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    Daniel A. Graff, Ph.D. “Lovejoy’s Legacies: Race, Religion, and Freedom in St. Louis (and American) Memory” Daniel A. Graff, Ph.D. “Lovejoy’s Legacies: Race, Religion, and Freedom in St. Louis (and American) Memory” Document Transcript

    • Daniel
A.
Graff,
Ph.D. “Lovejoy’s
Legacies:
Race,
Religion,
and
Freedom
in
St.
Louis
(and
American)
Memory”
 Paper
presented
at
the
Fontbonne
University
Symposium, “Collective
Memory
in
St.
Louis:
Recollection,
Forgetting
and
the
Common
Good,”
 October
23,
2010*
“We
have
broken
our
truce
with
this
spirit
of
darkness.
Henceforth
we
stand
in
direct
and
uncompromising
hostility
to
it.
…
We
were
loathe
to
believe
–
what
we
are
now
fully
convinced
of
–
that
it
is
a
spirit
of
unmixed
evil.”1
Elijah
Parish
Lovejoy,
editor
of
the
St.
Louis
Observer,
published
these
words
in
1834,
echoing
the
brashness
and
certainty
of
fellow
printer
William
Lloyd
Garrison,
who
had
launched
his
pioneering,
Boston‐based
abolitionist
journal
The
Liberator
three
years
earlier
with
a
similar,
and
much
more
famous,
declaration:
“I
will
be
as
harsh
as
truth,
and
as
uncompromising
as
justice.
…
I
am
in
earnest
…
and
I
WILL
BE
HEARD.”2
Like
Garrison,
Lovejoy
was
a
white
native
of
New
England
who
achieved
national
prominence
–
or,
more
aptly,
notoriety
–
for
his
aggressive
antislavery
politics
in
antebellum
America.
 Unlike
Garrison,
however,
Lovejoy
left
New
England
and
migrated
west
to
St.
Louis
in
the
1820s,
where
he
made
a
living
as
an
editor
and
a
Presbyterian
minister.
In
1836,
Lovejoy
was
the
only
St.
Louisan
to
publicly
challenge
the
lynching
of
Francis
McIntosh,
a
free
black
*Daniel
A.
Graff
teaches
history
at
the
University
of
Notre
Dame,
where
he
serves
as
Director
of
Undergraduate
Studies
in
the
Department
of
History
and
Associate
Director
of
the
Higgins
Labor
Studies
Program.
He
thanks
the
following
for
their
feedback
on
earlier
drafts
of
this
paper:
Heath
Carter,
Jon
Coleman,
Patrick
Griffin,
Nicole
MacLaughlin,
John
McGreevy,
Mark
Noll,
as
well
as
his
superb
undergraduate
students
in
his
fall
2010
course
on
Jacksonian
America.
He
also
thanks
the
organizers
of
the
Fontbonne
University
October
2010
symposium
on
St.
Louis
memory,
especially
Mary
Beth
Gallagher
and
Randy
Rosenberg.

1
St.
Louis
Observer,
Sep.
4,
1834,
quoted
in
Merton
L.
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy:
Abolitionist
Editor
(Urbana,
IL:
University
of
Illinois
Press,
1961),
40.
2
The
Liberator,
Jan.
1,
1831,
quoted
in
Daniel
Walker
Howe,
What
Hath
God
Wrought:
The
Transformation
of
America,
1815‐1848
(New
York:
Oxford
University
Press,
2004),
425.

