November 7 - 1837 - The Killing of Elijah P. Lovejoy
Elijah P. Lovejoy was a native of Maine who had moved to Saint Louis after graduating college and begun a school and a newspaper. He began his newspaper career as an ardent opponent of Andrew Jackson and his supporters. After attending Princeton Theological Seminary, Lovejoy would focus more on religion and morality, attacking Catholicism, alcohol, and, most notably, slavery. Lovejoy's St. Louis Observer was the slave state of Missouri's most prominent abolitionist newspaper. This made Lovejoy a repeated target of violence. His press was destroyed on three separate occasions, which caused Lovejoy to move across the Mississippi River to Alton, Illinois. There he began the Alton Observer and attempted to found a local chapter of the Anti-Slavery Society. Despite Illinois being a free state, Alton was a hotbed of pro-slavery sentiment. As Lovejoy continued his abolitionist activities, an angry mob decided to destroy his press which was supposed to be hidden in a warehouse. While defending his printing press, Lovejoy was shot five times, dying instantly. The Reverend Elijah P. Lovejoy became a martyr to abolitionism, and his death became a rallying cry for anti-slavery activism.