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 NOTES435
232.12 In 1742 Colonel William Graham settled in that portion
of North Carolina which became Rutherford County. (Griffin, His-
tory of Old Tryon and Rutherford Counties, Asheville, N.C., 19371
pp. 46-48.) Simms may have used him as a prototype for the Colonel
Graham of his story. The records of the county courthouse at Ruther-
fordton show a marriage bond of William Graham and Susanna
Twitty dated December 29, 18o6, just at the period when Allen
Twitty was first indicted for counterfeiting.

240.2 the great gorge of the Tselica: Sims took "Tselica" to be
the Indian name for the French Broad River. See the introductory
note to his poem "The Syren of the Tselica," Simms's Poetical
Works, I (New York, 1853), pp. 324-327.
246 The following synopsis of the preceding installments was sup-
plied at the beginning of Chapter XLV in the Illuminated Western
World. (See p. 444 for two emendations made in its text.)
To those who have not had the pleasure of perusing this truly
admirable work of the celebrated author, we will give the following
synopsis, that the succeeding chapters may be read and enjoyed:
The "hero" of the romance is young Fergus Wallace, whose mother,
dying, sent him up into the mountains of North Carolina, to seek out his
Uncle Voltmeier. In following out this dying wish, the young man goes
up into the wild and magnificent "up country," amid whose fastnesses, at
the date of the story, dwelt a set of desperadoes, who, by horse-stealing,
pillage, highway robbery, and the circulation of counterfeit money, became
the terror of the whole region. Into the hands of these Mountain Men the
youth falls, wounded almost unto death, and he is robbed and left for dead.
Voltmeier, his uncle, under an impenetrable disguise, is, in reality, chief
director of this gang of villains. He ascertains, by the property and papers
found on the young man's person, who he is, and at once becomes his most
tender nurse, under whose skill and the unremitting kindness of the
Harness family, Fergus recovers. Voltmeier, in his true character, has a
splendid estate further down the mountain range, in South Carolina, called
Keovala, where he lives the princely gentleman planter. His family con-
sists of himself, his beautiful daughter, Mignon, and his sister, Gertrude.
Into this home Fergus is introduced. All are unconscious of Voltmeier's re-
lations to the Mountain Men. Fergus becomes beloved by every member of
the household, and in turn becomes so deeply attached to Mignon as to
finally ask her hand in marriage. This greatly pleases her father, whose
love for Fergus' mother had been very deep and strong.