On this day, Nov. 7, in 1837, abolitionist printer Elijah Lovejoy was killed by a mob while attempting to protect his printing shop in Alton, Ill.
Lovejoy, a pastor who ran a religious newspaper in St. Louis, had been forced to move from Missouri after a mob destroyed his business for printing stories about a lynching and the acquittal of the leaders of the hanging.
He then began the Alton Observer, which advocated for the end of slavery.
Three times rioters tossed his printing presses into the Mississippi River.
When slave owners heard Lovejoy received a fourth press, they shot Lovejoy dead.
Lovejoy is considered by some to be America's first martyr to the freedom of the press.
- Scott McCabe