    • boatworker
who
had
been
tied
to
a
tree
and
burned
alive
after
murdering
a
St.
Louis
police
officer.
Blaming
slavery’s
corrupting
influence
on
respect
for
law
and
order,
Lovejoy
repeatedly
castigated
city
leaders
for
tolerating
this
mob
action.
In
response,
hostile
crowds
repeatedly
destroyed
his
printing
equipment.
After
enduring
months
of
vandalism
and
threats
to
his
safety,
Lovejoy
decided
to
leave
St.
Louis
for
the
nearby
town
of
Alton,
whose
location
across
the
Mississippi
River
seemed
to
promise
a
more
congenial
climate
for
his
controversial
editorials.
It
was
there,
in
free‐state
Illinois
a
year
later,
that
Lovejoy
lost
his
life,
killed
by
gunfire
while
trying
to
prevent
the
destruction
of
yet
another
printing
press.3 Lovejoy’s
violent
end
instantly
converted
him
from
local
provocateur
to
national
–
or
at
least
northern
–
martyr,
as
abolitionists
not
only
condemned
the
rampant
lawlessness
of
the
slave
states,
but
also
warned
free‐state
residents
that
all
aspects
of
personal
liberty
were
at
stake
in
the
struggle
over
slavery.
While
it
would
take
another
two
decades
for
the
national
debate
over
slavery
to
culminate
in
the
Civil
War,
Lovejoy’s
martyrdom
certainly
represented
one
of
the
sparks
that
lit
the
sectional
fire.
Fittingly,
then,
Lovejoy
has
continued
to
hold
a
place
in
American
memory,
with
his
heroic
efforts
on
behalf
of
antislavery
and
press
liberty
meriting
a
mention
in
most
US
history
survey
textbooks.
One
popular
title,
for
example,
praises
Lovejoy
for
“pressing
the
issues
of
emancipation
and
equality”
upon
a
reluctant
nation.43
The
standard
scholarly
biographies
of
Lovejoy
remain
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy,
and
John
Gill,
Tide
without
Turning:
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
and
Freedom
of
the
Press
(Boston:
Starr
King
Press,
1958).
On
possible
St.
Louis
connections
to
 ndLovejoy’s
murder
in
Alton,
see
James
Neal
Primm,
Lion
of
the
Valley:
St.
Louis,
Missouri
(2 
ed.,
1990),
185.
4
James
Henretta,
et
al.,
America’s
History:
Volume
I:
To
1877,
5th
ed.
(Boston:
Bedford/St.
Martin’s,
2004),
357.
 Page
2
of
13


    • Modern
American
historians,
in
other
words,
tend
to
adopt
wholesale
the
contemporary
abolitionist
portrait
of
Lovejoy
as
heroic
victim
of
proslavery
censorship
and
violence.
And
in
the
St.
Louis
area,
that
scholarly
consensus
is
both
echoed
and
made
highly
visible,
with
Lovejoy
commemorated
in
several
public
spaces.
In
Alton,
Lovejoy’s
gravesite
features
a
towering
monument
praising
“the
valor,
devotion
and
sacrifice
of
the
noble
Defenders
of
the
Press,
who
…
made
the
first
armed
resistance
to
the
aggressions
of
the
slave
power
in
America.”5
A
short
distance
to
the
south
at
Southern
Illinois
University‐Edwardsville,
the
campus
library
bears
Lovejoy’s
name.6
To
the
west,
still
in
Illinois,
the
small
village
of
Brooklyn,
originally
settled
by
African
Americans,
is
often
called
Lovejoy,
cementing
the
editor’s
link
to
the
cause
of
black
liberty.
And
returning
west
across
the
river
to
the
city
that
once
expelled
him,
Lovejoy
now
enjoys
a
star
on
the
St.
Louis
Walk
of
Fame
honoring
“great
St.
Louisans.”7
In
public
memory,
then,
Elijah
Lovejoy
comes
across
as
St.
Louis’s
own
William
Lloyd
Garrison,
a
fiery
and
uncompromising
speaker
of
truth
to
power
in
the
name
of
liberty
for
all.
 The
problem
with
such
an
appealing
picture
is
that
it
masks
a
fundamental
component
of
Lovejoy’s
activism
–
his
strident
anti‐Catholicism.
The
words
opening
this
paper,
for
example,
though
certainly
Garrisonian
in
tone,
were
not
directed
at
slavery
at
all.
Instead,
Lovejoy
was
denouncing
the
Catholic
Church.
Let
me
repeat
those
lines:
“We
have
broken
our
truce
with
5
The
website
for
the
Illinois
State
Historical
Library
features
a
section
on
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy,
including
information
on
and
pictures
of
the
Lovejoy
monument
in
Alton,
which
was
erected
in
the
1890s.
See
http://www.state.il.us/hpa/lovejoy/monument.htm.
6
The
website
for
the
Lovejoy
Library
of
the
Southern
Illinois
University
at
Edwardsville
contains
a
link
for
“About
the
Library.”
See
http://www.library.siue.edu/lib/gen0.html.

