Elijah Lovejoy Papers Series 1 Letters
Illinois State Historical Library

Letter from Elijah Lovejoy to Elizabeth Lovejoy, November 23, 1835

Letter 7 of 11

Elijah Lovejoy Letters


St. Louis, November 23, 1835

Dear Mother,

Knowing that your willful anxiety - to know how matters proceed here in St. Louis. I write to you again, by which you may at least know that I am not yet hung up. Neither have I been tarred and feathered nor yet whipped, nor in any way molested bodily - if slander and falsehood and malignant abuse, I have had abundance.

We are getting quiet-again. The Lynchites are getting ashamed of their doings. The Papish, the Irish, and the pro-slavery Christians finding that I am not to be driven nor frightened away are beginning to feel and act a little more reasonably. A large majority of the Protestants in the city are decidedly with me.

I cannot hope that the cause of human rights of mercy and of truth will be advanced in the city and state by the late disturbances here. For this I am sure you will prey.

Let me state to you all fact. The man who headed the whole business of the late public meetings, and who was the most active and virilent [sic] in his endeavors to excite the public mind against me and stop the "Observer", the other night whipped his female Negro slave almost to death. Her cries and screams brought a multitude around the house, and he narrowly escaped having his house broken into and himself made the victim of mob-violence. I knew that the wicked, sooner or later, face into the pit they have digged [sic] for others; but was not this sudden retribution? And what have we say of those professing Christians, yea, elders in the church who follow in the wake of such a man. To stop the Observer because it advocates the abolition of slavery? We have such elders in St. Louis-four of them in one church. The woman was rescued from the monster by the Constable and taken to jail. His name is Arthur S. Magernis, an Irishman and States Attorney for this district.

We have another man here walking our streets in open day who about a year since, actually whipped his Negro woman to death. He was tried for the murder, but as Negro evidence was not admitted he could not be convicted, and rather was not. Such men are not mobbed, but he who ventures to say that slavery is a sin does it at the risk of his life.

The Observer stopped all week but is going again, and like to go, that is , if the Christian public will support it, if not it must go down.

Wife is well, very well for her. She sends her love to you, to sisters, and to all. Do let me hear from you soon.

Affectionately Your Son

Elija P. Lovejoy

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