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“ [140] regret to do you any injury; but we are authorized by the Mayor to defend our property, and shall do so with our lives.” The leader replied that they were resolved to have the press at any sacrifice, and presented a pistol, whereupon Mr. G. retired into the building. The mob then passed around to the opposite end of the warehouse, and commenced throwing stones, which soon demolished several of the windows. No resistance was offered; the inmates having agreed not to fire unless their lives were in danger. The ware-house being of stone, and solidly built, no further impression was made on it by this assault. Finding their missiles ineffectual, the mob fired two or three guns into the building, by which no one was hit. The fire was then returned, and several of the rioters wounded, one of them mortally. Hereupon, the mob recoiled, carrying off their wounded. But they soon returned with ladders, and other preparations for firing the roof of the warehouse, cursing and shouting, “Burn them out! Burn them out!” They kept carefully on the side of the building where there were no windows, so that they could not be injured or repelled by its defenders. The Mayor and a justice were now deputed by the mob to bear a message to the inmates of the building, proposing that, on condition the press were given up, no one should be further molested, and no more property destroyed. The proposition was quietly declined. Mr. Gilman, in turn, requested the Mayor to call on certain citizens to save his store from the threatened destruction by fire.. The Mayor replied that the mob was so strong and so determined that he could do nothing — that he had already tried to command and persuade them to desist, but without success. He was asked if those in the building should defend their property with arms; to which he replied, as he had repeatedly done before, that they had a perfect right to do so, and that the law justified them in that course. He then left the building, and reported the result of his mission, which was received with yells of “Fire the building!” “Fire the building!” “Burn 'em out!” “Burn 'em out!” “Shoot every d----d Abolitionist as he leaves!” It was now near midnight, and the bells had been rung, collecting a large concourse, who stood passive spectators of what followed.

The mob now raised their ladders against the building, mounted to the roof, and kindled a fire there, which burned rather slowly. Five of the defenders hereupon volunteered to sally out and drive them away. They left by the south door, passed around the corner to the east side of the building, and fired upon the man who guarded the foot of the ladder, drove him off, and dispersed his immediate comrades, returning to the store to reload. Mr. Lovejoy and two others stepped again to the door, and stood looking around just without the building--Mr. L. in advance of the others. Several of the rioters were concealed from their view behind a pile of lumber a few rods in their front. One of these had a two-barreled gun, which he fired. Mr. Lovejoy received five balls, three of them in his breast, probably each mortal. He turned quickly, ran into the store, and up a flight of stairs into the counting-room, where

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Elijah P. Lovejoy (2)
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