Lovejoy, Owen

Lovejoy, Owen,

1811–64, American abolitionist, b. Albion, Maine, educated at Bowdoin College. He witnessed the killing of his brother Elijah P. LovejoyLovejoy, Elijah Parish,
1802–37, American abolitionist, b. Albion, Maine, grad. Waterville (now Colby) College, 1826, and later studied theology at Princeton. In 1833 he became editor of the Observer, a Presbyterian weekly in St. Louis.
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, under whom he had studied for the ministry. Taking up Elijah's cause, he became the recognized leader of Illinois abolitionists, persuading them to accept the more conservative leadership of Lincoln and become a part of the Republican strength. For many years pastor of the Congregational Church at Princeton, Ill., he also served in Congress from 1857 until his death.


See study by E. Magdol (1967).

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Lovejoy, Owen

(1811–64) abolitionist, statesman; born in Albion, Maine. Preparing for the Presbyterian ministry under his minister/editor brother, Elijah, he was there the night that Elijah was killed by an anti-abolitionist mob in Alton, Ill., while defending his printing press. Vowing to fight slavery to vindicate his brother, he spoke fearlessly for this cause (1840–50) despite an Illinois law prohibiting abolition meetings. Elected to the Illinois legislature as an abolitionist (1854), and an early booster of Abraham Lincoln, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (Rep. Ill.; 1857–64) where he sponsored the bill calling for an end to slavery in the United States.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.