Stephen Cullen Carpenter

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Stephen Cullen Carpenter
Born 1752
Died July 24, 1830
Philadelphia, Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania
Nationality Irish
Other names Donald Campbell (pen name)
Citizenship American
Occupation author, reporter, editor and magazine founder
Years active about 1775 – about 1825
Known for author, reporter, editor and magazine founder

Stephen Cullen Carpenter (1752–1830) was an author, reporter, editor and magazine founder, characterized as "a pro-English Irishman who fled to the colonies in 1802 compelled by a miscarriage," apparently referring to the loss of a military chest while he was deputy paymaster for the British Army in India.[1]

Born in 1752 in Ireland, Carpenter first worked in the journalism business in London as a reporter of Parliamentary proceedings.[2] He also published two books in London, in 1795 and 1798, under the pen name Donald Campbell. In 1802 or 1803, he emigrated to the United States and settled in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was one of the founders of the Charleston Courier, a Federalist newspaper for which he became the first editor, serving until 1806.[2]

Carpenter was the first important drama critic of the theater in Charleston, at a time when Charleston was a theatrical center of the young nation.[3] In 1805 he established and published the Monthly Register, Magazine, and Review of the United States, the publication of which he took with him to New York in 1806.[4]

After about three years in Charleston, Carpenter changed politics and newspapers when he moved to New York to be editor from 1806 to 1807 of the People's Friend.[5]

Carpenter married Ann Osborne on December 26, 1808 in Trinity Church Parish in New York City.[6]

Carpenter then authored the polemic Memoirs of the Hon. Thomas Jefferson in two volumes published in New York in 1809, edited the Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor magazine, four volumes of which were published at Philadelphia in 1810-1811, and several other literary works. He is thought to have moved about 1812 to Washington, D.C. as a result of government employment.[5]

Carpenter died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 24, 1830.[7] His obituary was carried in several Southern newspapers, stating that he was 78 years of age at his death resulting from the effects of paralysis suffered for six years.[8]


  1. ^ Ron Allman: South Carolina Newspapers,, South Carolina Press Association, Copyright 2002, accessed 15 Aug 2005.
  2. ^ a b James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds.: Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I, D. Appleton & Co., New York, N.Y., 1898, p. 532.
  3. ^ Charles S. Watson: "Stephen Cullen Carpenter: First Drama Critic of the Charleston Courier," in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 69, No. 4, October 1968, George C. Rogers Jr., ed., pp. 243-252.
  4. ^ D. Whitesell: South Carolina Marriage Notice, Charleston Courier, 1803--1808, Compiled and Edited by A.S. Salley Jr., Secretary of the Historical Commission of South Carolina, Printed for The Historical Commission of South Carolina by The State Company, Columbia, SC, 1919,, n.d., accessed 11 Nov 2012.
  5. ^ a b John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes: American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York and London, 1999, Vol. 4, p. 434.
  6. ^ FamilySearch marriage record which cites the 'New York, Marriages, 1686-1980 index.' Accessed November 15, 2012.
  7. ^ Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania: Notices of Marriages and Deaths in Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, Collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 79, Philadelphia, Pa., 1903, pp. 514, 518.
  8. ^ Rev. Silas Emmet Lucas Jr., ed.: Obituaries from Early Tennessee Newspapers, 1794-1851, Southern Historical Press, Easley, S.C., 1978, p. 60.

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