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 EXPLANATORY NOTES433
94.14 Old Tryon : See illustrations facing this page and p. 432
for the two sketches of Mt. Tryon which Simms drew in his 1847
notebook. The first he labeled "Part of the Range of Mt. Tryon,
N.C." Below it he wrote "From the West porch of Dr. Mills's
House." The second he labeled "Highest Peak of Mt. Tryon." Below
it he wrote "Sunday Mg. 26 Sep. 1847. Went to Tryon Mountain
Tryon Mount. 3 700 feet above the level of the surrounding country.
The South view spread before us is South Carolina5 miles across
the line."
103.12 grand cavern : A few lines in the 1847 notebook indicate
the source upon which Simms was drawing when he made counter-
feiting an important part of the plot of Voltmeier. "Friday mg.
Off for Hickory Nut Gap—pass Green River and Broad river
residence of Allen Twitty, the famous counterfieter his farm his
cave —& anecdotes of his career his character his virtues".
The Twitty family was prominent and highly respected in this
region, and several of its members were known for their services
to the country in the Revolution. Allen Twitty's marriage bond,
dated February 277 1787, is recorded in the Rutherford County
Courthouse, as are deeds to large tracts of land on the Green River.
A tract bought in 1801 (Deed Book 15-17, p. 255) and another
bought in 1803 (Deed Book 20-21, p. 85) were acquired from Gene-
ral James Miller, possibly a relative of Twitty's wife, as the marriage
bond gives her name as Martha Miller. In a deposition made on
May 12, 1812, during Allen Twitty's trial on charges of counter-
feiting, General Miller stated that he had known Twitty for forty
years, "or from his infancy" (United States District Court, Raleigh,
N.C. FRC # 833871 General Service Administration, East Point,
Georgia). The records in Rutherford County also disclose that the
first tract of land which Allen Twitty acquired on Green River was
bought in 1795 from William Twitty and is described in the deed
as being a part of the estate of Ambrose Mills, inherited by William
Mills, the grandfather of Dr. Columbus Mills, Simms's host during
the 1847 trip. It is interesting to note that on his 1842 trip to this
region Simms had visited an inn at Rutherfordton where his host
was one William Twitty.
103.31 It is possible that a German by the name of Christopher
Bechtler living within about three miles of the town of Ruther-