Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> Front Matter >> Introduction

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Introduction

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription INTRODUCTION
In the years that have followed the 1956 publication of Volume V of The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, various friends and acquaintances have brought to our attention letters by Simms acquired by libraries or discovered during the cataloguing of manuscript collections already owned. A number of these seemed to us of sufficient importance to warrant a new survey of holdings of libraries and private collections in the hope that enough uncollected letters could be found for a supplementary sixth volume of the Letters. This extensive survey was made during the fall and winter of 1975, and we have been fortunate in discovering over two hundred letters not included in our first five volumes. These cover the years 1834 through 1870, the year of Simms' death—in fact, the last definitely dated letter in this volume is, so far as we now know, the last letter Simms wrote. Taken as a whole, they add considerably to our knowledge of Simms and of his times and are of great value in any final assessment of Simms the man and the writer. Some offer further proof of what was already known or suspected about Simms from his published letters; others contain new information about Simms and his works, his opinions on society, on literature, and on politics, his assessment of himself as a man and as a writer and of the position of an author in the South (especially in South Carolina), and his aspirations for himself, for his fellow writers, and for his native state and his country. These letters will undoubtedly be used, as those already published have been widely used, by writers on Simms and on the social, political, and literary history of his times.
Over one-fourth of the letters in this volume were written before 1845, a period for which Simms' known extant letters were fewer in number than for the later periods of his life. A good many of these are addressed to publishers or to editors of periodicals. Notable among them are the large group of letters to his publisher Carey and Hart, of Philadelphia, and the somewhat smaller, but equally important group to Sarah Lawrence Drew Griffin, who was struggling to establish and keep going a literary magazine in Macon,
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