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From the Cincinnati Gazette, Nov. 15.

ALTON-MOB-ARSON AND MURDER.

We have seen a proof slip of the Cincinnati Journal, which contains a letter to the editor, giving an account of the mob, arson and murder that occurred at Alton on the night of November 8. It seems a printing apparatus was landed that night, for re-establishing an abolition press, and deposited in Godfrey, Gilman & Co's. warehouse. There was a party on the watch to destroy this press and its accompaniments, who traced it to the place of deposit. At that place there was an armed body of men for its defence.

About 10 o'clock at night, the mob assembled around the warehouse, and assailed it with stones. Mr. Gilman, one of the proprietors, was present, and remonstrated without effect. Finally gun shots were fired in at the windows, but without doing personal injury. A shot was then fired from the house, by which a Mr. Bishop was killed.

The mob then dispersed; but soon returned to the charge, and succeeded in setting fire to the roof of the house. In an attempt to extinguish this fire, Mr. Lovejoy was deliberately shot, and survived but a few moments. A parley ensued, and the house party surrendered. After they came from the house, some of them were fired upon and wounded. Mr. Roff, once a resident of Cincinnati, was very badly wounded.

We make this abstract as coldly as possible, in the hope that it may be republished, as an event of the times, in some few southern news papers. Hereafter, when we hear both sides, we shall speak more at large. No coloring can so change the facts, as to take them from them the character of Arson and Murder. The perpetration of these crimes cannot but serve greatly to aid the cause it was intended to put down.

We subjoin the following copy of a letter from Alton, which gives a little different version of the story.

'Alton, Wednesday evening, Nov. 8.

Yesterday morning, at 4 o'clock A. M., a fourth abolition press was landed from the Missouri Fulton, and put in Godfrey, Gilman & Co.'s warehouse, under guard of the friends of Mr. Lovejoy. During the day of yesterday much excitement prevailed, and during the evening many individuals collected with a full determination to destroy it. The warehouse was again guarded by some 18 or 20 friends of the cause, and when the attack was made, Mr. Lovejoy fired from a window and shot down a Mr. Bishop. The populace, infuriated at this, and not being able to make entrance, set fire to the building. The individual who applied the torch to the roof, was about to be fired upon (or was fired upon) by Mr. Lovejoy, when he, Mr. L. received a mortal wound from some one of the assailants. Two others inside received wounds, but not dangerous.- The press was then given up and destroyed. To-day, we have peace and quietness, and trust in God that is may continue.'

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802-1837) was a Presbyterian minister in St. Louis, Missouri. He began publishing a religious newspaper, The St. Louis Observer, and advocating the abolition of slavery. He moved to Alton, Illinois, in July, 1836 after his press was attacked by a mob. He actively supported the Anti-Slavery Society of Illinois, which enraged many of the local citizens. Even after three presses had been destroyed, he continued to publish the Alton Observer. On November 7, 1837, a mob attacked the warehouse where a new press was being stored, and Lovejoy was killed. This account is dated November 8, and is written from a pro-abolition perspective, calling the attack nothing less than arson and murder. William Butler began publication of the Hampshire Gazette on September 6, 1786, in Northampton, Massachusetts. It has been in continuous publication since then and is now called the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

 

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"Alton-Mob-Murder and Arson" article from the Hampshire Gazette newspaper

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
date   Nov 22, 1837
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
width   3.0"
height   9.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.131


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See Also...

"Slavery Notice" article from Gazette and Mercury newspaper

"Geo. Thompson in Springfield" article from the Boston Courier newspaper

"Gilt Edged Paper" article tells of a death threat to the editor of The Emancipator in the Gazette and Mercury newspaper

"Disgraceful" article about mob at Garrison Abolition Society's anniversary celebration from the Gazette and Courier newspaper


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