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Country: United States
State: South Carolina
City: Bennettsville, S.C.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 358
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 1,976
Earliest Date: 25 February 1885
Latest Date: 27 October 1911
The weekly Bennettsville Marlboro Democrat (1882-1908) served the people of Marlboro County, located in the Pee Dee region of eastern South Carolina, in a period of relative economic prosperity. The loamy soil in Marlboro County enabled the residents not only to rebuild but to further develop their communities in the aftermath of the Civil War by growing cash crops like corn and cotton. The railroads first arrived in the 1870s, and the towns of Blenheim, Dunbar, and McColl sprang up alongside them. Banks, cotton mills, and schools were established, and in 1885, a new county courthouse was erected in the town of Bennettsville. The Marlboro Democrat reflected on a region asserting itself as an agricultural and commercial leader in South Carolina.
The Marlboro Democrat began in 1876 as the Bennettsville Marlborough Planter, a four-page weekly paper edited and published by Christopher William Dudley. In 1880, Dudley changed the name to the Bennettsville Farmer's Friend. He later sold the Farmer’s Friend to Samuel A. Brown, a veteran newspaperman who had previously worked for the Darlington Southerner. In 1882, Brown renamed the paper the Marlboro Democrat. He used as its motto a quote from Joseph Addison’s tragedy Cato: “Do thou great liberty inspire our souls and make our lives in thy possession happy, or our deaths glorious in thy just defense.” In 1888, the Marlboro Democrat was reported to have approximately 700 subscribers, the highest number it would ever achieve.
In 1908, Samuel Brown sold the Marlboro Democrat to Robert Lawrence Freeman, the proprietor of the Bennettsville Pee Dee Advocate. Freeman consolidated the two papers shortly thereafter. The last known issue of the Marlboro Democrat appeared on August 21, 1908.
In 1911, Freeman announced his intention to publish the Pee Dee Advocate, previously a weekly paper, as a semiweekly. The Tuesday edition would keep the name the Pee Dee Advocate, and the Friday edition would be called the Marlboro Democrat. It is not known for how long Freeman kept to this schedule. Only two issues of this version of the Marlboro Democrat, dated October 20th and 27th, have survived.
Provided by: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC