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Transcript of Elija
The Beginning of the Problem
As expected, after he wrote too much about abolitionist policies in a slave state, Missouri citizens grew sick of Elijah Lovejoy. They ransacked his house and destroyed his printing press. Threatened, he moved to Illinois. Even in Illinois (a free state), Lovejoy had his press broken by pro-slavery mobs several times, though the community around him and his friends assisted in buying the presses and shipping them time and time again. This infuriated pro-slavery advocates as Lovejoy's newspaper
gained fame. Eventually, a dunken mob traveled to Lovejoy's warehouse, angered by the fact that he had been able to secretly maintain his printing press and newspaper for a short span of months since they had destroyed the last press. When they attempted to set fire to the warehouse in which he kept his press, Lovejoy defended the machine, and in response, the drunken mob who had come to destroy the press shot Lovejoy. He died then and was buried on his own birthday, only 35.
As the editor for a newspaper, Lovejoy's death was unsurprisingly publicized. Of the state officials of his home in Illinois, only one spoke out (a one young Abraham Lincoln), but across the North and West especially, there was a surge of antislavery feelings. John Quincy Adams called Lovejoy the "first American martyr to the freedom of the press and the freedom of the slave". Thus, Lovejoy's life and death served as both an advocate of free speech and one of free people.
November of 1837
Elijah Parish Lovejoy was born on November ninth to a minister in China, Maine. He was the eldest sibling, and was academically gifted throughout his life. After attending Waterville College and then teaching in his home state, he instead shifted around until he decided to learn at the Princeton Theological Seminary. It was there that Lovejoy was convinced to involve himself in the religious newspaper
. Then, he became an editor, and soon after, a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery.
Elija Lovejoy: An Abolitionist Martyr
The Saint Louis Obser-
Caption: A famous depiction of the mob setting the warehouse aflame.