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We look to the Convention as a happy means of relieving the State, at some future day, of an evil which is destroying all our wholesome energies, and leaving us, in morals, in enterprise, and in wealth, behind the neighboring States. We mean, of course, the curse of Slavery. We are not about to make any attack upon the rights of those who at present hold this description of property. They ought to be respected to the letter. We only propose that measures shall now be taken for the Abolition of Slavery, at such distant period of time as may be thought expedient, and eventually for ridding the country altogether of a colored population.

Mr. Lovejoy, commenting on the foregoing, wished that some Southern-born man, of high character, decided ability, and fervent piety, would take up the subject of Slavery in a proper spirit, and, being familiar, experimentally, with all its evils and its difficulties, would show the people, practically, what they ought to do with regard to it. He continued:

To such a man, a golden opportunity of doing good is offered. We believe the minds of the good people of this State are fully prepared to listen to him — to give a dispassionate consideration to the facts and reasonings he might present connected with the subject of Slavery. Public sentiment, amongst us, is already moving in this great matter — it now wants to be directed in some defined channel, to some definite end.

Taken all in all, there is not a State in this Union possessing superior natural advantages to our own. At present, Slavery, like an incubus, is paralyzing our energies, and, like a cloud of evil portent, darkening all our prospects. Let this be removed, and Missouri would at once start forward in the race of improvement, with an energy and rapidity of movement that would soon place her in the front rank along with the most favored of her sister States.

He continued to speak of Slavery at intervals, through that summer, leaving his post in October to attend a regular meeting of the Presbyterian Synod.

Directly after his departure, an excitement commenced with regard to his strictures on Slavery; and the proprietors of The Observer, alarmed by threats of mob-violence, issued a card, promising that nothing should be said on the exciting subject until the editor's return; and, this not proving satisfactory, they issued a further card on the 21st, declaring themselves, “one and all,” opposed to the mad schemes of the Abolitionists. Before this, a letter1 had been written


St. Louis, October 5, 1835.
To the Rev. E. P. Lovejoy, Editor of The Observer:
Sir:--The undersigned, friends and supporters of the “Observer,” beg leave to suggest, that the present temper of the times requires a change in the manner of conducting that print in relation to the subject of domestic Slavery.

The public mind is greatly excited, and, owing to the unjustifiable interference of our Northern brethren with our social relations, the community are, perhaps, not in a situation to endure sound doctrine in relation to this subject. Indeed. we have reason to believe, that violence is even now meditated against the “Observer office;” and we do believe that true policy and the interests of religion require that the discussion of this exciting question should be at least postponed in this State.

Although we do not claim the right to prescribe your course as an Editor, we hope that the concurring opinions of so many persons, having the interest of your paper and of religion both at heart, may induce you to distrust your own judgment, and so far change the character of the “Observer,” as to pass over in silence everything connected with the subject of Slavery. We would like that you announce in your paper, your intention so to do.

We shall be glad to be informed of your determination in relation to this matter.

Respectfully, your obedient servants,

I concur in the object intended by this communication.

I concur in the foregoing.

This document is indorsed as follows:

I did not yield to the wishes here expressed, and in consequence have been persecuted ever since. But I have kept a good conscience in the matter, and that more than repays me for all I have suffered, or can suffer. I have sworn eternal opposition to Slavery, and, by the blessing of God, I will never go back. Amen.

E. P. L. October 24, 1837.

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