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Camden commercial courier. : (Camden, S.C.) 1837-1838
Alternative Titles:
  • Camden courier
  • Commercial courier
Place of publication:
Camden, S.C.
Geographic coverage:
  • Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
L.M. Jones and Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1838.
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 6, 1837)-
  • English
  • Camden (S.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Kershaw County (S.C.)--Newspapers.
  • South Carolina--Camden.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210655
  • South Carolina--Kershaw County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214393
  • Microfilm available from the University of South Carolina.
sn 92065563
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Camden commercial courier. May 6, 1837, Image 1


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Camden Commercial Courier

The weekly Camden Commercial Courier, "devoted exclusively to commerce, agriculture, and amusement," served for a year as the only newspaper representing the city of Camden, South Carolina. The Camden Journal had previously served as Camden's de facto newspaper of public record, but in the spring of 1837 it had temporarily suspended publication. Lewis M. Jones and Francis S. Bronson quickly acquired the Journal's printing press and subscription list and tapped local druggist and merchant Mordecai M. Levy to serve as editor. They adopted as their slogan "At the public good we aim." The first issue of the Commercial Courier appeared on May 6, 1837.

The Commercial Courier featured advice columns for farmers, general interest items, international news (called "foreign intelligence"), sermons, and works of fiction ("The Hunters of the Prairie, Or, The Hawk Chief," by John Treat Irving, for example). The subjects of banks and banking, railroads, and steamboats received extensive coverage, reflecting Camden's growing status as a hub of commerce. The notices of the Camden Jockey Club, meanwhile, offered a glimpse into Camden's future as a center of equestrian activities. Although the Commercial Courier's proprietors declared they would remain neutral on political issues, strong opinions, especially on the issue of slavery, invariably surfaced. On March 3, 1838, they recounted having received an unsolicited issue of the New York Emancipator, published by the American Anti-Slavery Society. They warned, "So long as you [abolitionists] keep where you are, your actions do but little concern us ... we desire not to degrade reason by arguing with madmen."

It would appear that the Commercial Courier ultimately collapsed under the weight of mounting debt and community indifference. On October 7, 1837, Francis Bronson and Lewis Jones reported having "received a new and handsome assortment of type ... the expenses we have now incurred are much heavier than we anticipated." A month later, they dissolved their business partnership. On May 26, 1838, Jones pleaded that, "We must seriously represent to our subscribers the necessity of their complying speedily with the terms of subscription. Unless this is done the paper must inevitably be discontinued." The Commercial Courier folded sometime shortly thereafter. The city of Camden would not have a newspaper of its own until Thomas William Pegues re-launched the Camden Journal in December 1839.

Provided by: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC