soul kept “marching on,” although his body was “a-mouldering in the grave.”
There was another case involving the surrender of life to that cause, which has always struck me as having stronger claims to our sympathies than that of John Brown
and his comrades in self-sacrifice.
I have already referred to Elijah P. Lovejoy
who was a young Congregational clergyman, who went from the State of Maine
to St. Louis, Missouri
, in 1839.
He became the editor of a religious journal in which he expressed, in very moderate terms, an opinion that was not favorable to slave-holding.
The supporters of the institution were aroused at once.
They demanded a retraction.
“I have sworn eternal hostility to slavery, and by the blessing of God I will never go back,” was his reply.
He also declared, “We have slaves here, but I am not one of them.”
It was deemed advisable by Mr. Lovejoy
and his friends to move his printing establishment to Alton
, opposite Missouri
, in the free State of Illinois
There, however, a pro-slavery antagonism immediately developed.
His press was seized and thrown into the Mississippi River
The same fate awaited two others that were procured.
But, undismayed, Mr. Lovejoy
and his friends once more decided that their rights and liberties should not be surrendered without a further effort.
Another press was sent for. But in the meanwhile a violent public agitation had arisen.
At the instance of certain pro-slavery leaders in the community a public meeting had been called to denounce the Abolitionists.