The Charleston Library Society has a huge collection of colonial American newspapers, among which is the South Carolina Gazette (1732-1802). Established in 1732 as a satellite of Ben Franklin’s operation in Philly, the S.C. Gazette was the first newspaper printed and published in South Carolina. The first operator, Thomas Whitmarsh, died suddenly in 1734, and the paper was picked up by Lewis Timothy.
4 years later, in late 1738, he too kicked the bucket. Extraordinarily, without missing a week (it was a weekly publication) the next issue is printed and distributed, with Lewis’s then 13 year-old son Peter’s name replacing his on the paper.
You are probably thinking at this point, ‘Wow, that’s crazy that a pubescent kid had enough experience to keep things rolling. Well, I guess people had to grow up earlier back then.’ And while that may have been true, Peter was not the boy in charge. This crazy little blurb was printed towards the end of the first publication (January 4, 1739) following Papa Timothy’s death:
Actually it wasn’t a boy at all, but his 8.999 months pregnant (with her seventh kid) mother Elizabeth Timothy. If the fact that she took over her husband’s business and turned out the next ‘entertaining and reasonably correct’ issue of the Gazette without missing a single week isn’t enough to maker her a certified BOSS, it turns out she also is credited with being the first female newspaper publisher and editor in America. And to top it all off, the one and only Ben Franklin approved of the way she did business (he thought it must have been her Dutch upbringing) .
However, we must not forget lil’ Peter. When he came of age, he did end up taking over the business, and later went on to be a founding father of the Charleston Library Society. But in my opinion the real benefit of Peter’s founding role is that his mother became a member. Apparently we have circulation records detailing the books she checked out (I have yet to see them), but I’m guessing her primary reason for checking books out was to perform quality checks on the printing and ensure that her son and his cohort were living up to her and Ben Franklin’s standards of excellence. Or maybe she just wanted a good romance novel to enhance her retirement like any normal person. In any case, given what she went through and accomplished, it’s going to be near impossible for anyone to supplant her as the Library Society’s Most Legit Member.
For further reading on Elizabeth Timothy, any search engine will turn out a number of great articles about her. You won’t regret checking them out!
 McMurtrie, Douglas C. A History of Printing in the United States; the Story of the Introduction of the Press and of Its History and Influence during the Pioneer Period in Each State of the Union. Vol. 2. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1936. Print. pp. 320.