Daniel Behan - Defending the Press

Daniel Behan is an American and World history teacher at Elijah Parish Lovejoy Middle School in Rochester, New York. He also has a creative streak, and spends as much of his free time as possible in developing an historical novel.

The subject of the novel is the death of his school's namesake. "I had never heard of Elijah Parish Lovejoy before, so I got curious," he says. What he found out surprised him: a little-known story about an American newspaper editor who died at the hands of an angry mob, while literally protecting his printing press.

"Well, as symbolism it doesn't get much more ham-handed than that, does it?" Daniel Behan says. "And yet it really happened."

Elijah Parish Lovejoy was killed in Alton, Illinois in 1837. The facts as reported in newspaper accounts of the time were that Lovejoy, the editor of the Alton Observer and a Presbyterian minister, had riled up community sentiment by publishing anti-slavery editorials. "Townspeople had already destroyed three of his printing presses," Daniel Behan says. "So the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society secretly shipped him a fourth press. It arrived by steamboat at three o'clock in the morning on November 7th, 1837."

Men hired to move the press into a warehouse were spotted by members of a gathering mob. Their anger grew through the day, and that night came a fateful confrontation. The mob converged at the warehouse at nightfall on the 7th. Shots were fired on both sides, and someone in the mob was killed.

"The mob tried setting fire to the warehouse and more shots were fired," Daniel Behan explains. "Lovejoy was hit five times and died almost immediately. The crowd got the new printing press, smashed it to pieces, and threw them into the river."

No one was ever convicted for any of the killings. "My novel, which is appropriately entitled Lovejoy, fills in the historical gaps and puts the whole thing into context."

Be a Strong Competitor

An avid racquetball player, golfer and former high school track star, a particular athlete has continually shown his love of athletic competition, and continues to accept any athletic challenge that comes his way. As winner of several local racquetball tournaments in the past few years, he not only strives to stay in shape, but to also stay focus and prepared should another competitive opportunity ever come his way. As he knows, it isn’t much fun to lose, but it’s even worse to be a bad sport, and to ruin the enjoyment of everyone involved in the process. When he isn’t found in the classroom, aboard his sailboat or spending time with his family, he can often be found preparing for the next big match at the local gym, working to maintain the endurance and strength he needs to take on a friend in another competitive match.

Our athlete also finds opportunity to quench his competitive thirst at the golf course, though he is admittedly not the same scratch golfer he was in high school. He is now enjoying success as a professional educator, though many be not be privy to his passionate competitive streak, particularly as it applies to any sort of athletic competition. Golf provides our athlete with the opportunity to next only test his mettle against another golfer, but to also challenge himself; to think his way through situations and develop the best course of action for each hole.

Daniel Behan, though a staunch competitor, understands the importance of fair play and sportsmanship, and is adamant about maintaining the integrity of every game he’s involved in.

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