The constitutionalist. (Augusta, Ga.) 1823-1832
Place of Publication:
- Augusta, Richmond county
Dates of publication:
- Began July 1, 1823; ceased in June 1832.
- Augusta (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Georgia--Richmond County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215116
- Richmond County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
- Description based on: New ser., v. 2, no. 9 (July 27, 1824).
- Latest issue consulted: June 12, 1832.
The constitutionalist. January 4, 1825
The Augusta Constitutionalist, founded by Phillip C. Gieu, began as a tri-weekly paper in 1822 titled the Georgia Constitutionalist. Despite evidence to the contrary, in 1873, the paper claimed to be the "oldest democratic paper in the south" with its founding date set at 1799; the Augusta Chronicle, founded in 1785 and long rival of the Constitutionalist, disputed this statement. James Gardner, the Constitutionalist's longest running owner and editor, purchased the paper in June of 1845. Gardner identified himself as a southern rights Democrat but notably used his paper to support union-Democrat Howell Cobb in 1853 for U.S Senate. Gardner published many editorials voicing opinion against Joseph E. Brown's run for a third gubernatorial term in 1861 as well as warning against southern resistance in the case of a Republican presidential victory. Despite these misgivings about secession, the Constitutionalist would throw its support behind the Confederacy. Having moved to a more owner-oriented role, Gardner briefly hired Henry W. Cleveland as editor in 1864. Cleveland, however, was fired for his private communication with and open support for reunification advocates Joseph E. Brown and Alexander Stephens. Cleveland's replacement, James Ryder Randall, revamped the Constitutionalist's opposition to reunion and this position resulted in the paper's suspension by the Union military from May 7th to May 17th, 1865. Gardner maintained a degree of ownership until retirement in May of 1873 and presses shut down briefly under increasing financial struggle. James Randall, with the help of investors, revived the Constitutionalist. The paper survived independently until March, 1877 when Patrick Walsh of the Chronicle and Sentinel purchased the publication to create the Chronicle and Constitutionalist.