St. Louis Public Radio News
12:36 pm
Mon November 4, 2002

Metro-East to Celebrate Lovejoy Anniversary

Alton, IL – The Metro-East will celebrate the 200th anniversary of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy this week.

Born in Maine on November 9, 1802, Lovejoy founded a religious newspaper in St. Louis. His opposition to slavery created conflicts with pro-slavery interests. When Lovejoy's press was destroyed, he moved to Alton, hoping that free state of Illinois would afford him safety.

But that's where he was killed by a pro-slavery mob while defending his press in 1837. He's considered the country's first martyr to free press.

A number of events to commemorate Lovejoy's birth are planned in Alton and at the Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Lovejoy Library.