One of the nation’s oldest newspapers, The Post & Courier has recorded the eventful history of Charleston for the last 200 years. The newspaper also has a memorable history of its own. Founded as Charleston Courier, it operated a pony express during the Mexican War to speed the news to its readers. During the Civil War, it published throughout the Union bombardment of Charleston. Federal authorities took over the Courier following the city’s surrender, and it was published as a Union journal during the last days of the Confederacy. In 1886, editor Francis W. Dawson and his staff performed an astounding feat of journalism by publishing a newspaper the morning after a devastating earthquake. Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Robert Lathan’s battles with Charleston Mayor John P. Grace culminated in a fist fight at the newspaper office. The News & Courier helped make political history in 1954, leading the write-in campaign that elected Strom Thurmond to the United States Senate.
As noted in this compilation by Charles R. Rowe, The Post & Courier and its predecessors have been among Charleston’s strongest advocates of conservation and historic preservation. The newspaper continues that defining role today.