Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

MR. LOVEJOY IN ST. LOUIS.

133

self amenable to the laws. But it is said | Puritans on the rugged soil of New Engthat the right to hold slaves is a constitu- land. It flowed as freely on the plains of tional one, and therefore not to be called in Lexington, the hights of Bunker Hill, and question. I admit the premise, but deny | the fields of Saratoga. And freely, too, shall the conclusion.

mine flow---yea, as freely as if it were so

much water-ere I surrender my right to Mr. Lovejoy proceeded to set forth plead the cause of truth and righteousness,

before my fellow-citizens, and in the face of that Robert Dale Owen and Frances

all their opposers.” Wright had recently landed on our shores from Great Britain, and had

He continued in this strain to re

view and refute all the positions and traversed our country, publicly prop

doctrines of these resolutions, and, agating doctrines respecting Divorce

toward the close of his appeal, said: which were generally regarded as

"If in anything I have offended against utterly destructive to the institution

the laws of my country, or its Constitution, of Marriage, yet they were nowhere I stand ready to answer. If I have not, mobbed nor assaulted for so doing , then I call upon those laws and that Consti

tution, and those who revere them, to pro5 And yet, most surely, the institutions tect me. “ of Slavery are not more interwoven “I do, therefore, as an American citizen,

and Christian patriot, and in the name of 66 with the structure of our society

Liberty, and Law, and RELIGION, solemnly “ than those of Marriage.” He continued :

ever or by whomsoever made, to frown down the liberty of the press, and forbid

the free expression of opinion. Under a “See the danger, and the natural and in- deep sense of my obligations to my country, evitable result, to which the first step here the Church, and my God, I declare it to be

ill lead. 10-day, a public meeting declares my fixed purpose to submit to no such dicthat you shall not discuss the subject of | tation. And I am prepared to abide the conSlavery in any of its bearings, civil or re

sequences. I have appealed to the Constituligious. Right or wrong, the press must be tion and laws of my country; if they fail to silent. To-morrow, another meeting de- protect me, I APPEAL TO God, and with cides that it is against the peace of society | Him I cheerfully rest my cause." that the principles of Popery shall be discussed, and the edict goes forth to muzzle The Observer failed for one week the press. The next day it is, in a similar to appear. but was issued regularly manner, declared that not a word must be said against distilleries, dram-shops, or

thereafter. On the request of its drunkenness: and so on to the end of the proprietors, Mr. Lovejoy gave up the chapter. The truth is, my fellow-citizens,

establishment to them, intending to if you give ground a single inch, there is no stopping-place. I deem it, therefore, my leave St. Louis ; but they handed it duty to take my stand upon the Constitu

over in payment of a debt of five tion. Here is firm ground—I feel it to be such. And I do, most respectfully, yet de

hundred dollars, and the new owner cidedly, declare to you my fixed determina immediately presented it to Mr. tion to maintain this ground. We have

Lovejoy, telling him to go on with slaves, it is true; but I am not one. I am a citizen of these United States, a citizen of the paper as before. He had gone Missouri, free-born ; and, having never for- to Alton, Illinois, expecting to refeited the inestimable privileges attached to 1

move it to that city; but, while such a condition, I cannot consent to surrender them. But, while I maintain them, there, a letter reached him from St. I hope to do it with all that meekness and

Louis, urging him to return and rehumility that become a Christian, and espe

. cially a Christian minister. I am ready, not | main, which he did. to fight, but to suffer, and, if need be, to die On the 28th of April, 1836, a for them. Kindred blood to that which

quarrel occurred between two sailors, flows in my veins flowed freely to water the quarter tree of Christian liberty, planted by the | or boatmen, at the steamboat landing

[ocr errors]

Preres

da Meanct.

