Response to Lovejoy murder


At a very full meeting of the Board of Managers of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, held in Boston on the 22d inst. with special reference to the late riot and murder at Alton, Illinois, the following resolutions were adopted:

That the guilt of this bloody tragedy is not local, nor confined exclusively to the immediate actors therein, but that it covers the land, inasmuch as the tragedy itself is one of the natural and inevitable consequences of tolerating the execrable system of slavery in our midst; and that in the ‘deep damnation’ of the murder of this Christian martyr, the American church, the American press, American statesmen and divines, the great mass of the American people , — and all who, for the last five years , have instigated riots or connived at the prostration of lawful government, or justified the enslavement of our colored countrymen,  — do participate to a greater or less extent.

That in resorting to arms, in the last extremity, to put down the implacable, seditious and desperate enemies of public order, liberty and humanity, and to defend his property and life rather than succumb to their ‘reign of terror’,  — being cruelly deserted, as he was, by the civil and military authorities of the place, —- he was amply justified by the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, by the example of our revolutionary fathers, and by the applause which mankind have always bestowed upon those who have perished under similar circumstances; consequently, that for those who subscribe to that Declaration, and eulogize those patriotic sacrifices, to affect to be shocked at the brave and spirited  defence made by Mr. Lovejoy, and on that account to consider his death as not deserving of peculiar sympathy or respect, is nothing better than base hypocrisy, cold-blooded insensibility, and atrocious malignity

                                                         (Liberator, Nov 24, 1837, pg 3)