7
See
the
St.
Louis
Walk
of
Fame’s
website
at
http://stlouiswalkoffame.org/foreword/,
which
includes
the
text
accompanying
Lovejoy’s
star
on
Delmar
Boulevard
in
University
City
to
the
west
of
St.
Louis.
 Page
3
of
13


    • this
spirit
of
darkness.
Henceforth
we
stand
in
direct
and
uncompromising
hostility
to
it.
…
We
were
loathe
to
believe
–
what
we
are
now
fully
convinced
of
–
that
it
is
a
spirit
of
unmixed
evil.”8
Although
completely
dropped
from
both
scholarly
and
public
memory,
Lovejoy’s
anti‐Catholicism
was
not
only
central
to
his
politics,
but
also
prior
to
–
and
just
as
important
as
‐‐
his
antislavery
activism.
 To
Lovejoy,
a
committed
evangelical
Protestant,
the
Catholic
Church
was
the
most
dangerous
threat
to
the
American
republic,
and
he
originally
moved
to
St.
Louis
not
to
combat
slavery
but
to
save
the
west
from
what
he
called
“the
principles
of
Popery.”
Like
many
eastern
evangelicals,
he
saw
St.
Louis
as
a
frontier
community
in
desperate
need
of
guidance
and
salvation
–
which
he
sought
to
provide
and
encourage
through
not
only
his
editorial
leadership,
but
also
his
participation
in
organizations
such
as
the
Missouri
and
Illinois
Tract
Society
and
the
American
Sunday
School
Union.
From
the
first,
then,
Lovejoy’s
sojourn
to
the
west
was
distinctly
missionary
in
nature,
but
he
wasn’t
on
a
mission
to
free
any
slaves.9 Lovejoy’s
evangelical
commitments
fused
with
a
fierce
nationalism,
and
he
identified
himself
as
a
“Christian
patriot.”10
To
Lovejoy,
in
fact,
these
two
identities
were
inseparable,
because
he
believed
that
his
New
England
Puritan
forebears
had
introduced
to
the
continent
the
principles
of
freedom
and
independence
that
had
culminated
in
the
American
Revolution.
As
he
boasted
to
his
readers,
“Kindred
blood
to
that
which
flows
in
my
veins,
flowed
freely
to
8
St.
Louis
Observer,
Sep.
4,
1834,
quoted
in
Merton
L.
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy,
40.
9
Merton
L.
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy:
Abolitionist
Editor,
11‐35.
10
St.
Louis
Observer,
Nov.
5,
1835.
 Page
4
of
13


