as New York.
As in every social scheme where the government is wor without real power, the weakest sought protection of the strongest; and the system of patron, client and journeyman, which had existed among the Romans, the Gauls and the Germans, spread rapidly in the 6th and 7th centuries, owing to public disorder and the inadequate protection afforded by the government.
In 1651 he began to have revelations, and to proclaim himself and his cousin John Reeve, whose journeyman he was, as the two witnesses mentioned in Rev. xi.
He continued to work as a journeyman bookbinder till the 1st of March 1813, when he was appointed assistant in the laboratory of the Royal Institution of Great Britain on the recommendation of Davy, whom he accompanied on a tour through France, Italy and Switzerland from October 1813 to April 1815.
Garrison then went to Boston, where, after working for a time as a journeyman printer, he became the editor of the National Philanthropist, the first journal established in America to promote the cause of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors.