In the fall of 1996, the Illinois State Historical Library purchased the only extant copy of a handbill calling for an Illinois antislavery convention. The broadside, pictured above, announced the September 27, 1837, meeting of the state abolitionist group. Because it was signed by Elijah Lovejoy and undersigned by 245 persons from seventeen communities in ten counties of Illinois, the document represents the earliest comprehensive list of abolitionists in the state. Equally important is the fact that Elijah Lovejoy printed it in Alton shortly before his death at the hands of the anti-aboltionist mob in November of 1837.
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