Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 626b George Palmer Putnam >> Page 128

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Page 128

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 128 THE SIMMS LETTERS
to Brantz Mayer, or Reverdy Johnson° for a biographical sketch,—or Hon. C. J. M. Gwinn,5 or S. T. Wallis.° Either of them, I fancy would be quite willing and fully able to serve you in every substantial particular.'—I have not troubled you with any of my own literary projects, since I saw that you were in a crowd that would contrive to keep your hands full for a busy season. Whether all of these would contribute to fill your pockets, was a more doubtful matter, but I have several times thought of an experiment which we might make in the publication of my novels of the South during the Revolution—some 5 in number—all of which have been successful & highly popular books,—for some of which, in particular, now out of print, there is a growing demand particularly in the South. My notion was to try an experiment with these 5 vols., forming a class—the Romance of the Revolution in the South—which, if successful would justify a second experiment in my Border Stories

O on Wednesday [June 241. . . . So at a venture I wrote to him asking him to dinner out here on Sunday. Somewhat unexpectedly he came,—having been, in the interval, at Washington.... He is tall, well made, not handsome in feature, amazingly pedantic, Sir Oracle in conceit, a thorough Loco, and shortsighted in every sense [Kennedy's note: "wears glasses"]. He talked literary—but fortunately I had not read or believed I had not, any of the books he wanted me to criticize, and so shuffled off every imputation of scholarship he was pleased to presume in my favour. I abused Bryant to him for being political, and spoke of his editing a party newspaper as altogether derogatory to his fame. I was not overnice in my phrase in this matter—and after all, discovered that my new friend himself—who, by the by, claims to be a poet—was also, or had been, a party hack editor. I cant say I took very violently to him. . . . I think the tribe, author, is not altogether the best of the Twelve of Israel. . . . These soldiers of the quill, I fear, do not often leave me greatly prepossessed with my comradeship. They get no memorabilia or Kennedianas out of me, and, of course, put me down as stupid." (Original in the collection of the George Peabody Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Md.)
'Johnson (1796—1876), a prominent Baltimore lawyer, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1840, but resigned to become attorney general under President Taylor. Like Kennedy, he was an ardent Whig. He later allied himself with the Democrats and in 1868 was appointed minister to Great Britain.
'For Charles John Morris Gwinn, see note 80, Apr. 27, 1849 (481).
'Severn Teackle Wallis (1816—1894), of Baltimore, was one of the leading Maryland lawyers. He was the author of addresses, verses, and criticism and was one of the founders of the Maryland Historical Society.
?Putnam was attempting to get various people to contribute to Homes of American Authors (New York: G. P. Putnam & Co., 1853). An unsigned account of Kennedy appears on pp. [3411—346. A picture of Ellicott's Mills, drawn by David Hunter Strother (see note 11, Jan. 16, 1862 [1067a]) and engraved by William Lilly Ormsby (1809—1883), accompanies the sketch.