The State (1891-1987)
An Archive of Americana Collection

Quick Facts

  • A progressive voice in South Carolina politics since the turn of the century
  • News, editorials and advertisements provide a glimpse into daily life in the Palmetto State
  • Ideal for a broad range of users, including researchers, students and genealogists


A vital news source for South Carolina since the turn of the century, The State provides firsthand accounts of Columbia’s transition from a Civil War hub to a textile manufacturing center to a leader in civil rights. The fully searchable, digitized archives of The State offer insight and analysis of local, state and national news, as well as editorials, advertisements and photographs that capture daily life in the Palmetto State. With reformist roots and a watchdog reputation, The State provides an honest look at South Carolina’s politics and struggles throughout the 20th century.

A progressive take on Palmetto State history
When The State was founded in 1891, South Carolina had just approved a new constitution under Governor Ben Tillman that disenfranchised blacks and poor whites from voting. The Gonzales brothers, who created the paper, were born to a Confederate general and grew up on a plantation but were nonetheless critical of Tillman. Through their paper’s editorial section, the Gonzales brothers condemned Tillman’s policies and supported women’s suffrage, reform of child labor laws and an end to lynchings. In 1903, Narciso Gonzales was shot and killed by Tillman’s nephew, but his newspaper lived on.

Vibrant coverage of major 20th century events
As the 20th century progressed, The State grew in importance, eventually buying out its rival and becoming the second largest newspaper in South Carolina. It documented major 20th century events and their effect on the Palmetto State, including the Great Migration, the Depression, World War II, the civil rights movement and more. The State also provides a colorful record of unique South Caroline history, including the booms and busts of cotton and tobacco farming, the Charleston Expedition, desegregation, the shooting at Orangeburg, local and state politics and much more.

An American Newspaper Archive
One of the major titles in American Newspaper Archives, this digital edition enables users to easily search and browse The State. Digital editions of dozens of other vital American newspapers, from every region of the United States, are also available individually. Each is cross-searchable via an integrated interface that allows users to easily view, magnify, print and save digital page images.

For more information, contact a Readex representative by calling 800.762.8182 or by using our easy contact form.

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