Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 943a William James Rivers >> Page 204

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Page 204

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 204 THE SIMMS LETTERS
Now, if you have done me the honour to watch my course, you will have seen that I have always laboured independently, & would never sacrifice the dignity of my profession, to mere social authority. I could have had patronage enough, if I had consented. There were fashionable people, and pretentious people, to whose salons I might have had access; but the price was death! If I had been drugged by them, I had been emasculated. I am talking to you frankly. You are a young man still—very young to me—and there are paths open to you. And you are in a situation which is honorable & compensative, and can command leisure for literary asides. There is no reason for despondency; but you will need to exercise a certain reticence. Do not make yourself cheap. Let nobody know what you are doing, at least no one, who cannot positively, in some way, assist your studies. Columbia is just as corrupt and feeble a place as Charleston. Rely on your own honest purpose, manly industry, & youthful zeal. Go on with your work—to completion. Bring down the history, at all events, to the period of the Revolution & farther, if you please. Brought to that period, your work will be more in demand than when it included only the Proprietary. If you doubt, at any time, let me hear from you. Any how, when you come to the city seek me out. I have suggestive clues, which, I think, no man here possesses but myself. Believe me, in all this, to be above all considerations save those of justice, sympathy, & a true love for my profession & country.
Yours ever
W. Gilmore Simms 943a : To WILLIAM JAMES RIVERS
Charleston, Aug: 18. 1859.
Professor W. J. Rivers. My dear Professor.
You are aware that I am helping the Mess'rs Appleton in their Cyclopaedia. You are also aware, no doubt, that I regard you as one of my legitimate subjects. Will you oblige me with such a brief