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Newspaper The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.) 1865-1878 Phoenix

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About The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.) 1865-1878

The Columbia Phoenix (1865-78) arose out of the charred remains of Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, in the aftermath of the Civil War to record its losses and bear witness to its gradual recovery. A triweekly newspaper, the Phoenix first appeared on Tuesday, March 21, 1865, mere weeks after fires had razed a third of the city. It struck a defiant tone, declaring, “Our city shall spring, from her ashes, and our Phoenix, we hope and trust, shall announce the glorious rising! God save the state!” For over ten years, it reflected on the hardships (crop failures, the scarcity of goods and money) and hopes (the return of businesses and railroads, voting rights for African Americans) of the residents of Columbia and neighboring communities in the Midlands region of South Carolina.

Proprietor Julian A. Selby boasted considerable experience in the newspaper business, having formerly owned the Tri-Weekly South Carolinian (also called Tri-weekly Carolinian and South Carolinian). In establishing the Columbia Phoenix, however, he literally started from scratch. In the weeks immediately following the city’s destruction, Selby scoured the state for paper, a press, and printing supplies. He and his assistants fashioned for themselves the things they could not find. He also secured the services of renowned Southern literary critic, novelist, and poet William Gilmore Simms as editor. Living conditions in the capital city were so desperate that, early on, the staff offered to accept food staples such as bacon, eggs, rice, and potatoes as payment in lieu of cash subscriptions. The first ten issues contained a detailed history of the burning of Columbia, which was separately published as Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, S.C., in October 1865 (itself edited and republished as A City Laid Waste in 2005). Simms departed after six months, but not before Federal troops had arrested him for criticizing their presence in Columbia. Selby edited and published the Phoenix for much of its existence, ceding editorial control only in its twilight years to Henry S. Farley, publisher of the Columbia-based triweekly paper, the Straight-out Democrat.

The Columbia Phoenix changed names several times in the course of its existence. In April 1865, the newspaper split into the Columbia Phoenix, a daily, and the Columbia Tri-weekly Phoenix, which was published every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The daily paper changed its name to Columbia Daily Phoenix in May 1865 and then became the Daily Phoenix in July. In 1866, Selby launched the Columbia Weekly Gleaner, a Home Companion, which appeared every Wednesday. In 1875, the owners of a competing newspaper, the Columbia Daily Register, bought the Daily Phoenix. The Tri-weekly Phoenix likely ceased that same year. Only scattered issues exist for the years 1876-78, so it is unclear precisely when and why the Daily Phoenix ceased. The last recorded issue appeared on November 3, 1878.

Provided By: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC

About this Newspaper


  • The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.) 1865-1878

Other Title

  • Phoenix

Dates of Publication

  • 1865-1878

Created / Published

  • Columbia, S.C. : Julian A. Selby, 1865-[1878]


  • -  Richland County (S.C.)--Newspapers
  • -  Columbia (S.C.)--Newspapers
  • -  South Carolina--Columbia
  • -  South Carolina--Richland County
  • -  United States--South Carolina--Richland--Columbia


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily (except Sun. <7/1865-9/1865>; except Mon., <9/18/1865->)
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 104 (July 31, 1865)-
  • -  Ceased in 1878.
  • -  Editor: Julian A. Selby, <1865-1876>.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Triweekly ed.: Tri-weekly phoenix.
  • -  Triweekly ed: Straight-out democrat.
  • -  Weekly ed.: Gleaner (Columbia, S.C.).


  • volumes : illustrations (chiefly advertisements) ; 41-55 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn84027008

OCLC Number

  • 10821777

ISSN Number

  • 2158-9046

Preceding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Daily Phoenix Columbia, S.C. 1865 to 1878. (Columbia, SC), Jan. 1 1865.

APA citation style:

(1865, January 1) The Daily Phoenix Columbia, S.C. 1865 to 1878. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Daily Phoenix Columbia, S.C. 1865 to 1878. (Columbia, SC) 1 Jan. 1865. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,