I would like to suggest that the city of Princeton consider renaming Peru Street as Lovejoy Road.
As one of the city’s major thoroughfares, Peru Street is a neglected marketing opportunity. Why pay homage to the nearest shopping mall and larger town, when we could honor our most notable historical figure, whose homestead, a national historic landmark, is located on that very road? (“Road” would remind people that his homestead used to be outside of town.)
Our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, described the Rev. Owen Lovejoy as his most generous friend. When Lovejoy died and an obelisk was raised to his memory in Princeton’s Oakland Cemetery, Lincoln declared that Lovejoy would be remembered by “all those who love Liberty unselfishly and for all.”
You see, Princeton isn’t just a town with a historic Underground Railroad station. Southern colleagues in Congress justifiably complained that U.S. Rep. Owen Lovejoy’s Princeton was the capital of abolitionism in Illinois.
Lovejoy put Princeton on the map, and we could respond in kind, giving him prominence on the city’s map.
Besides, even setting history aside, Lovejoy is a beautiful name that lifts the spirit.
Warren Taylor Jr.,