Alton is a city located in Madison County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 30,496.
On November 7, 1837 abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered by a mob of supporters of slavery while he was attempting to protect his Alton-based press from being destroyed a third time. The mob then threw the press into the Mississippi. This tragedy marked Lovejoy as the first martyr of the abolition movement. As a consequence, the 13th Amendment of the Constitution was drafted in Alton.
During the Civil War, Alton was home to a Union prison, from which prisoners would attempt to escape and cross the Mississippi back to the slave state of Missouri. Also, some of Alton's majestic historic homes played a part in assisting the Underground Railroad.
Curiously, James Earl Ray, the man who killed civil rights activist Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a resident of Alton.
Alton was the hometown of Robert Pershing Wadlow, the tallest human recorded to date.
Alton was also the birthplace of jazz legend Miles Davis, who spent most of early childhood in East St. Louis, Illinois.
Alton's location at the start of the famed River Road makes it an ideal place to visit for antique shopping and gambling aboard the Alton Belle Casino. During the winter, many visitors from across the country come to Alton for birdwatching, as bald eagles tend to roost in the bluffs along the Mississippi.
Web Sites and Links
Alton Weather - Illiniweather.comCurrent weather conditions, radar image, advisories, forecasts, and numerous Alton weather links.
City of Alton, IllinoisEstablished in 1837. Includes officials, community events calendar, directory, and contacts.