Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

Elijah Lovejoy was anti-slavery martyr in Illinois

By Tom Emery

Abolitionists such as Elijah Lovejoy were not in the mainstream of 1830s society in Illinois. But Lovejoy met the challenge head on.

November 7 marked the anniversary of the murder of Lovejoy, a newspaper publisher and vocal opponent of slavery, in Alton in 1837. The tragedy became a flashpoint for the slavery debate in Illinois.

Born in Maine on Nov. 9, 1802, Lovejoy moved west to St. Louis and founded a classical high school. He also edited a reform-minded newspaper, though, oddly, never paid much attention to the slavery issue. After five years, though, he underwent some sort o...


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