Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Voltmeier; or, The Mountain Men >> Explanatory Notes/Textual Apparatus >> Explanatory Notes

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Explanatory Notes

Novel (Romance) | U of South Carolina P | 1969
Transcription 43 2EXPLANATORY NOTES
of the Board of Trustees of Spartanburg Female College when
Simms made the inaugural address at this institution on August 22,
1855. See S. Bobo, Esq., Inauguration of the Spartanburg Female
College . . . (Spartanburg, S.C., 1855).
26.33 Jacob Dechard (variously spelled, e.g., "Deckard") of Lan-
caster, Pennsylvania, came from a noted German family of gun-
makers. The familiar "Kentucky rifle" was well-known as a Deckard
product. See A. Merwyn Carey, American Firearms Makers (New
York, 1953).
28.23 Cherokee money: In a series of treaties between 1791 and
1805 the United States Government agreed to pay the Cherokees
for cessions of land. (Charles C. Royce, The Cherokee Nation of
Indians, U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, 5th Annual Report, 1883-1884,
Washington, pp. 159, 169, 171, 175, 184, 189.)
53.1 Mills Gap : When Simms made his 1847 journey into the
Blue Ridge, he visited at the home of Dr. Columbus Mills near the
town of Columbus, N.C., the county seat of Polk County. Simms
always spoke of Mills as "my kinsman," but actually Dr. Mills's
mother, Sarah Robison Mills, was a sister of Simms's wife's grand-
mother. Columbus Mills was the grandson of Major William Mills,
who after the Revolution moved from Rutherford County, N.C.,
across the Blue Ridge and settled on Clear Creek. "He cut the
wagon-road across the mountain at this point, and hence it was al-
ways called, and is to this day, Mills Gap. He was the pioneer of
that country and gave names to the mountain streams and places of
that section. The most beautiful river in Western North Carolina,
Mills' River, was named for him. He named the stream on which
he lived Clear Creek and named the following mountains: Bear
Waller, Sugar Loaf, Look Out, Bald Top, Pilot Point and Black
Mountain. . . ." (Isabel C. Patterson, Builders of Freedom and their
Descendants, Augusta, Ga., 1953, p. 164.)
69.35–70.12 The meter and stanza-form of these moralistic verses
utilize a rhythmical pattern common to Goethe, Schiller, and other
German poets of the period, but the poem is not characteristically
Goethean.
88.27 Baldface whiskey is fresh from the still, without any aging.