1

in St. Louis. When the civil offi- , on the infuriated multitude to deeds of death

for and destruction-then, I say, act not at all cers attempted to arrest them for a

in the matter; the case then transcends 12 breach of the peace, a mulatto your jurisdiction-it is beyond the reach of named Francis J. McIntosh interfer human law”!!! ed, and enabled the boatmen to es- On this charge, Mr. Lovejoy comcape, for which he was very properly mented with entire unreserve ; arrested, carried before a justice of whereupon a mob surrounded and the peace, and committed to jail. tore down his office—although, in On his way thither, being informed the issue which contained his stricthat his punishment would be not tures, he had announced his decision less than five years in the State

to remove the paper to Alton, bePrison, he immediately broke loose lieving that it would be there more from the officers, drew a knife, and

useful and better supported than at stabbed one of them fatally, severely St. Louis. His first issue at Alton is wounding the other. He was in- ' dated September 8th stantly secured and lodged in jail. Meantime, his press was taken A mob thereupon collected, broke from St. Louis, by steamboat, to open the jail, tore him from his cell,

Alton, and landed on the bank about carried him out of town, and chained

daylight on Sunday morning: It him to a tree, around which they

lay there in safety through the Sabpiled rails, plank, shavings, etc., to bath ; but, before the next morning, the hight of his knees, and then ap it had been destroyed by some five plied fire. He was burning in fear or six individuals. On Monday, a ful agony about twenty minutes be- meeting of citizens was held, and a fore life became extinct. When the pledge voluntarily given to make fire had nearly died out, a rabble of good to Mr. Lovejoy his loss. The boys amused themselves by throwing meeting passed some resolutions constones at the black and disfigured demnatory of Abolitionism, and Mr. corpse, each endeavoring to be first Lovejoy assured them that he had in breaking the skull.

not come to Alton to establish an This horrible affair came in due

abolition, but a religious, journal; course before the grand jury of St. that he was not an Abolitionist, as Louis for investigation, and a Judge, they understood the term, but was who bore the apposite name of Law- an uncompromising enemy of Slaveless, was required to charge said jury ry, and so expected to live and die. with regard to it. Here is a speci- He started for Cincinnati to promen of his charge :

cure new printing materials, was “If, on the other hand, the destruction taken sick on the way, and, upon of the murderer of Hammond was the act, reaching Louisville, on his retúrn, as I have said, of the many—of the multitude, in the ordinary sense of these words--

was impelled by increasing illness to not the act of numerable and ascertainable stop. He remained there sick, in malefactors, but of congregated thousands, the house of a friend, for a week, and seized upon and impelled by that mysterious, metaphysical, and almost electric frenzy,

was still quite ill after his return. which, in all ages and nations, has hurried The Observer was issued regularly

12 " Higher law" again--fourteen years ahead of Gov. Seward.

LOVEJOY REFUSES TO BE MUZZLED.

135

at Alton until the 17th of August, pledged himself at a public meeting, called 1837 - discussing Slavery among

for the purpose of taking measures to bring

to justice the persons engaged in the deother topics, but occasionally, and in struction of the first press brought to Alton a spirit of decided moderation. But by said Lovejoy, not to discuss the subject

of Slavery; we, the undersigned, declare no moderation could satisfy those 10 moderation could satisiy tuose the following to be his language, in subwho had determined that the subject stance: "My principal object in coming to should not be discussed at all. On

this place is to establish a religious paper.

When I was in St. Louis, I felt myself called the 11th of July, an anonymous hand upon to treat at large upon the subject of bill appeared, calling a meeting at

Slavery, as I was in a State where the evil the market-place for the next Thurs

existed, and as a citizen of that State I felt

it my duty to devote a part of my columns day, at which time a large concourse to that subject; but, gentlemen, I am not, assembled. Dr. J. A. Halderman 3

and never was, in full fellowship with

the Abolitionists; but, on the contrary, presided, and Mr. l. I. Jordon was have had some spirited discussions with Secretary. This meeting passed the some of the leading Abolitionists of the following resolves :

East, and am not now considered by them

as one of them. And now, having come 61. Resolved, That the Rev. E. P. Love- | into a Free State, where the evil does not joy has again taken up and advocated the exist, I feel myself less called upon to disprinciples of Abolitionism through his cuss the subject than when I was in St. paper, the Observer,' contrary to the dis Louis.' The above, as we have stated, was position and will of a majority of the citizens his language in substance. The following, of Alton, and in direct violation of a sacred | we are willing to testify, to be his words in pledge and assurance that this paper, when conclusion: established in Alton, should not be devoted “But, gentlemen, so long as I am an to Abolitionism.

