Analysis Of Wendell Phillip 's Speech ' Murder Of Lovejoy '

1945 Words Oct 17th, 2016 8 Pages
Introduction
For this paper, I will critique Wendell Phillip’s speech, “Murder of Lovejoy”, and examine it in relation to its history, audience, speaker, and purpose. It is considered one of the greatest rhetorical successes of the era, and one of the only speeches where the speaker’s goal can be seen taking effect. It is also notable for being both spontaneous and directly after an opposing speech.
Historical Context
Phillips performed his speech because fellow abolitionist, Elijah Parish Lovejoy, was killed by a group of anti-abolitionists. The Abolition was a movement dedicated to the removal of slavery from America, as they believed that slavery was an affront to God. Over time, some members moved towards more humanitarian beliefs, thinking that owning any person is wrong at a base level. (Bennett, 2005)
Opposing the abolitionists were the proponents of slavery. Some of them believed that slavery was a god given right, citing the bible and its mentioning of the owning of men. Others believed that slavery was a necessity for the southern economy, and better than the North’s way of capitalism. (McPherson, 2003)
In 1836, Lovejoy moved his printing press to Illinois, starting the Alton Observer. During his original attempt at starting the abolitionist newspaper, his office was vandalized, and his printing press destroyed. This resulted in him hiding his next printing press in an ally’s warehouse. This is where the conflict resulting in his death occurred.
In 1837, a mob…
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