Alexandria 02-12: The Alexandria Phenix Gazette

Starting Date: January 1, 1825

Ending Date: December 31, 1833

Publication Frequency: 3/week, then Daily ex. Sun.

Proprietors: Samuel Snowden


Snowden's troubled finances led to his bankruptcy in August 1824; an ensuing court order compelled the sale of his property by year's end; so on December 30th, Snowden closed his business in order to settle accounts. Two days later, Snowden began publishing a new daily with the same type and presses employed previously; the new paper was issued in a partnership arrangement with one William Fitzhugh Thornton;, who was then apparently the titular owner of the office's tools and supplies. Snowden claimed that the Phenix was not "a continuation of the other, but as a new and independent journal," a fiction he had to maintain for legal reasons, just as he had done with Samuel H. Davis in 1819. The Phenix Gazette made its first appearance on January 1, 1825; by late fall, the forced reorganization restored Snowden's solvency, allowing him to resume publishing on a daily schedule with the issue of December 5, 1825. The firm of Snowden & Thornton continued successfully until July 1828, when Thornton sold his interest in the concern to Snowden in order to start a campaign paper in Washington in support of the reelection of John Quincy Adams. Snowden then turned to his only son, Edgar Snowden (1810-1875), as his partner and successor. The Gazette continued in this fashion until Snowden's death on July 14, 1831, having gradually reverted to the simple title of the Alexandria Gazette after 1826. Edgar Snowden succeeded his father, and was editor and proprietor of the paper for more than 40 years, until his own death in 1875; thereafter, the paper has continued into the present day, under various guises, all of which have included variations on the Alexandria Gazette name, having become an Alexandria institution.

The Alexandria Phenix Gazette is part of the Alexandria Gazette Lineage. For detailed information on all the variants in the Alexandria Gazette Lineage, see here.

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