Narciso Gener Gonzales

Narciso Gener Gonzales (1859 – January 15, 1903) was born in Paulo Parish, South Carolina. He and his brother, Ambrose E. Gonzales, were the founders of The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.

Gonzales was the son of General Ambrosio José Gonzales and Harriet Rutledge. His father was a Cuban revolutionary general who opposed oppressive Spanish rule. His mother was the daughter of the wealthy South Carolina rice planter, state senator and writer, William Elliott.

Gonzales was murdered on January 15, 1903 by James H. Tillman (nephew of "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman), the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. Tillman escaped punishment, however. The jury was considered rigged and highly partisan considering Tillman shot Gonzales in broad daylight in the presence of many eyewitnesses. He was acquitted ostensibly on a shaky self-defense theory, but in reality because the jury believed Tillman was right in taking justice into his own hands. Gonzales had waged a crusade against Tillman in his newspaper, helping ensure Tillman's defeat in the 1902 South Carolina governor's race.

A memorial cenotaph for Gonzales was later erected on Senate Street across from the Statehouse in Columbia, purportedly on the route Tillman regularly walked home.

Further reading

  • Jones, Lewis Pinckney (1973). Stormy Petrel: N. G. Gonzales and His State. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Tricentennial Commission, University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-253-2.

Manuscripts Department Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SOUTHERN HISTORICAL COLLECTION : #1009 ELLIOTT AND GONZALES FAMILY PAPERS

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