Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> II. >> Page 61

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
of sectional character, which stands second to that of none of
the States upon this continent. Hers have been the bloodiest
battle-fields of the revolution, and it is among her sons that
the chivalrous and ardent spirits of our country find their
best models of heroism. Her Marion, Sumter, Pickens,
Laurens and others, in the field ; her Rutledges, Lowndes,
Calhouns, in the council ; these are recognized contributions
to the common stock of national character, which challenge
comparison with any region, and defy the claims of most.
To escape the recognition of these claims is impossible, and
the policy seems now to be to recognize then only at the ex-
pense of her people as a whole. They are to be honoured as
examples, rari nantes in guryite vasto, where all besides is
vacancy and waste—a dull, monotonous region, either stagna-
ting and senseless, or in feverish disturbance from gales and
storms of eccentric passions. Unfortunately, so imperfectly
have our histories been written, with so little research, so lit-
tle reflection or philosophy, and with details so partially given,
that it is quite easy to err, with those who never study, and
still more easy to misunderstand and misinterpret with those
who are wilful. The general reliance, at this day, is upon a
class of historians who wrote at a period when the chronicles
were unavailable to their use, except in particular localities ;
and who wrote mostly from the representations of those who
could report individual facts rather than truths—while the
proper history requires` the grouping of the several facts, in
just relation to each other, out of which the philosopher
extracts the truth, and the historian properly records it. No
region has suffered more injustice from such imperfect chroni-
clers than South-Carolina—than the South at large—and the
evil is naturally increased, when it is found the policy of those
who are themselves hostile, to provide the history. We have
no space now to advert to the variety of causes, amounting to