Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument
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.
Backstory and Context
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