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Country: United States
State: South Carolina
City: Columbia, S.C.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 6
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 63
Earliest Date: 19 March 1898
Latest Date: 11 September 1909
The weekly Columbia People’s Recorder (1893-ca. 1925), published “for the elevation of our race, and [as] an exponent of Republican principles,” provided a voice for African Americans in South Carolina for over a quarter of a century. By most accounts, the People’s Recorder was a modestly successful enterprise. In 1899, The Negro in Business, a study conducted by Atlanta University, recognized it as the largest and most influential African American newspaper published out of Columbia. The paper appears to have even enjoyed some measure of support from whites. Few issues have survived, however, and many aspects of its history are obscure or simply lost.
Samuel Hayward Nix and the Reverend Clarence Fisher Holmes established the People’s Recorder in 1893. Samuel Nix also worked for a time as an instructor at Benedict College, an African American school, and Clarence Holmes managed a grocery called Our Store. They identified the paper as a successor to the Barnwell Recorder, of which no issues are known to exist. In 1900, their office was located at 1115 Taylor Street in Columbia. At around this same time, Nix and Holmes expanded their operations, maintaining offices in Orangeburg and Union, South Carolina. In 1902, the paper had a circulation of 2,853. Within the decade, Clarence Holmes moved the People’s Recorder to Orangeburg. There, he edited and published the People’s Recorder until his death in 1915. Robert E. Richardson took over ownership of the paper, and in the early 1920s, he moved it back to Columbia. Sometime in 1925, the People’s Recorder merged with another African American newspaper, the Southern Indicator, and became the Recorder-Indicator.
The People’s Recorder mixed local and national news with weekly sermons and exhortations to its readers to push for improvements in education and voting rights. In the late 1890s, the paper doubled as the official organ of the black fraternal organization, the Grand United Odd Fellows of South Carolina, reflecting its connections in the growing black business community. Indeed, its longevity may be attributed to the strength of the community and economic networks forged in the face of Jim Crow segregation.
Provided by: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC