Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1027a George William Bagby >> Page 217

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription DECEMBER 1860 217

With the sincere hope that you will take my advice, for the present, and with the repetition of my sincere wish to serve you, believe me Very truly Yours
W. Gilmore Simms

B. J. Lossing, Esq.
Woodlands, Midway P. O. Decr. 17. 1860. Dr. G. W. Bagby.
My dear Sir.
Let me, in limine, thank you for your noble editorial essay ad-dressed to Virginia in our present state of affairs. If such an appeal does not move your politicians (your people are sound) to the renunciation of the federal fleshpots, then their souls are not worth saving, whether by God or Devil. All here thank you) I shall address this letter to you still at Richmond, though yours conveys the idea of your sojourn at Washington. I can write but few words

'In the "Editor's Table" of the Southern Literary Messenger, XXXI (Dec. 1860), 468-474, Bagby remarks that hitherto he has not "in this, a literary rather than a political magazine," discussed "the value of the Union" or called "in serious question the possibility of its speedy dissolution.""But the election to the Presidency of a candidate pledged to the ultimate extinction of a domestic institution which is the foundation-stone of a Southern society, and the domination of a party having no existence outside of the Northern States, and which denies the South its rightful share of the soil of the Territories, makes it the imperative duty of every citizen and especially of him who controls even the humblest organ of popular sentiment to speak forth his mind with the utmost plainness, to the end that the general opinion may be obtained and the proper course to be pursued in these the last hours of the United States of America may as quickly as possible he determined upon." He approves "the attitude of South Carolina" and declares "unreservedly in favour of a Southern Confederacy." The "heroic action of the Palmetto State" is extolled: "every Southern State" should "act in like manner, to join hands with her, to share her fate whatever it may be, and to throw heart and soul, mindl,l body and estate, into the righteous balance of Disunion." He rehearses past events and reaches the conclusion that dissolution is the only answer: the "Union" has been "not of love, but of the lust of lucre—a bestial, adulterous and unholy alliance." And he exhorts Virginia to join South Carolina immediately: "Will Virginia speak. She must speak. She must act, and that quickly. It is due to her ancient renown."