Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Author's Advertisement >> Page 2

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 2 A PV H:RTISEMENT.
more strictly historical than those which have been employed
in this Santee legend." The reader must not, however, on
hearing this, be less inclined to accept Mellichampe" as an
historical romance. It is truly and legitimately such. It is
imbued with the facts, and, I believe, so far as I myself may
be admitted as a judge, it portrays truly the condition of the
time. The events made use of are all historical ; and scarcely
a page of the work, certainly not a chapter of it, is wanting in
the evidence which must support the assertion. The career
of Marion, as here described during the precise period occu-
pied by the narrative, is correct to the very letter of the writ-
ten history. The story of Barsfield, so far as it relates to
public events, is not less so. The account which the latter
gives of himself to Janet Berkeley�occurring in the thir-
ty-seventh chapter�is related of him by tradition, and bears
a close resemblance to the recorded history of the notorious
Colonel Brown, of Augusta, one of the most malignant and
vindictive among the southern loyalists, and one who is
said to have become so solely from the illegal and unjusti-
fiable means which were employed by the patriots to make
him otherwise. The whole history is one of curious interest,
and, if studied, of gmat public value. It shows strikingly
the evils to a whole nation, and through successive years,
of a single act of popular injustice. Certainly, as the ebul-
litions of popular justice, shown in the movements of revo-
lution, are of most terrible effect, and .of most imposing conse-
quence ; so the commission of a crime by the same bands,
must, in like degree, revolt the sensibilities of the .freeman,
and inspire him with a hatred which, as it is well-founded,
and sanctioned by humanity itself, must be unforgiving and
extreme. The excesses of patriotism, when attaining power,
have been but too frequently productive of a tyranny more
dangerous in its exercise, and more lasting in its effects, than
the despotism which it was invoked to overthrow.
The death of Gabriel Marion, the nephew of the general,
varies somewhat, in the romance, from the account given of the
same event by history ; but the story is supported by tradition.
The pursuit of the " swamp fox" ,by Colonel Tarleton � a pur-