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The Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument is located in Alton, Illinois and was built from 1896 to 1897. It stands over ninety-three feet tall. It is a memorial to honor a man who was an abolitionist and the editor of the paper, The Alton Observer. He was shot and killed by a mob that was trying to prevent him from printing his anti-slavery news. Elijah Lovejoy's death gain national attention and was viewed as martyrdom for free speech and the abolition of slavery.


  • Map of Alton.
  • The Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument

The Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument is located in Alton, Illinois and was built between 1896 and 1897. It was designed by R.P. Bringhurst, a sculptor from St. Louis, and built by Culver Stone Company from Springfield, Illinois.1 On the main shaft and on the columnn of the monument there are winged statues mounted, these are meant to show the idea of a triumphant goal, such as the end of slavery.1 The main columnn is ninety-three feet talk and has a seventeen feet tall bronze statue on top.1 This columnn is one of the largest in the country.1 This columnn is surrounded by three, eight feet high walls.1  Two smaller columnns that are thirty feet high and mounted with bronze eagles stand on either side of the main columnn.1 There are also four bronze panels that are excerpts from the life of Elijah P. Lovejoy.1

Elijah P. Lovejoy was an abolitionist and a newspaper journalist. He was born in Maine on November 9, 1802. He published a newspaper called The St. Louis Observer and started to protest the abolition of slavery.2 In July 1836, his newspaper was trashed by a mob, so he decided to move to a free state and he chose Illinois.2 While in Alton, he started another newspaper this one called The Alton Observer.2 On November 7, 1837, a group of his supporters joined him in helping protect his press from a mob.2 When the mob attacked they did so with gunfire and in this attack Elijah Lovejoy was shot and killed.2 On November 9, 1937, he was buried in the city cemetery.1

In 1969, a group from the Alton, Illinois area urged the state to renovate the monument.1  They invited people from all over the area to help. They cleaned the monument and his grave site. They then had a rededication ceremony in the cemetery.1 Then on November 8, 1997, 200 people met at the monument to again rededicate the monument to Elijah Lovejoy.1 

1. "The Lovejoy Monument," Illinois State Historical Library, accessed October 1, 2014, http://www.state.il.us/hpa/lovejoy/monument.htm#years. 2. "Elijah Parish Lovejoy," accessed October 1, 2014, http://www.altonweb.com/history/lovejoy/.