Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 933a William James Rivers >> Page 202

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Page 202

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 202 THE SIMMS LETTERS
no one but myself who ought to attempt it.6 Now, I mention these things, without going into particulars, and without caring one straw about them. Some of these parties went farther, and opposed the introduction of my little Histy into the public schools.' The animus of these people, or some of them, may be shown in the treatment which I recieved at the hands of the Hist. Soc. Think of this one fact. The same mail which brought me your letter, officially advising me of my election as one of the V. Press. of the Society, & kindly entreating my acceptance, brought me the Charleston Courier which reported the proceedings of the Society at a meeting that very week, in which, without waiting for my answer, I was superseded as V. P. by Mr. Trescott. Now, I had resolved not to accept & had so told Mr. Porcher; but certainly that could have nothing to do with the official necessities of the case. Should any opportunity occur for an hour's talk with you, I think I could show you how certain cliques in Charleston & Columbia rule society, by subsidizing, with cunning arts, the really able men, making use of them against one another. These never suspect the base uses to which they are put. Now, in this very Hist. Society, why should men be put into the chief offices who have never identified them-selves with History or Literature? Why should men be selected, simply because of their social position, for the rule & the dignities of institutions, who can add no lustre or dignity to their authority; who are in fact grossly ignorant. What a wrong is this to the real honest workers in the province. The literary man, the student, recieves but little at any time from society. Why is he to be denied

6William Henry Trescot (see note 180, July 26, 1859 [9411), diplomat and historian, complimented Simms as an historian in an oration before the South Carolina Historical Society on Nov. 19, 1859 (in the introductory sketch of Trescot, 1857 is erroneously given as the date of this oration). Though Trescot used the spelling "Trescot" in his published works, Frederick Adolphus Porcher, recording secretary of the South Carolina Historical Society, spells it "Trescott" in the "Minutes" of the society (MS. in the South Carolina Historical Society). The Charleston Courier of Oct. 30, 1855, also uses the spelling "Trescott."
On Nov. 23, 1841, a resolution was submitted before the S.C. General Assembly to subscribe two thousand dollars for Simms' History of South Carolina for distribution among the free schools, but it was defeated by a vote of 61 to 40. In an angry letter to James Henry Hammond of Dec. 19, 1841 (125), Simms blames the defeat on the "personal hostility" of Christopher Gustavus Memminger (see note 129 of that letter) and Albert Moore Rhett (see introductory sketch of the Rhetts).