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.