    • water
the
tree
of
Christian
liberty,
planted
by
the
Puritans
on
the
rugged
soil
of
New
England.”
Now,
as
heir
to
this
tradition,
Lovejoy
was
more
than
willing
to
shed
his
blood
to
fertilize
the
liberty
tree’s
offshoots
in
the
west.
To
Lovejoy,
in
short,
the
causes
of
religion
and
the
republic
were
intertwined
and
inseparable,
and
he
vowed
“to
maintain
my
rights
as
a
republican
citizen,
free‐born,
of
these
United
States,
and
to
defend,
fearlessly,
the
cause
of
TRUTH
AND
RIGHTEOUSNESS.”11 That
cause,
as
he
saw
it,
demanded
his
fierce
opposition
to
Roman
Catholicism.12
To
Lovejoy,
American
Catholics
owed
their
allegiance
to
the
Pope,
and
hence
they
could
never
act
as
independent
citizens
dedicated
to
the
republic.
According
to
him
and
many
other
American
evangelicals,
the
“the
principles
of
Popery”,
from
canonization
to
ordination
to
the
alleged
pomp
of
ceremonies
and
rituals,
threatened
independent
thinking
and
republican
citizenship.
As
Lovejoy
concluded,
“So
true
is
it,
that
Popery
in
its
very
essential
principles
is
incompatible
with
…
civil
or
religious
liberty.”13
And
the
problem
was
especially
acute
in
1830s
St.
Louis,
where
the
Church’s
presence
predated
the
arrival
of
Protestantism
and
still
claimed
the
allegiance
of
one‐third
of
the
population.1411
St.
Louis
Observer,
Nov.
5,
1835.
Here,
and
throughout
the
paper,
quotes
are
exactly
as
they
appear
in
the
cited
source.
12
Biographers
such
as
Dillon
(see
notes
above)
have
not
ignored
Lovejoy’s
anti‐Catholicism,
but
the
Lovejoy
in
American
memory
is
generally
known
only
for
his
antislavery
and
free
press
credentials.
See
also
the
important,
though
brief,
uncredited
article,
“Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
As
An
Anti‐Catholic,”
Records
of
the
American
Catholic
Historical
Society
of
Philadelphia
62
(1951),
172‐80.
For
an
exploration
of
the
relationship
between
anti‐Catholicism
and
antislavery,
one
that
includes
a
brief
reference
to
Lovejoy,
see
John
T.
McGreevy,
Catholicism
and
American
Freedom:
A
History
(New
York:
W.W.
Norton,
2003),
43‐67.
13
St.
Louis
Observer,
Jul.
21,
1836.
14
St.
Louis
Observer,
Nov.
5,
1835;
“Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
As
An
Anti‐Catholic,”
174‐75;
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy,
39.
 Page
5
of
13


    • In
the
evangelical
Protestant
imagination,
the
west
represented
the
battleground
for
the
nation’s
soul,
which
is
why
Lovejoy
migrated
to
St.
Louis
in
the
first
place.15
But
he
constantly
worried
because
other
migrants,
especially
those
from
Ireland,
proved
less
than
interested
in
his
missionary
efforts.
He
also
feared
that
“Christian
patriots”
like
himself
were
losing
souls
to
the
Catholic
church,
who
sent
foreign
clergy
trained
by
Rome
to
open
churches
and
schools
in
St.
Louis
and
throughout
the
west,
in
an
effort
to
tie
America’s
youth
to
the
“yoke
of
the
Vatican,”
thereby
preventing
their
intellectual
and
spiritual
independence.16
Accordingly,
to
prevent
the
Mississippi
Valley
from
falling
into
“the
hands
of
strangers,
the
well‐known
oppressors
and
persecutors
of
mankind,”
Lovejoy
advocated
the
revision
of
naturalization
laws
to
make
it
harder
for
immigrants
to
become
citizens.
17
 Lovejoy’s
strident
anti‐Catholicism
made
him
many
enemies
in
St.
Louis,
though
historians
and
commemorators
have
forgotten
this.
Lovejoy
himself
knew
better.
As
he
put
it
just
before
leaving
St.
Louis,
“the
real
origin
of
the
cry,
‘Down
with
the
Observer,’
is
to
be
looked
for
in
its
opposition
to
Popery.
The
fire
that
is
now
blazing
and
crackling
through
this
city,
was
kindled
on
Popish
altars,
and
has
been
assiduously
blown
up
by
Jesuit
breath.”18
Although
he
probably
underestimated
the
extent
to
which
his
antislavery
views
contributed
to
the
hostility
he
faced,
he
was
right
that
his
opposition
to
Catholics
also
made
him
serious
15
The
most
prominent
contemporary
title
was
Lyman
Beecher’s
A
Plea
for
the
West
(Cincinnati:
Truman
&
Smith,
1835).
The
classic
historical
study
remains
Ray
Allen
Billington,
The
Protestant
Crusade,
1800‐1860
(New
York:
The
MacMillan
Company,
1938).
16
St.
Louis
Observer,
Dec.
31,
1835,
quoted
in
“Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
As
An
Anti‐Catholic,”
175.
17
St.
Louis
Observer,
Oct.
15,
1835,
quoted
in
“Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
As
An
Anti‐Catholic,”
175.
18
St.
Louis
Observer,
Nov.
5,
1835.
 Page
6
of
13


