Elijah Parish Lovejoy Is Killed
On November 7, 1837, Elijah Parish Lovejoy was killed by a pro-slavery mob while defending the site of his anti-slavery newspaper The Saint Louis Observer.
His death both deeply affected many individuals who opposed slavery and greatly strengthened the cause of abolition.
Lovejoy, who was born on November 9, 1802, in Albion, Maine, decided to seek his fortune in the Midwest after graduating from college. Short on funds, he walked to St. Louis, Missouri, where, over time, he became editor and part-owner of The St. Louis Times. His name appeared in the Times for the first time on August 14, 1830, and for the last time—as editor—on February 18, 1832.
Elijah Parish Lovejoy (November 9, 1802 – November 7, 1837) was an American Presbyterian minister, journalist, and newspaper editor who was murdered by a mob in Alton, Illinois for his abolitionist views.
He had a deeply religious upbringing, as his father was a Congregational minister and his mother a devout Christian. He attended Waterville College in his home state of Maine, and graduated at the top of his class, with first class honors. Afterwards, he traveled to Illinois and, after realizing that the area was largely unsettled, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1827. There, Lovejoy worked as an editor of an anti-Jacksonian newspaper and ran a school. Five years later, influenced by the Revivalist movement, he chose to become a preacher. He attended the Princeton Theological Seminary and became an ordained Presbyterian preacher. Once he returned to St. Louis, he set up a church and became the editor of a weekly religious newspaper, the St. Louis Observer. He wrote a number of editorials, critical of other religions and slavery. In May 1836, he was run out of town by his opponents after he chastised Judge Luke E. Lawless, who had chosen not to charge individuals linked to a mob lynching of a free black man.
Let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty…Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother…in short let it become the political religion of the nation…”— Abraham Lincoln