About the Columbus Enquirer Archive

Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar established the Columbus Enquirer as a weekly newspaper in May of 1828, making it the third oldest newspaper in Georgia. During its earliest issues, the paper supported the ideological cause of state's rights, demonstrated by the quote used in its title banner: "The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States." In regard to Georgia politics, the Enquirer supported Troup Faction policies including the defense of South Carolina's right to nullify the Tariff Act of 1828. Lamar sold the paper after the death of his wife in 1830, and eventually became the second president of the Republic of Texas. During the following decade, the Enquirer supported Whig politicians for office, including Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor. The paper began publishing on a daily basis in 1859. Two years later, the Enquirer was faced with the possibility of Southern secession, and broke with many other prominent newspapers of the time in calling for cooperation with the North, but quickly aligned itself with Georgia once secession became official. The Enquirer continued to provide the Columbus area with news during and after the war by taking advantage of newly available telegraphic news services. In 1874, the Enquirer merged with the its largest local competitor, the Columbus Sun, and became the Columbus Enquirer-Sun.

During the twentieth century, the Enquirer won two Pulitzer Prizes, the first was won by editor Julian Harris (son of Joel Chandler Harris) for his opposition to the KKK, and the second was won by the paper for its investigation into corruption in Phenix City, Alabama. The Enquirer and the Columbus Ledger were brought under the same management in 1936, with the Enquirer serving as a morning paper and the Ledger as an afternoon paper. The two papers didn't officially merge until 1988, when the paper adopted its current name: the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The McClatchy Company is the current owner, having acquired Knight Ridder, the Ledger-Enquirer's parent company, in 2006.


Louis Turner Griffith and John Erwin Talmadge, Georgia Journalism, 1763-1950 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1951).

Nancy Telfair, A History of Columbus, Georgia: 1828-1928 (Columbus: Historical Publishing Co., 1929).

Virginia Cooksey, "Story of The Enquirer, Exciting, Fascinating," Columbus Enquirer, 26 May 1948.


The Columbus Enquirer Archive spans the years 1828-1890 and includes over 32,000 images.

Title Changes:

The Columbus Enquirer has been published under many titles. Listed below are those included in this online presentation.


  • 1828-1861: Columbus Enquirer
  • 1861-1873: Weekly Columbus Enquirer
  • 1874: Sun and Columbus Weekly Enquirer
  • 1874: Sun and Columbus Enquirer


  • 1865-1873: Daily Columbus Enquirer
  • 1874: Sun and Columbus Enquirer
  • 1874: Sun and Columbus Daily Enquirer
  • 1874-1877: Columbus Daily Enquirer
  • 1877-1886: Columbus Daily Enquirer-Sun
  • 1886-1890: Columbus Enquirer-Sun


  • 1857: Columbus Enquirer Tri-Weekly

Library of Congress Subject Headings

  • Columbus (Ga.) --Newspapers.
  • Muscogee County (Ga.) --Newspapers.

Creation of the Web site: The following UGA Libraries employees contributed to the production of the Columbus Enquirer web site:

  • Kristyn Blackburn
  • Liza Conger
  • Brittany Emge
  • Erin Gentry
  • Toby Graham
  • Felicia Johnson
  • Jeanie Ledford
  • Meagan Logsdon
  • Sheila McAlister
  • Kelly Nielsen
  • Donnie Summerlin
  • Mary Willoughby
  • Jennifer Wang
  • Constantine Wright

Publisher: The Digital Library of Georgia, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA 30602

Date: 2009

Master image file details: 400 ppi, TIFF 4.0

Credit: The Columbus Enquirer database is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of Georgia HomePLACE. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.