LooseCrew-JeffO: Elijah Lovejoy's Printing Press


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Elijah Lovejoy's Printing Press

Elijah Lovejoy was an abolitionist who was killed before the Civil War. He ran an abolitionist newspaper. This was his 4th newspaper, as he kept getting run-out of other states and towns. In Alton, Illinois, a mob came to burn down his house and shop, so he went out with a gun. Several shots were fired and one of them killed Elijah instantly. The mob dumped his printing press into the Mississippi river.

To give you some insight into my ADD brain, I'm a very slow reader. One reason is I can't read past stuff like this. I get "stuck" in constant diversions.

The dumped his printing press into the Mississippi. Did they really? Was it dumped underwater? Or in a thicket near the water? Did it sink into mud?

Wouldn't it be cool to find Elijah Lovejoy's printing press? If it was covered in ink, would that help preserve it from rust? Presses sure did get inky-dirty. Not to mention all the grease they had to slather on. And if it submerged into mud, that might have helped to preserve it. The Mississippi changes course as it meanders, and today it could be in the middle of someone's corn field. Or maybe it wasn't deep enough and someone found it, not knowing what it was, and hauled it off to another dump-site? Maybe a building is on top of it?

It's probably un-findable. But wouldn't it be cool? To find it and fix it up as best it's rusty remains might allow, and put into a museum?

I Googled this and can't find any info on anyone looking for or finding his press. They know where his house was, and you can't easily cart-off a heavy printing press, so it's bound to be close to the shortest distance from his house site to the river's bank, at that time.

See, this is why I have a stack of un-read books so high it keeps falling over. I can't seem to get through any of them. Everything i read sends me on constant diversions that are more interesting to me than the original text.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Jim Henderson said...


I'm sitting here, thinking about Lovejoy AND HIS TWO PRINTING PRESSES that were "dumped" in the river, and wondered if they'd been found. Ran a google on the question and found your post.

Ever discover the answer?

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Jim Henderson said...


At 9:50 AM, Blogger Jim Henderson said...

And, lastly, this book states that one of the three was recovered: Freedom's Champion--Elijah Lovejoy, written by Paul Simon


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