About The St. Louis Observer
We are named for the St. Louis Observer, founded in 1827 by abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy. In the tradition of the original Observer, we are a newsletter committed to expanding and investing in coverage of the fight for police reform & prison abolition in St. Louis, MO.
Walter Johnson recounts the Observer’s history in his “The Broken Heart of America:”
“The lynching of Francis McIntosh transfixed the nation. Elijah Lovejoy, who would later become celebrated as the nation’s first (white) antislavery martyr, detailed the murder and its aftermath in a series of articles published in his newspaper, The St. Louis Observer. By the end of May, the reaction to his reporting had forced Lovejoy to leave St. Louis for Alton, Illinois, across the Mississippi. In November of the following year, a St. Louis mob followed Lovejoy across the river to set fire to the Illinois warehouse where he kept his press. When Lovejoy tried to save the building from burning, someone shot him; as he lay dying, the mob carried his press down to the banks of the Mississippi, broke it into pieces, and threw it in. No one was ever convicted of his murder.”
We are committed to supporting and investing in critical coverage of the struggle to build a city beyond mass incarceration for the people of St. Louis and the broader public. Follow us for updates.
We publish our weekly news round-up every Friday afternoon. At least once each month, we also publish longer feature pieces that focus on a particular area within the scope of abolition, including public education, the criminal legal system, social institutions, and much more. We accept letters to the editor and opinion pieces. The St. Louis Observer is led by our Editor-in-Chief, Chelsea K. Merta.