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Elijah Lovejoy Monument

Elijah Parish Lovejoy (Nov. 5, 1802- Nov. 7, 1887)
Was a Newspaper Editor, Social Reformer and Presbyterian Minister whose Death, at the Hands of an angry mob, at Alton.  Illinois made him an enduring symbol of the fight for human liberty and freedom of the press.

Born in Albion Maine, Lovejoy graduated from Waterville (Now Colby) College in 1826,  He moved the following year to St. Louis, where he taught school and began his career as a Journalist.  In 1832, Lovejoy decided to become a Minister and returned to the east to study at Princeton Theological Seminary.


In 1833, Lovejoy began editing a religious newspaper,  “The St. Louis Observer”.   Lovejoy’s Anti-Slavery views so enraged Missourians that he fled with his newspaper to Illinois.   Three presses were thrown into the Mississippi River, yet Lovejoy persisted in publishing “The Alton Observer”, He was shot dead while defending the warehouse in which a fourth press had been stored.   His body, buried on his Thirty-fifth birthday in an unmarked grave at Alton Cemetery was later exhumed and reinterred in the present location on a hillside north of the Lovejoy Monument.

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