Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Owen Lovejoy  

Pen Name: None


Born: January 6, 1811 in Albion, Maine


Illinois Connection

Lovejoy moved to Alton, Illinois in 1836. He served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Princeton, Illinois from 1838–1856. In 1854 Lovejoy was elected a member of the Illinois State Legislature. He worked with Abraham Lincoln and others to form the Republican Party in the state. In 1856, he was elected as a Republican from Illinois as Representative to the 35th United States Congress and succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1857, until his death. The city of Princeton maintains and preserves his home, the Owen Lovejoy House, as a house museum. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997 by the National Park Service as part of the Underground Railroad, the house has a secret compartment for hiding slaves. It is open to the public to view.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lovejoy was an American lawyer, Congregational minister, abolitionist, and Republican congressman from Illinois. He was also a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad. After his brother Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in November 1837 by pro-slavery forces, Owen became the leader of abolitionists in Illinois.

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