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Elijah P. Lovejoy

Elijah P. Lovejoy, 1802-1837, was a journalist in St. Louis before being called to the ministry in the 1830s. After studying at Princeton Theological Seminary and briefly preaching in Rhode Island and New York, Lovejoy returned to St. Louis, where he began editing the St. Louis Observer, a religious paper. Because of editorials critical of slavery, the paper became the target of pro-slavery elements in the slave state of Missouri. Lovejoy moved the Observer to Alton, Illinois, but the paper also faced opposition in Illinois, where the press was destroyed on several occasions. Lovejoy was undeterred, however, each time ordering new printing equipment. Finally, on November 7, 1837, Lovejoy was killed trying to defend a newly arrived press from a mob.

Further Reading:
Dillon, Merton Lynn. Elijah P. Lovejoy, Abolitionist Editor. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961.
Simon, Paul. Freedomís Champion: Elijah Lovejoy. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994.


Chapter Three: The Abolitionist Calling

His Soul Goes Marching On

West Virginia Archives and History