    • enemies
in
the
city.19
My
aim
here,
however,
is
not
to
claim
that
anti‐Catholicism
was
more
fundamental
to
his
thinking
than
antislavery
–
my
point
is
that
they
were
fundamentally
inseparable.
But
in
our
haste
to
commemorate
this
antislavery
martyr,
we
have
obscured
that
connection
and
lost
an
important
part
of
the
story.
 What
was
at
stake
in
1830s
St.
Louis
was
nothing
less
than
two
competing
visions
of
American
citizenship.
The
dominant
view,
ascendant
at
the
polls
and
in
the
streets,
embraced
white
political
equality
while
resting
on
black
subjugation
and
exclusion.
This
vision,
articulated
most
forcefully
by
the
Jacksonian
Democrats
but
crossing
party
lines
within
St.
Louis,
saw
all
European‐Americans,
regardless
of
religion
or
place
of
birth,
as
eligible
for
membership
and
needed
in
the
defense
of
slavery
and
white
supremacy.
Lovejoy
countered
with
an
alternative
conception
of
citizenship,
one
rooted
not
in
race
but
in
religion
and
nativity.
He
explicitly
rejected
Catholics,
especially
immigrant
Catholics,
as
unsuited
for
membership
in
the
polity.20 These
competing
visions
of
citizenship
shared
much:
they
embraced
republicanism,
believing
that
government
must
rest
upon
the
consent
of
the
governed;
they
advocated
for
an
equality
amongst
the
citizenry
that
rejected
European
social
ranks;
and
they
believed
in
America’s
destiny
to
serve
as
the
beacon
of
liberty
for
the
rest
of
the
world.
We
might
label
both
visions
as
democratic
in
their
commitments
to
republicanism,
equality,
and
liberty.
But
despite
their
democratic
fervor,
both
visions
also
shared
another
characteristic:
each
rested
on
19
“Elijah
P.
Lovejoy
As
An
Anti‐Catholic,”
178.
20
This
and
future
paragraphs
draw
from
my
wider
book
manuscript,
“Forging
an
American
St.
Louis:
Labor,
Race,
and
Citizenship
in
the
Making
of
a
Nineteenth‐Century
Metropolis.”
See
also
my
dissertation,
“Forging
an
American
St.
Louis:
Labor,
Race,
and
Citizenship
from
the
Louisiana
Purchase
to
Dred
Scott”
(Ph.D.
dissertation,
University
of
Wisconsin‐Madison,
2004).
 Page
7
of
13


