Tuesday, September 29, 2015

American Biography - Ann Donavan Timothy 1727-1792 - 2nd Female Publisher of the South Carolina Gazette

Ann Timothy (c1727-1792), printer & newspaper publisher, was born Ann Donavan, probably in Charleston, S.C. At St. Phillip’s Church in Charleston, on Dec. 8, 1745, she married Peter Timothy (1725-1782), who about this time became publisher of the South Carolina Gazette, the colony’s first permanent newspaper, earlier published by his father, Lewis Timothy, & his mother, Elizabeth.

The Gazette had been founded in 1731, by Thomas Whitmarsh, a protege of Benjamin Franklin. He was replaced in 1734, by another Franklin protege, Lewis Timothee (Timothy), a Huguenot. When Lewis died in 1738, his widow Elizabeth, with the help of her son Peter, continued the paper as the 1st woman editor & publisher in America. Read more about Elizabeth Timothy here.

Later Peter Timothy, aided by his wife, the former Ann Donovan, made the South Carolina Gazette a major Patriot organ. For that reason, its publication was suspended during the British occupation, 1780-83.

Displaced by the British occupation of Charleston, the patriot Peter Timothy & his family went to Philadelphia in 1781. In the following year, Timothy & two of his daughters embarked for Santo Domingo & were lost at sea.

Ann Timothy returned in 1782, to Charleston, where on July 16, 1783, like her widowed mother-in-law 43 years before, she resumed publication of the Gazette of the State of South Carolina (Peter Timothy had renamed the paper in 1777). With the assistance of one E. Walsh, she published the newspaper (renamed again in 1785, the State Gazette of South Carolina) until her death in 1792.

The South Carolina Gazette was published in this house at 106 Broad Street in Charleston.

Ann Timothy was the 2nd woman in South Carolina & the 2nd in her family to become the publisher of a newspaper. In addition to publishing the Gazette, she obtained the post of “Printer to the State,” which she held, apparently, from 1785 until her death. At least 15 imprints were issued under her name from 1783 to 1792.

One of the first seals of South Carolina appeared on March 28, 1785, in the nameplate of the State Gazette of South Carolina, a Charleston newspaper. The paper was published by Ann Timothy, the official state's printer.

Ann Timothy died in Charleston in 1792, at the age of 65. At the time of her death, her living children were Sarah (unmarried), Robert, Elizabeth Anne (Mrs. Peter Valton), Frances Claudia (Mrs. Benjamin Lewis Merchant), & Benjamin Franklin Timothy. Benjamin Timothy inherited the Gazette & published it, until his retirement from the printing business in 1802, at which time the 69-year-old South Carolina printing & newspaper family dynasty came to an end.

This posting based, in part, on information from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971

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