The first 100 years

The Augusta Chronicle stands today as one of this community's oldest institutions.


When it began in 1785 in a printing shop on what is now Fifth Street, George Washington was not yet president, much of Georgia was still Indian territory and no one knew what the future held for the town that was growing on the banks of the Savannah River.

For 225 years, however, that future has been told regularly in the pages of this newspaper.

It has been the chronicle of Augusta life -- day after day, month after month, year after year.

For more than two centuries, its editors and publishers have provided news and commercial information that inform the citizens of this community and help the businesses that serve them.

That relationship thrived during The Chronicle's first 100 years -- 1785 through 1885.

The community that began as a trading post evolved into an agricultural marketplace and then a manufacturing center. Along the way were wars, floods and fires. Local politics often swung to extremes and sometimes provoked violence.

There was disease, at one time so virulent it temporarily halted publication of this newspaper as its pressmen perished -- some, it's been said, on the job.

Through it all, The Chronicle succeeded where other newspapers failed. It held on, merged, survived and ended its first 100 years as one of the pre-eminent newspapers in the South -- led by three of the most successful editors in its history.

It was a remarkable first century for the town, for its readers, its businesses and this newspaper. The following pages offer a look at that story.