    • an
exclusive
definition
of
citizenship
that
marked
the
outsiders
as
nothing
less
than
enemies
of
the
republic,
or
anti‐citizens.
For
most
white
St.
Louisans,
the
enemies
were
African
Americans,
whether
free
or
slave;
for
Lovejoy,
the
anti‐citizens
were
Catholics,
especially
Irish
immigrant
Catholics.
The
reason
for
Lovejoy’s
expulsion
from
St.
Louis,
then,
was
not
just
his
antislavery
views,
but
his
unceasing
denunciations
of
Roman
Catholics,
Irish
immigrants,
and
slaveholders,
which
struck
at
the
white
solidarity
at
the
heart
of
the
political
order,
especially
in
the
wake
of
the
McIntosh
lynching.
And
no
one
better
defended
that
political
order
than
circuit
court
judge
Luke
Lawless,
who
presided
over
the
proceedings
investigating
McIntosh’s
death.
 Lawless,
an
Irish
immigrant,
a
Catholic,
and
a
firm
defender
of
slavery,
recommended
that
the
grand
jury
indict
no
one,
because
in
his
view
the
entire
white
community
had
united
as
one
to
avenge
the
black
boatworker’s
horrible
crime
of
killing
a
police
officer.
In
fact,
Lawless
actually
went
beyond
this
step
and
encouraged
the
grand
jury
to
adopt
a
resolution
urging
the
state
legislature
to
outlaw
the
printing
of
abolitionist
publications.
According
to
Lawless,
McIntosh
was
“only
the
blind
instrument
in
the
hands
of
abolitionist
fanatics,”
whose
incendiary
opposition
to
slavery
and
racial
hierarchy
inspired
the
black
boatman
in
his
hatred
for
the
agents
of
law
and
order.
He
singled
out
Lovejoy
for
particular
scorn.
“It
seems
to
me
impossible,”
he
thundered,
“that
while
such
language
is
used
and
published
…
there
can
be
any
safety
in
a
slave‐holding
state.”21
Published
widely
throughout
the
city,
Lawless’
speech
21
Missouri
Argus,
May
27,
1836.
 Page
8
of
13


    • inspired
repeated
attacks
on
Lovejoy’s
office
and
prompted
the
editor’s
decision
to
leave
St.
Louis.22 But
before
departing
for
Alton,
Lovejoy
took
a
final
shot
at
Lawless.
According
to
Lovejoy,
Judge
Lawless
“exemplified
and
illustrated
the
truth
of
the
doctrine
we
have
been
endeavoring
to
impress
on
the
minds
of
our
countrymen,
…
that
foreigners
educated
in
the
old
world,
never
can
come
to
have
a
proper
understanding
of
American
constitutional
law.”
Unlike
“home
educated
republicans”
like
Lovejoy,
Lawless
was
“a
foreigner
–
a
naturalized
one,
it
is
true,
but
still
to
all
intents
and
purposes
a
foreigner
–
he
was
educated
and
received
his
notions
of
government
amidst
the
turbulent
agitations
of
Ireland.”
Worse
than
that,
he
was
also
“a
Papist;
and
in
his
Charge
we
see
the
cloven
foot
of
Jesuitism,
peeping
out
from
under
the
veil
of
almost
every
paragraph
…
”23 In
their
heated
confrontation
in
1836,
Luke
Lawless
and
Elijah
Lovejoy
personified
the
clashing
visions
of
citizenship
animating
St.
Louis,
a
battle
won
by
Lawless,
at
least
in
the
short
run.
We’ve
come
a
long
way
since
then,
of
course,
and
contemporary
American
citizenship
corresponds
with
neither
of
these
visions.
The
14th
Amendment
to
the
Constitution
explicitly
defines
anyone
born
on
US
soil
a
citizen
of
the
United
States,
and
the
1st
Amendment
in
its
current
interpretation
protects
religious
freedom.24
But
consider
this.
We
would
never
think
of
naming
a
library
after
Luke
Lawless,
nor
placing
his
star
on
the
St.
Louis
Walk
of
Fame,
because
22
Dillon,
Elijah
P.
Lovejoy,
84‐85.
23
St.
Louis
Observer,
Jul.
21,
1836.
24
The
National
Archives
provides
the
text
and
commentary
on
the
United
States
Constitution
at
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html.
 Page
9
of
13


    • we
find
repulsive
his
proslavery
and
white
supremacist
views.
We
would
also
reject,
I’m
sure,
the
notion
of
commemorating
Elijah
Lovejoy’s
intolerance
toward
Catholics.
Yet
Lovejoy
occupies
a
very
visible
and
secure
place
in
our
public
memory. Is
this
a
problem?
Well,
my
goal
is
not
to
debunk
Elijah
Lovejoy’s
reputation,
nor
to
decry
the
commemoration
of
antislavery
activism.
If
anything,
I
would
argue
that
we
need
more
efforts
in
our
schools,
museums,
and
memorial
sites
that
reassert
the
centrality
of
slavery
in
American
history,
as
well
as
the
antislavery
activism
that
led
to
its
destruction.
Still,
while
I
wouldn’t
advocate
the
removal
of
Lovejoy’s
name
from
our
public
landscape,
I
do
think
there
are
costs
to
commemorating
Lovejoy’s
antislavery
while
erasing
his
anti‐Catholicism. These
costs
are
most
apparent
in
a
new
trend
within
American
history
scholarship.
Daniel
Walker
Howe
won
the
Pulitzer
Prize
in
2008
for
his
book
What
Hath
God
Wrought:
The
Transformation
of
America,
1815‐1848,
an
entry
in
the
Oxford
University
Press’s
History
of
the
United
States
series.
Expansively
conceived
and
beautifully
written,
Howe’s
story
has
clear
heroes
and
villains.
The
good
guys
are
those
he
calls
“the
Improvers,”
politicians
and
reformers
who
embraced
the
developing
market
economy,
advocated
an
end
to
slavery,
and
labored
to
perfect
American
society
through
curbing
drunkenness.
The
bad
guys
are
Andrew
Jackson,
his
Democratic
Party,
and
their
supporters,
presented
here
as
white
supremacists,
sexists,
and
critics
of
perfectionist
reform.
In
Howe’s
telling,
improvers
like
John
Quincy
Adams
pointed
toward
an
American
future
inclusive
of
women
and
blacks,
while
Jackson
and
his
followers
clung
to
a
dying,
exclusionary
past.2525
Daniel
Walker
Howe,
What
Hath
God
Wrought,
passim. Page
10
of
13


    • Howe’s
prize‐winning
interpretation
turns
previous
generations
of
historical
scholarship
upside
down.
From
Arthur
Schlesinger
to
Charles
Sellers
to
Sean
Wilentz,
most
American
historians
have
painted
Jackson
and
the
Democrats
as
the
political
modernizers,
ushering
in
a
new
era
rooted
in
mass
participation
and
a
more
open
government,
while
they
portray
the
Whigs
as
defenders
of
an
old
order
premised
on
a
restricted
suffrage
and
governance
by
economic
elites.
Recently,
to
be
sure,
the
reputations
of
the
Jacksonians
have
suffered,
as
historians
have
begun
to
recognize
just
how
thoroughly
racialized
was
their
vision
of
democracy.
That
is
all
to
the
good,
but
Howe
goes
further
and
anoints
their
opponents
as
the
true
democratizers.
And
that’s
highly
problematic.
Just
as
the
Jacksonians
only
appear
democratic
to
us
if
we
ignore
their
commitment
to
white
supremacy,
the
Whigs
and
cultural
reformers
only
appear
democratic
in
a
modern
sense
if
we
ignore
their
commitment
to
anti‐Catholicism.
While
the
Democrats
embraced
white
Catholics
and
European
immigrants
as
citizens
equal
to
all
others,
the
Whigs
represented
a
uniquely
Protestant
sensibility
that
saw
Catholicism,
like
drunkenness
and
Sabbath‐breaking
and
(in
the
case
of
northern
Whigs)
slavery,
as
a
foe
needing
to
be
conquered.26 Elijah
Lovejoy
himself
merits
only
a
sentence
in
Howe’s
massive
study,
but
it
is
reformers
like
Lovejoy
whom
Howe
identifies
as
the
heroes
of
the
era
and
the
forerunners
to
modern
American
democracy.
To
accomplish
this,
Howe
must
completely
underplay
the
26
Arthur
Schlesinger,
Jr.,
The
Age
of
Jackson
(Boston:
Little,
Brown,
&
Company,
1945);
Charles
Sellers,
The
Market
Revolution:
Jacksonian
America,
1815‐1846
(New
York:
Oxford
University
Press,
1991);
Sean
Wilentz,
The
Rise
of
American
Democracy:
From
Jefferson
to
Lincoln
(New
York:
Norton,
2005).
The
literature
challenging
the
democratic
standing
of
the
Jacksonian
Democrats
is
vast
and
growing:
for
starters,
see
David
R.
Roediger,
The
Wages
of
Whiteness:
Race
and
the
Making
of
the
American
Working
Class
(New
York:
Verso,
1991);
Mary
Hershberger,
“Mobilizing
Women,
Anticipating
Abolition:
The
Struggle
Against
Indian
Removal
in
the
1830s,”
Journal
of
American
History
86
(1999),
15‐40.
 Page
11
of
13


