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RDR supports effort to get commemorative postage stamp for abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy

The memorial to Elijah P. Lovejoy in Alton, Illinois (Photo by Andrew W. Griffin)
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By Andrew W. Griffin

Red Dirt Report, editor

Posted: February 4, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY – In light of your Red Dirt Reporter’s recent visit to Alton, Illinois and trip to the Elijah P. Lovejoy monument in that Mississippi River city (written about here), we are pleased to see an effort afoot in Congress to get Lovejoy honored on a U.S. postage stamp.

In December, during a visit to see family in St. Louis, we took a side trip to Alton and viewed the monument dedicated to Lovejoy, a man who was dedicated to the abolition of slavery and was fearless enough to write articles in his St. Louis Observer newspaper and later Alton Observer newspaper, until a fed-up mob cornered Lovejoy and supporters in a barn in Nov. 1837 and shot and killed him.

In the Feb. 2, edition of The Alton Telegraph, in an article headlined “Lovejoy may be honored on stamp” reporter Kathie Bassett wrote: “In recognition of Black History Month, U.S. Sen. Roland Burris and U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello have introduced a resolution in Congress to issue a commemorative postage stamp honoring Elijah P. Lovejoy.”

In the article, it quotes Burris, the black politician originally from Southern Illinois who was seated in President Barack Obama’s spot in the U.S. Senate, saying: “Lovejoy sacrificed his life fighting for the freedom and dignity of slaves all across the nation, and this resolution is an important step towards honoring that legacy and remembering our collective history.”

It adds that “The resolution is aimed to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Lovejoy’s death in 2012.

And according to a representative of the Elijah Lovejoy Society in nearby St. Louis, an effort to get Lovejoy on a stamp was attempted – and failed – back in the 1980’s.

According to the Telegraph story, the House resolution has bi-partisan support amongst those in the Illinois delegation.

We at Red Dirt Report feel that this amazing and patriotic American and journalist most definitely deserves to be honored in this way. Some say that Lovejoy's murder by the pro-slavery mob was the first shot of the Civil War, even though that conflict was a quarter-of-a-century in the future.

For more information, check out Red Dirt Report's review of a new book by Jennifer Phillips titled "Elijah Lovejoy's Fight For Freedom." While it's geared towards children, it's a great and informative read.

Copyright 2010 West Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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