American citizen, so long as American “2. Resolved, That we disapprove of the blood runs in these veins, I shall hold mycourse of the Observer,' in publishing any self at liberty to speak, to write, and to articles favorable to Abolitionism, and that publish, whatever I please on any subject, we cenzure Mr. Lovejoy for permitting such being amenable to the laws of my country publications to appear in his paper, when a for the same.'” pledge or assurance has been given to this community, by him, that such doctrines

On the 24th, a Committee from should not be advocated.

the meeting aforesaid presented its * 3. Resolved, That a committee of five

resolves to Mr. Lovejoy, asking a citizens be appointed by this meeting to

response thereto. That response ascertain from him whether he intends, in was given on the 26th, and its mafuture, to disseminate, through the columns of the Observer,' the doctrines of Aboli

terial portion is as follows: tionism, and report the result of their con “You will, therefore, permit me to say ference to the public."

[graphic]

that, with the most respectful feelings to

ward you individually, I cannot consent, in The only point requiring comment

this answer, to recognize you as the official in these resolves is the allegation that organ of a public meeting, convened to disMr. Lovejoy had pledged himself not

cuss the question, whether certain senti

ments should, or should not, be discussed in to discuss the subject of Slavery or the public newspaper, of which I am the its Abolition. This point was an Editor. By doing so, I should virtually ad

mit that the liberty of the press, and the freeswered by ten respectable citizens of

dom of speech, were rightfully subject to Alton, who united in the following other supervision and control than those of statement:

the law. But this I cannot admit. On the

contrary, in the language of one of the “Whereas it has been frequently repre- | speakers at the meeting, I believe that the sented that the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, late valor of our forefathers has won for us the Editor of the “Alton Observer,' solemnly liberty of speech,' and that it is 'our duty

13 This name reäppears in the "Border Ruffian” trials of Kansas, 1856-8.

LL

and our high privilege to act and speak on ments were not unfruitful. Four days all questions touching this great common

thereafter-two unsuccessful attempts wealth,' I am happy, gentlemen, in being able to concur in the above sentiments, having already been made the office which, I perceive, were uttered by one of 1 of The Observer was entered between your own members, and in which, I cannot doubt, you all agree. I would only add,

the hours of ten and eleven, P. M., that I consider this "liberty' was ascertain- by a band of fifteen or twenty pered, but never originated, by our forefathers.

sons, and the press, type, etc., utterly It comes to us, as I conceive, from our Maker, and is, in its nature, inalienable, be

destroyed. The mob commenced, as longing to inan as man.

usual, by throwing stones at the build“Believing, therefore, that everything

ing, whereby one man was hit on the having a tendency to bring this right into jeopardy is eminently dangerous as a prece head and severely wounded; wheredent, I cannot admit that it can be called

upon the office was deserted, and the into question by any man, or body of men, or that they can, with any propriety, ques

destroyers finished their work withtion me as to my exercise of it.”

out opposition, while a large conThese proceedings attracted atten- | course were “ looking on and consenttion from abroad, especially in St. ing.” The authorities did nothing Louis, to whose pro-Slavery politi- most rigorously. Mr. Lovejoy was cians the publication of The Observer, absent at the time, but was met in though not in their city or State, was the street by the mob, who stopped still an eyesore. On the 17th of him, threatened him, and assailed August, The Missouri Republican, him with vile language, but did him in an article entitled “ Abolition," no serious harm. In The Observer said:

of the preceding day, he had made “We perceive that an Anti-Slavery Soci- an explicit and effective response to ety has been formed at Upper Alton, and the question—" What are the docmany others, doubtless, will shortly spring up in different parts of the State. We

