Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III.

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853


           Throughout his life, William Gilmore Simms was deeply invested in researching and interpreting the history of the American Revolution and was particularly concerned with promoting the participation of his native South Carolina in that conflict.  As evidenced by his biographies of Francis Marion and Nathanael Greene, his series of epic romances of the Revolution largely set in South Carolina, and his emphasis on the Revolution in his The History of South Carolina, Simms’s understanding of South Carolina’s role in the conflict was one of patriotism and heroic self-sacrifice.  Predictably, then, the author was appalled at the 1847 publication of Lorenzo Sabine’s The American Loyalists, a book that argues that the South, and particularly South Carolina, was a hotbed of Tory sentiment during the Revolution—and thus that it was New Englanders, and not southerners, who were the true American patriots.  Simms produced a scathing reply and argument against this thesis in two essays published in the Southern Quarterly Review in 1848:  “South-Carolina in the Revolution,” published in the July issue, and “The Siege of Charleston in the American Revolution,” published in October.  In 1853, Simms, under the pseudonym “A Southron,” published these two essays in a slim volume titled South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War, issued by Walker and James of Charleston.[1]  Situated between these two essays was an excerpt from Simms’s 1852 review of John Pendleton Kennedy’s Horse-Shoe Robinson, where he deals with similar issues of the representation of South Carolina’s role in the Revolution.