Top of page

Newspaper The Independent Press (Abbeville C.H., S.C.) 1853-1860

View All Front Pages

About The Independent Press (Abbeville C.H., S.C.) 1853-1860

For nearly a century, the Abbeville Press and Banner (1844-1925) reported on international, national, and local news for the citizens of Abbeville County, located in the upstate region of South Carolina. The N.W. Ayer & Son’s American Newspaper Annual described Abbeville County simply as a “cotton growing district,” which while true on the surface is also slightly misleading. Although the cultivation of cotton had indeed dominated the county’s economy for most of the 19th century, in the 1890s Abbeville was undergoing a period of economic growth, starting with the arrival of the Georgia, Carolina, and Northern Railroad (later called the Seaboard Air Line) in 1892 and the founding of the Abbeville Cotton Mill Company in 1895. Other significant developments in the region included: the establishment of an African American school, called Ferguson Academy (later renamed Harbison Agricultural College), in 1868; the founding of Calhoun Falls at the junction of the Seaboard Air Line and Savannah Valley Railroad in the early 1890s; and the creation of Greenwood and McCormick Counties from portions of Abbeville County in 1899 and 1916.

The Abbeville Press and Banner began as two weekly newspapers, the Abbeville Banner and Abbeville Press. Charles Henry Allen and Henry S. Kerr had established the Abbeville Banner in 1844. Its competitor, the Abbeville Independent Press (later known as the Abbeville Press) began in 1853. Coleman C. Puckett and George W. Fant brought considerable experience to their jobs as publishers of the Abbeville Independent Press, Puckett having previously edited the Anderson Southern Rights Advocate and Fant having apprenticed with the Anderson Gazette. During the Civil War, the Abbeville Banner suspended publication. Hugh Wilson, Jr. and William Augustus Lee, the proprietors of the Abbeville Press, turned over publishing duties to a former business partner and enlisted in the Confederate States Army. Sadly, few issues of either newspaper have survived from the 1860s.

After the war, Wilson and Lee bought the Abbeville Banner and merged it with the Abbeville Press to create the Abbeville Press and Banner. The first issue appeared on October 1, 1869. Like other white Democrat newspapers of the era, the Press and Banner steered a conservative course, celebrating the return of the “Bourbons,” or antebellum-era aristocrats, to political power in 1877 and championing the interests of agrarian elites. Throughout its existence, it faced only one true competitor, the Abbeville Medium, which existed from 1871 through 1923. Circulation rates for the Press and Banner generally hovered between 800 and 1,200 subscriptions.

Several of the men who ran these newspapers were leaders in their communities. George W. Fant, who was briefly involved with the Independent Press, served as postmaster and director of the National Bank of Anderson. Hugh Wilson, Jr., in addition to editing and publishing the Press and Banner, served as director of and stockholder in the Abbeville Cotton Mill and was also an officer in the South Carolina Press Association. Fellow proprietor William Augustus Lee practiced real estate law, represented the Abbeville District in the South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1865, and served as a state representative in 1865-66.

Starting in the 1920s, the Abbeville Press and Banner underwent a series of changes, from adopting a triweekly publication schedule to shortening its name to the Press and Banner. In 1925, the newspaper merged with the Abbeville Evening Medium and became the Press and Banner and Abbeville Medium. The paper continues to this day as a family-owned operation, having been edited and published by three generations of the family of its founder Fred Devereaux West, Sr.

Provided By: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC

About this Newspaper


  • The Independent Press (Abbeville C.H., S.C.) 1853-1860

Dates of Publication

  • 1853-1860

Created / Published

  • Abbeville C.H., S.C. : C.C. Puckett and George W. Fant, -1860.


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


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Began in 1853.
  • -  -v. 8, no. 27 (Nov. 2, 1860).
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 4 (June 3, 1854) = Whole no. 56.
  • -  Abbeville press (DLC)sn 85042527 (OCoLC)12622573


  • v.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn93067882

OCLC Number

  • 28513163

ISSN Number

  • 2375-0162

Succeeding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The NEH awardee responsible for producing each digital object is presented in the Chronicling America page display, below the page image – e.g. Image produced by the Library of Congress. For more information on current NDNP awardees, see

For more information on Library of Congress policies and disclaimers regarding rights and reproductions, see

Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

The Independent Press Abbeville C.H., S.C. 1853 to 1860. (Abbeville, SC), Jan. 1 1853.

APA citation style:

(1853, January 1) The Independent Press Abbeville C.H., S.C. 1853 to 1860. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Independent Press Abbeville C.H., S.C. 1853 to 1860. (Abbeville, SC) 1 Jan. 1853. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,