Back in the beginning days of our nation, the printing press was the primary way people learned about what’s happening in their community and in the new United States of America.
That’s still the case, even with television and a mind-boggling array of digital content providers. Your local staff at the Georgetown Times work constantly to help make sense of local issues.
As best we can tell, the lineage of the Georgetown Times goes back to 1798.
Microfilm copies of The Georgetown Gazette from November 6, 1799 (Vol. II, No. 98) relate problems among German and French forces on the continent. That’s on the front page.
Local surveyor John Hardwick advertises a proposal to draw up a “Plan of certain Lands in Winyaw.” He went on to say as soon as he had enough subscriptions at five pounds each, for a total of 300 pounds, he would produce the plan from actual surveys.
Hardwick’s work from 1798 figured in the land dispute just a few years ago between Lucille Pate (Arcadia and DeBordieu) and the Baruch Foundation (Hobcaw Barony). Another of Hardwick’s surveys was used to show that the area where drainage work is being done today was — in 1798 — part of a creek and pond drainage system. That’s the land where Georgetown City Hall and ArcelorMittal steel are now located, and where some of the sinkholes opened up within the past year.
Other notes give the weekly schedule for the Georgetown Stage to Charleston, complain about Irish ecclesiastics teaching Negroes to read, relate battles in Austria and a “Declaration of war of the Emperor of all the Russias against Spain.”
That was a piece of the news revolving around the French Revolution and the fight of France against most of Europe. The United States and France, during those same years of 1798 to 1800, were engaged in a “Quasi-War” wherein the French and the Americans captured one another’s ships.
Another report details the news that the President has suspended a plan to send commissioners to France and war may be in the offing.
That’s followed by listings of boards, bacon and corn for sale, Irish linens, produce, sherry wine and more.
A notice relates that a 34-foot cypress flat and a 30-foot canoe were found. The owner could claim them on proof of ownership, paying for the trouble of taking them up from the river and the cost of the advertisement.
Several other ads listed Negro Shoes for sale, estate notices, the sale of a 713-acre plantation on the Black River, rice mills and a bell tent.
Vast changes in technology have altered the way we gather the news and the way we distribute the news to our readers.
Nonetheless, we’re still the source for what’s happening in Georgetown County.
We tell about the big local issues of the day, who won the ball game, what’s happening in the schools and in our cities and towns.
We’re delighted to share good news, and we take seriously the responsibility of reporting on the bad stuff that happens, too.
Over the past 214 years, society changed in ways no one could have predicted.
We’re not in the business of reading crystal balls, but we do report on local happenings.
The Georgetown Times is your window to the world of the Tidelands of South Carolina.
It’s been my privilege to be editor of the Georgetown Times for a year now. We also publish the Waccamaw Times every Thursday, and in April we added the weekly Inlet Outlook.
The County Chronicle adds more reach to the western parts of Georgetown County with some news and features.
We have Web sites for the Georgetown Times and Waccamaw Times, and Facebook pages for the Georgetown Times and Inlet Outlook.
Taken together, in print and online we reach thousands of people every week.
Growing up in Georgetown I started selling peanuts and delivering the Grit newspaper when I was nine years old. I was graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School and Winyah High School.
I met and married my college sweetheart at the University of South Carolina, and our son was born while we lived in Columbia.
For a journalism class, we had an assignment to research the microfilm archives of our hometown newspapers. At the time, I found a story in 1798 about a captain who brought his ship into the Port of Georgetown.
He reported on an engagement he had with a French privateer on his way across the Atlantic Ocean.
That “Quasi-War” dominated the early issues of the predecessors of the Georgetown Times.
Today we focus our attention more on local issues.
We also report on our men and women who go off to war, as members of the National Guard’s 178th Field Artillery have been deployed to Iraq and to Afghanistan. More Georgetown residents have been deployed overseas in other units.
There’s a long history of military involvement in Georgetown.
The Times wasn’t around when Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, led guerilla war actions against the British in 1780 and 1781. But starting in 1798, we’ve covered wars, politics and ordinary life.
Some local historians have confirmed that I’m likely the first editor of the Georgetown Times in a century who was born locally.
That’s a distinction I’m proud of, and I’m proud, too, that the staff at the Georgetown Times continues its 214-year tradition of sharing news and providing marketing opportunities for local businesses.
We all look forward to serving you, hearing from you and sharing news with you through our community newspapers.
Thank you for inviting us into your homes and businesses for more than two centuries.
Tommy Howard is editor of the Georgetown Times and its sister publications.
Notice about comments:
- Most Viewed
- Sampit shooting leads to attempted murder charges
- Andrews football coach resigns
- Georgetown police name robbery suspect
- Robbery at PI Bakery (Updated)
- Hilliard: Police have no evidence in The Krazy Fish case
- POLICE BLOTTER: Disturbing discovery
- Three robberies, same MO, in three days
- Pizza Hut to return to Georgetown
- POLICE BLOTTER: Civil War bomb found
- Obituaries, May 15, 2013