Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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Biographical Sketch From the Life of M.C.M. Hammond

Biography | 1876

                Biographical Sketch from the Life of M.C.M. Hammond is a brief memorial pamphlet commemorating the life and service of Marcus Claudius Marcellus Hammond, the middle brother of the Hammond family with whom Simms was so closely connected.  Collected on the occasion of Hammond’s 23 January 1876 death, this volume consists of three distinct parts.  The first two of these parts are biographical sketches of Hammond, one by Simms, and one by Brigadier General Benjamin Alvord, who served with Hammond in the Mexican-American War. The third section of the work is a brief memorial resolution adopted by the members of the Beech Island [SC] Farmers’ Club.  Redcliffe, the Hammond family plantation, was located at Beech Island, and the memorial resolution lists him as “an honorary member” of the Farmers’ Club.  The pamphlet was printed by Jowitt & Shaver of Augusta, GA; while the pamphlet is not dated, its purpose as a memorial work suggests it was printed in 1876, the year of Hammond’s death.  Simms’s biographical sketch is a slightly revised reprint of "Memoir—Col. M.C. Hammond, of S.C.," originally printed in DeBow's Review in April 1858.  In the sketch, Simms presents Hammond as an exemplar of both military and republican virtues, while briefly illuminating his early life, education at West Point, and service in the Mexican-American War.   While the original DeBow’s Review version was published anonymously,[1] the editors of the Biographical Sketch pamphlet have made explicit Simms’s authorship of the memoir. 

                The South Caroliniana Library’s copy of the Biographical Sketch from the Life of M.C.M. Hammond is a plain, faded-white pamphlet.  The front cover features a double frame around the following:  [ornate scroll] BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH | FROM THE LIFE OF | M.C.M. Hammond, | (No. 884, Class 1836) | DIED JANUARY 23D, 1876 | AT BEECH ISLAND, S.C. | Aged 61 Years. | [ornate scroll] | JOWITT & SHAVER, PRINTERS, AUGUSTA, GA.  The back cover is blank.  There is no title page.


W. Matthew J. Simmons

[1] The editors of DeBow’s introduce the “Memoir” as being by “one of the most gifted and distinguished of the literary men of the South.”  See "Memoir—Col. M.C. Hammond, of S.C.," DeBow's Review, XXIV (April 1858), 338.