Elijah Lovejoy Papers Series 1 Letters
Illinois State Historical Library

Letter from Elijah Lovejoy to Joseph Lovejoy, November 21, 1834

Letter 4 of 11

Elijah Lovejoy Letters


St. Louis, November 21, 1834

Dear Brother Joseph,

After laboring hard all day, I have a few leisure moments this evening, and will give them to you, to bring up a long airearage of time, though not, I believe, of letters. I think I am but one in your debt, and that on John brought. By the way he is out in the country, at my parishes, he is occasionally subject to the a yet, but becoming quite content and Missourised. He is a good but a strange boy. I think he will do something yet.

I promise you this keep up the abolition excitement, and I suppose all I can say will do no good. But I regret, deeply regret, that you cannot see the true effect of all such measures. Depend upon it, brother Joseph, and I who live here can see it as plainly as if it were a mathematical demonstration, depend upon it you at the north of the abolishion [sic] ranks, are riveting the very chains you seek to break. Did you see Breckenridge's letter in the Evangelist? Now I know B. And I do not like all about him, but he told the truths there; and he told it well, and told it home.

You have never lived in a slave state, and I do assure you, you have not and you cannot have, and just conceptions of the relation existing between Master and Slave. It is bad enough--too bad--but it is not as you think. Garrison--I seldom permit myself to write the name--knows better, he has lived in a slave state, and he is therefore, a dishonest man. How can you hold communion with such a foul-mouthed fellow? Is he not a perfect black guard?

Still, I have no doubt that good will come of all this. The Lord will overrule it for the good of black and white, and his own glory. Kentucky is moving, and will soon, I have no doubts, free herself from the load of slavery. Missouri will not lag far behind. I think our Synod will, next fall, pass resolutions that Christians must not hold slaves. They will, I am persuaded, under the Abolishionist [sic] should so provoke the public mind see, that it would be worse than [ ] to move in the matter.

I myself, I have little to say in addition to what you have seen in my letter to Mother. I am now in the enjoyment of excellent health, and truly I need it all. I have much to do. With-in a few weeks time, I have been much impressed with the responsibilities of my office. Bro. Joseph, it is a solemn and awful thing to be a minister of Christ; and to be a faithful one requires every effort we can make and even then without God's assistance, we can do nothing. I have thought much lately upon the subject. You will see an article in the "Ob" last week, and another this headed "Let your Light Shine." I want you to read them, and then write me what you think. Write the article for the Observer. Of one thing I am entirely convinced it will not do for ministers to continue to be so inefficient. We want faith. If we had that, in its proper proportions, we should not, [ ], toil all night, age, and all day too, and day after day, and catch nothing, or next to nothing. O how we shall regret at the Judgement day, every wasted moment. Let us then, my brother, redeem the time since the days are as short as they are evil.

From Mother I have just read a letter. Give my love to sister Sarah, and tell her to write me, and I will answer it. I suppose her babe is a beauty. Love to all of course. Why do not Owen and E. write? I am in debt to sister S. but I will pay it. She is fine, it seems from Mr. S and lives like Queen Elizabeth.

"In [ ] meditation, fancy free." Thanks.

We have had a remarkably pleasant fall. It is raining now (Friday evening, 9 1/2 PM) and bids fair to rain all day to-morrow. If so I must ride in the rain 14 miles. My rule is to let nothing but an irresponsibility keep me from an appointment. It is very much such a rain now as you have in [Lexington ]- equally warm

Your affec. Brother

Elija P. Lovejoy


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