Lovejoy Monument

1830s

Nov. 7, 1837 Elijah Lovejoy is murdered by a mob wishing to keep his anti-slavery newspaper from printing in Alton, Illinois.

Nov. 8, 1837 Lovejoy's body is carried from the scene of his death by his supporters. "Mr. Abraham Breath, still a resident here, went to the warehouse the next morning after the murder, and found the body lying alone, in solitary state, the first great victim of slavery, with five gaping wounds in his chest, silently appealing, as it were, to heaven for justice on the murderers. Mr. Breath took tufts of raw cotton from the packages in the warehouse and pressed them into the ragged, bloody holes made by the buckshot that penetrated the body with such deadly effect. The day following the riot the remains were removed to the victim's residence in the lower part of the city, and prepared for internment, which took place two days after the terrible scene at the warehouse."

"The Burial of Lovejoy," Alton Daily Telegraph, May 5, 1882

Nov. 9, 1837 "Fifteen persons attended the burial in the City Cemetery, it being then considered almost as much as a man's life was worth to be classed among the 'Abolitionists,' as they were universally designated. The grave was dug by William Johns[t]on, colored man, a native of Scotland, who is yet living in this city at the age of 78 years, having arrived here in 1836. He state that the coffin was an ordinary one, such as was generally used at the time, and stained red with the juice of poke berries."

"The Burial of Lovejoy," Alton Daily Telegraph, May 5, 1882



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