He had vision, guts and brains.
Those qualities – and a sense of outrage at the wrongs he saw about him – are what led N. G. Gonzales and his brother Ambrose to found The State in 1891.
Those qualities, too, are what got N.G. Gonzales, The State’s chief editor, assassinated on the corner of Gervais and Main in 1903 at the age of 44 by a lieutenant governor Gonzales had properly described in print as a drunkard and a gambler. He was one of the few American journalists ever to be killed for his writings.
Editors such as Gonzales are a special breed, motivated not so much by money as by a crusading sense that newspapers play a special teaching role in the region they serve – enlightening, educating and entertaining readers. Without an informed citizenry, they believe, democracy cannot work. In his time, Gonzales advocated for child labor reforms, women’s suffrage and an end to lynching.
Today, The State newspaper continues to play a vital role in the Midlands and South Carolina, shining light on people and issues in fields as varied as politics, culture, sports, crime and the environment.
And though more and more people receive The State through devices such as cell phones undreamt of in 1891, Gonzales’ spirit still guides the best of what you see and read.