    • nativism
and
anti‐Catholicism
animating
the
Protestant
reform
impulse.
Accordingly,
despite
the
tome’s
expansive
coverage,
issues
of
religious
persecution
or
intolerance
merit
only
a
few
short
mentions
in
a
book
of
over
900
pages. Daniel
Walker
Howe’s
search
for
historical
heroes
and
villains
illustrates
perfectly
the
problems
associated
with
commemorating
individuals
like
Elijah
Lovejoy
as
embodying
enduring
American
values
or
principles,
whether
antislavery,
freedom
of
the
press,
or
even
democracy
itself.
For
the
fact
is
that
Lovejoy’s
antislavery
activism
was
part
of
his
broader
vision
of
citizenship,
a
vision
premised
on
the
exclusion
of
Catholics
from
the
body
politic.
And
this
anti‐Catholicism
was
not
simply
incidental,
and
thereby
unrelated
to,
his
antislavery
views.
After
all,
Lovejoy’s
courage
to
publish
his
newspaper
and
defend
his
printing
press
in
the
face
of
repeated
mob
actions
–
indeed
the
very
courage
that
led
to
his
martyrdom
which
we
commemorate
–
was
rooted
in
his
faith
that
he
had
been
sent
by
God
to
the
west
to
save
it
from
the
clutches
of
Popery.
 It’s
important
for
us
to
recognize
that
Lovejoy’s
God
was
a
Protestant
God,
one
with
little
tolerance
for
non‐believers
or
believers
in
a
rival
Christian
God.
By
doing
so,
we
won’t
appreciate
any
less
the
causes
for
which
Lovejoy
lost
his
life
but
we
will
appreciate
more
the
complicated
history
of
American
democracy.
No
less
than
antislavery
or
freedom
of
speech,
democracy
has
been
a
principle
over
which
Americans
have
repeatedly
fought,
and
the
fight
over
democracy
has
often
taken
the
form
of
a
struggle
over
citizenship:
who
is
entitled
to
it,
who
is
eligible
for
it,
who
is
worthy
of
it
–
and
who
is
not. Page
12
of
13


    • In
the
1830s,
Elijah
Lovejoy,
Luke
Lawless,
St.
Louisans,
and
indeed
the
republic
at
large,
fought
to
restrict
citizenship
–
indeed,
to
define
democracy
itself
–
on
the
basis
of
race,
religion,
or
nativity.
Nearly
two
hundred
years
later,
Americans
today
confront
renewed
attempts
to
constrict
citizenship
using
the
same
terms.
Perhaps
unknowingly,
the
current
advocates
of
restricting
citizenship
resurrect
arguments
from
an
earlier
era,
but
they
target
different
populations
–
Latin
American
immigrants
and
their
American‐born
children,
on
the
one
hand,
and
American
Muslims,
whether
American‐born
or
not,
on
the
other.
Perhaps
if
we
better
integrate
into
our
historical
narratives
and
public
monuments
the
battles
over
citizenship
that
have
defined
much
of
American
history,
we
can
better
prepare
to
understand
and
confront
these
challenges
to
an
expansive
citizenship
in
our
own
time.2727
For
a
shared
concern
about
the
rise
of
nativism
in
contemporary
American
politics,
see
the
essay
by
my
Notre
Dame
colleagues
R.
Scott
Appleby
and
John
T.
McGreevy,
“Catholics,
Muslims,
and
the
Mosque,”
New
York
Review
of
Books
57
(Sep.
30,
2010),
available
at
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/catholics‐muslims‐and‐mosque/.
 Page
13
of
13