• Creator
  • Illinois Heritage Association; Chicago Historical Society
  • Created Date
  • 3-13-02
  • Description
  • The noted abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802-37) is believed to have owned this press, which is in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. Originally from Maine, Elijah P. Lovejoy moved to Alton, in southern Illinois, where he published the Alton Observer, an anti-slavery newspaper, and helped found the Illinois Anti-Slavery Society. During the 1830s, pro-slavery supporters attempted to suppress his efforts by throwing several of h... more
    The noted abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802-37) is believed to have owned this press, which is in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. Originally from Maine, Elijah P. Lovejoy moved to Alton, in southern Illinois, where he published the Alton Observer, an anti-slavery newspaper, and helped found the Illinois Anti-Slavery Society. During the 1830s, pro-slavery supporters attempted to suppress his efforts by throwing several of his presses into the Mississippi River; this one was recovered in the 1850s and used by a newspaper publisher in Iowa. The Chicago Historical Society has on exhibit the Alton Observer, December 8, 1836. Lovejoy’s front-page editorials denouncing slavery inflamed many Alton residents whose sympathies lay with the South. There is also a lithograph, “Attack on the office of the Alton Observer,” from the Martyrdom of Lovejoy, by Henry Tanner, 1881. On November 7, 1837, an angry mob attacked Lovejoy’s office and killed him. Although several people were indicted for the crime, none were found guilty. (This information is from the Chicago Historical Society.) Elijah Lovejoy moved to Alton from St. Louis, where his outspoken abolitionist views were not well received. As he became more and more outspoken against slavery, his actions engendered strong resistance in Illinois, as well. His brother, Owen, was also an abolitionist, who was tried in 1843 for aiding two escaped slaves to freedom. Owen Lovejoy’s home outside Princeton, Illinois, is one of the few documented Undergound Railroad sites in Illinois. It is open to the public. Owen Lovejoy served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1856-1864. 14 Political systems; 15 Economics; 16 History; 17 Geography; 18 Social systems. less
  • Format
  • IHA00161.jpg