Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1067a John Reuben Thompson >> Page 223

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription JANUARY 1862 223


1067a : To JOHN REUBEN THOMPSON1
Woodlands, S. C. Jany 16. 1862.
I have been thinking of writing you repeatedly, my dear Thompson, but was kept in such blind ignorance of your whereabouts, that I was unwilling to expend my Poststamp, in a fruitless roving after you over a ravaged country. Now, that I see you spoken of as being in Richmond, and in hopes of a comfortable office under Govt., I assume the probability of your being reachable by letter.2 I had written thus far when in the paper of today (18) I find it announced that you are about to edit a vol. of the patriotic poetry inspired by the Independence of Dixie.' This plan of yours chimes in with a measure of my own. My plan is to commence the publication of a "Library of the Confederate States", publishing a volume monthly, and, seriatim, representing the states severally. Thus I propose a collection of the writings of old Beverley Tucker, of Virginia, of Hammond of S. C. &c. The volumes to average 400 pp. each, & sold at 1.00 or 125 according to bulk. New works to be interspersed as prepared, and a wholesome variety to be sought in History, Biography, Statesmanship, Poetry & Fiction. I see that you have publishers in Richmond, disposed to make a beginning. Consult with them on the subject, & you & I may, perhaps better than any body else, put the machine in motion. I am now revising Hammond's Essays & Speeches for the press.4 Tucker's Text Book

I067a
'Obviously this letter was written before Simms' letter to Thompson which we dated "January, 1862?" (1066), in which were enclosed copies of some of the poems Simms had published in the Charleston Mercury: "They ... are, I think, worthy of publication in the projected vol. of Professor C." See note 3, below.
'Thompson was made assistant secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia and as such had a share in the administration of the Virginia State Library, then under the direction of George Wythe Munford.
'In the Mercury of Jan. 18 under the heading "Richmond News and Gossip" (dated Jan. 15) is the following remark: "The songs of the war, many of which are well worth preserving, are being collected by Professor Chase, and Jno. R. Thompson of this city, and will ere long appear in book form from the active press of West & Johnston."'Simms' revisions were probably used when the copy was prepared for Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina (New York: John F. Trow & Co., 1866). See note 12, Jan. 31, 1862 (1068).