John Allan Stuart and the rise of The Charleston Mercury

The Charleston Mercury was a strongly secessionist newspaper founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1819 by Henry L. Pinckney.  Over the years, the newspaper would have different owners and at its peak on the eve of the Civil War, it was owned by Beaufort’s arguably most controversial native son.

The Charleston Mercury’s most famous local owner was Robert Barnwell Rhett (1800-1876), the radical pro-slavery Fire-eater.  On the eve of Secession, he and his brother-in-law John Allan Stuart its editor, would stir the pot of secession. Stuart became Rhett’s brother-in-law by marrying Rhett’s sister, Claudia Smith, in 1825.

For more, you can read issues of the Charleston Mercury on Google News.

 

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