Monday, July 16, 2007

Visiting Lovejoy

Spent some quiet time today at a cemetery steeped in history in Alton, Illinois, where I happen to reside.

At right, a monument to free speech martyr Elijah P. Lovejoy, who died defending his press from a pro-slavery mob, who shot the 34-year-old newspaper editor in cold blood in November of 1837.

A plaque at the site, quoting Lovejoy, reads: "But gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject -- being amenable to the laws of my country for the same."

For more on the life and extreme sacrifice of Lovejoy, click here.

It's humbling, indeed, to stand at the base and look up, reflecting on the sacrifice of a man who laid down his life in defense of free speech and the abolitionist movement. As a writer and former newspaper editor, I find myself renewed each and every time I visit this monument and Lovejoy's grave.

1 comment:

Jack said...

This is a great post. I've put a link to it from my blog posted today 'In honor of Elijah Lovejoy' which you can visit at

I agree with you, visits to Lovejoy's grave are humbling AND inspiring. Jack