early 15c., "having an analogous relationship (to), answering, matching," a sense taken up since 19c. by corresponding; from Medieval Latin correspondentem, present participle of correspondere "correspond, harmonize, reciprocate," from assimilated form of com "together, with (each other)" (see com-) + respondere "to answer" (see respond).
"one who communicates with another by letters," 1620s, from correspondent (adj.). The newspaper sense "one who sends regular communications in the form of letters from a distant location" is from 1711.
THE life of a newspaper correspondent, as may naturally be supposed, is one of alternate cloud and sunshine—one day basking in an Andalusian balcony, playing a rubber at the club on the off-nights of the Opera, being very musical when the handsome Prima Donna sings, and very light fantastic toeish when the lively Prima Ballerina dances; another day roughing it over the Balkan, amid sleet and snow, or starving at the tail of an ill-conditioned army, and receiving bullets instead of billets-doux. [New Monthly Magazine, vol. xci, 1852, p.284]