trines of Anti-Slavery men ?" wherehad hoped that our neighbors would have in he had succeeded in being at ejected from amongst them that minister of once moderate and forcible-affirmmischief, the 'Observer,' or at least corrected its course. Something must be done in ing most explicitly the flagrant wrong this matter, and that speedily! The good of slaveholding, with the right and people of Illinois must either put a stop to the efforts of these fanatics, or expel thein

policy of immediate emancipation, from their community. If this is not done, but explaining that such an emancithe travel of emigrants through their State,

pation was to be effected “by the and the trade of the slaveholding States, and particularly Missouri, must stop. Every one masters themselves, and no others," who desires the harmony of the country, and who were to be persuaded to it, exthe peace and prosperity of all, should unite to put them down. They can do no positive

actly as a distiller is to be dissuaded good, and may do much irreparable harm. from making intoxicating liquors, or We would not desire to see this done at the | a tippler from drinking them. But, expense of public order or legal restraint; but there is a moral indignation which the

though his doctrines were peaceful virtuous portion of a community may exert, and his language mild and deprecawhich is sufficient to crush this faction and forever disgrace its fanatic instigators. It is

tory, he doubtless irritated and anto this we appeal, and hope that the appeal noyed his adversaries by pointing to will not be unheeded.”

the fact-in refuting their slang about These recommendations and incite- amalgamation that the then 14 ViceMR. LOVEJOY MOBBED AT ST. CHARLES'. .

14 Col. Richard M. Johnson.

137

President of the United States “has tempted. The Mayor, apprised of been, if he is not now, the father of its arrival and also of its peril, gave slaves. And thousands have voted assurance that it should be protected, to elevate him to his present condi and asked its friends to leave the tion, who would crucify an Aboli matter entirely in his hands, which tionist on the bare suspicion of they did. A constable was posted by favoring, though only in theory, the Mayor at the door of the waresuch an amalgamation. How shall house, with orders to remain until a we account for such inconsistency ?” certain hour. He left at that hour; On the 24th of August, he issued an and immediately ten or twenty rufappeal to the friends of law and order fians, with handkerchiefs tied over for aid in reëstablishing The Observ- their faces, broke open the store, er; and this appeal was promptly rolled the press across the street to and generously responded to. Hav- the river-bank, broke it into pieces, ing obtained a sufficient amount in and threw it in. Before they had Alton and Quincy alone, he sent to finished the job, the Mayor was on Cincinnati to purchase new printing hand, and ordered them to disperse.

c

[blocks in formation]

address, submitting " To the Friends soon as they got through, and were of the Redeemer in Alton” his resig- as good as their word. The Mayor nation of the editorship of the paper, declared that he had never witnessed offering to hand over to them the a more quiet and gentlemanly mob! subscription-list, now exceeding two Mr. Lovejoy preached at St. thousand names, on condition that Charles, Missouri, the home of his they pay the debts of the concern, wife's relatives, a few days afterreceive all dues and assets, and fur- October 1st—and was mobbed at the nish him sufficient means to remove house of his mother-in-law, directly

of labor. A meeting was accordingly The mob attempted, with oaths and held, which resolved that The Ob- blows, to drag him from the house, server ought to be continued, while but were defeated, mainly through the question of retaining Mr. Lovejoy the courageous efforts of his wife and as its editor was discussed through one or two friends. Three times the two or three evenings, but left unde- house was broken into and a rush cided. Meantime, while he was ab- made up stairs; and, finally, Mr. L. sent, attending a meeting of the was induced, through the entreaties Presbytery, his new press—the third of his wife, to leave it clandestinely which he had brought to Alton within and take refuge with a friend, a mile a little more than a year-arrived on distant, whence he and his wife made the 21st of September, was landed their way back to Alton next day. about sunset, and immediately con- Nearly the first person they met there veyed by his friends to the warehouse was one of those who had first broken of Geary & Weller. As it passed into the house at St. Charles; and along the streets“ There goes the the hunted clergyman had the cold Abolition press ! stop it! stop it !” comfort of hearing, from many of his was cried, but no violence was at- religious brethren, that he had no

« AnteriorContinuar »