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


History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription PREFACE. vii

have found it advisable to consult Holmes, Bancroft, Gra-
hame, and several other writers.
The pretensions of the present volume are exceedingly
moderate. The aim of the writer, as already expressed,
has been to provide a volume for the popular reader and
for the use of schools-to supply the rising generation
with such a history of the country as will enable them
to satisfy their own curiosity and the inquiries of others.
It is lamentable to perceive the degree of ignorance in
which our people live, with regard to those events which
made their ancestors famous, and which have given them
equal station and security. To say that the great majority
of our young people know little or nothing of the history
of the state, is to do them no injustice. This ignorance
was inevitable from the unwieldy cumbrousness and
heavy cost of the volumes in which our history was
locked up. To steer clear of the great errors of my
predecessors, my first aim was condensation. My work,
therefore, is little more than an abridgement. I have
sought rather to be useful than original, and I have never
suffered myself to be excursive. I have seldom ventured
upon conjectures or speculations of my own, and in no
instance where the conjecture would have called for, or
merited, discussion. In the course of the narrative I have
not scrupled to make occasional use of the very language
of my authority, wherever it seemed particularly compre-
hensive or felicitous. To place the facts in a simple
form�in a just order�to give them an expressive and en-
ergetic character�to couple events closely, so that no
irrelevant or unnecessary matter should interpose itself
between the legitimate relation of cause and effect ; and
to be careful that the regular stream of the narrative
should flow on without interruption to the end of its
course, have been with me primary objects.
To the mind of the youthful reader, the advantages of
such a mode of condensation appears to me of obvious im-
portance. The unbroken progress of connected events
enchains the attention and beguiles while it informs the
thought, until reading ceases to be study, and instruction