The Weekly chronicle & constitutionalist. (Augusta, Ga.) 1877-188?
Place of Publication:
- Augusta, Richmond county
Dates of publication:
- New ser., v. 60 (Apr. 11, 1877)-
- Augusta (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Georgia--Richmond County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215116
- Richmond County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Also on microfilm: Athens, Ga. : University of Georgia Libraries.
- Daily eds.: Chronicle & constitutionalist (Augusta, Ga. : 1877), 1877-1879, and: Daily chronicle & constitutionalist, 1879-1882, and: Chronicle & constitutionalist (Augusta, Ga. : 1882), 1882-<1884>.
- Formed by the union of: Weekly constitutionalist (Augusta, Ga.), and: Weekly chronicle & sentinel (Augusta, Ga. : 1866).
The Weekly chronicle & constitutionalist. April 11, 1877
The Augusta Chronicle, Georgia's oldest active paper, began publication in 1875 as the Augusta Gazette, under the ownership of Greenburg Hughes. After failing to earn the state's printing business, Hughes left for Charleston, South Carolina to work with the Evening Gazette. The printer's departure left John E. Smith to create what is considered the "true" beginnings of the Chronicle. Smith's paper displayed Georgia State Gazette or Independent Register as its title from 1876 to April 11, 1879 when Smith changed the masthead to Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State. The paper's coverage consisted predominantly of outdated news clippings from other papers and reports of legislature proceedings. Dennis Driscol took over ownership of the paper upon Smith's death in 1803. Driscol changed the masthead to the Augusta Chronicle the following year and maintained this title until he sold the paper to the Duyckinck brothers in 1810; the brothers changed the masthead to the Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser. Under Driscol's leadership, the publication was staunchly anti-British and later anti-Federalist.
A.H. Pemberton purchased the publication in 1825 who returned the paper's masthead to Augusta Chronicle in 1834. Pemberton is notable for being among the earliest of Georgia's newspaper owners to call for nullification and secession in 1831. By 1836, the Chronicle merged with the State Rights Sentinel to become the Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel under William E. Jones' editor and ownership. The paper's masthead would remain as such until 1876, but ownership passed to William S. Jones and James W. Jones in 1840. The Jones brothers are credited with modernizing the paper by separating editorship and updating printing technology; the Chronicle also began publishing a Sunday edition under their leadership. By the 1850s, the paper had the largest circulation in Georgia. In the years prior to the Civil War, the Chronicle would principally be a Whig-oriented publication, but later supported the Democratic Party during the Civil War. The paper came under the ownership of former confederate officers Ambrose Wright in 1866 and Patrick Walsh in 1875. The paper merged with the Augusta Constitutionalist and became the Chronicle & Constitutionalist. Patrick Walsh again reverted the paper's title to the Augusta Chronicle in 1885. Walsh wrote strongly against lynchings and vehemently opposed Thomas E. Watson and the Populist Party. Thomas W. Loyless (also a critic of Watson's campaign) and H.H. Cabiness would acquire ownership of the Chronicle in 1903 and leadership remained that way until Loyless moved to the Columbus Enquirer-Sun in 1919. Loyless, in 1915, utilized the Chronicle in supporting Governor John M. Staton in commuting Leo Frank's death sentence. In 1921, the paper experienced a devastating fire and still managed to publish an abridged edition the next day.
The International Paper and Power Company purchased the Chronicle in 1929. William S. Morris purchased controlling interest of the publication in 1945 and later acquired the Augusta Herald in 1955. The Morris family operated both the Chronicle and the Herald under the Southeastern Newspapers umbrella until the Herald ceased publication in 1993. The Morris Communications Corporation continues to operate the Augusta Chronicle, which remains one of the most widely read newspaper publications in Georgia.