Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Front Matter >> Preface

image of pageExplore Inside

Preface

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription PREFACE.
The volume here submitted to the reader, is an attempt
to supply what seemed to the writer a popular desidera-
tum. A wish to provide an only daughter with a history
of the country in which she was born and lived, first led
him to this conviction. He found it no easy matter to
place before her the materials necessary to convey the
desired information. He had, it is true, the several works
already devoted to this subject. The various histories of
Hewatt, Ramsay, Moultrie, &c., were all in his collec-
tion ; but volumes so cumbrous, and so loaded as they
are with prolix disquisition, and unnecessary if not
irrelevant detail, he felt convinced were in no respect
suited to the unprepared understanding and the ardent
temper of the young. These authors wrote, generally, at
a period when the doctrines of popular representation,
of suffrage, self government and many other principles,
regarded as essential to the preservation of social liberty,
were either of novel suggestion or very imperfectly
understood. It seemed necessary, and was, therefore,
proper, in that early day, that they should be discussed
at length. These discussions overloaded the narrations
of the historian and impaired their interest. They were
cumbered with opinions now regarded as truisms, which
too greatly trespassed on the dominions of simple truth.
So soon as the public mind had decided these questions,
the discussions upon them necessarily sunk out of sight,
and involved in their own oblivion the histories upon
which they had been grafted. The latter, accordingly,
ceased to be sought after, either for amusement or instruc-
tion ; and finally, and by a natural transition, were thrust
away into that general lumber house of