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          Local Newspaper Back Files
The 79th annual National Newspaper Week, October 6 - 12, 2019, is a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America and is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers.  It is also a great opportunity to write a bit about the the history of journalism and newspaper publication in the Beaufort District.

There are those who say that there would be no United States Constitution without the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects 5 freedoms concerning religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. The actual text of the First Amendment is:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

As Executive Editor of the Richmond Daily News and the Excelsior Springs Daily Standard, Jack Ventimiglia states in his article "First Amendment binds all American freedoms":

Freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, of assembly and to petition the government are woven, like stars in the flag, into the fabric of the First Amendment.

The blood of patriots is the seed of the Republic. The founders and those who followed in their footsteps invested their lives in this country. They assured there would be freedom of religion, and from religion, so the government could neither bless nor ban what anyone believes, as occurs under radical theocracies and communist regimes. The founders secured freedom of speech, to assemble and to petition the government to redress grievances, which is denied by China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and others that fear opposition. They also created one freedom that binds and protects all others, and has done so from before the founding of the republic – freedom of the press....

In short, "Journalists help keep us free to question, learn and disagree." One can often identify the editorial position of a particular newspaper by careful reading of its contents, position of its articles, what it includes and what it omits. This has been the case historically and it remains the case in the contemporary newspaper publications both in print and online. For example, the Civil War era newspapers published in Beaufort District were pro-Union newspapers after the Battle of Port Royal Sound. We have the Free South, New South, and Palmetto Herald on microfilm - all Union instruments and on Friday, a book with transcriptions of the 100th Pennsylvania Regiments soldiers newspaper, The Camp Kettle, arrived in our Research Room. There was no corresponding Beaufort published newspaper from a Confederate perspective. 

Sometimes the political disagreements get so out of hand that people end up dead. Listen as Dr. Curtis Rogers of the State Library interviews author James Underwood about one of South Carolina's most notorious crimes. Underwood's book Deadly Censorship: Murder, Honor and Freedom of the Press is available in the Research Room and through the SCLENDS consortium.The book recounts the circumstances surrounding the 1903 murder of Narciso Gonzalez, editor of The State newspaper and member of the extended Beaufort Elliott family, by the brother of Governor Ben Tillman.