Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1190a George W. Ellis, 1866-08-15 >> Page 244

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Page 244

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 244 THE SIMMS LETTERS 1190a : To GEORGE W. ELLIs'
78 Dean Street, Brooklyn 15 Augt., 1866

My dear Mr. Ellis:
Have you received the photographs I sent you from Yonkers, & do they satisfy you. The head and face are those of an oursonz of the antique, and all that have ever been made of me are villainously like—yet unlike. My eyes being very sensitive to any light or strain upon them,—in consequence of my being sun-struck when young—at once contract themselves & all the muscles about them, the moment the machine is brought to bear upon them. The en-graver should be instructed to do some "eye-opening" while working on the picture. Verily I am always shocked to see what a grisly bear I present to the world, with every picture made by the instrument. You might get a more amicable, &, I think, quite as natural & true a portrait, by adopting that which accompanies my poems, in Redfield's3 Edition.' So again, you will find an excellent profile likeness,
I190a
'The manuscript of this letter (in the Philhower Collection of the Rutgers University Library) cannot be located. Our text is from Herbert Smith's "An Unpublished Letter of William Gilmore Simms," Journal of the Rutgers University Library, XX1X (Dec. 1965), 26-28.
Simms had become a Freemason during the Civil War and was a member of Orange Lodge No. 14, in Charleston. In 1865 the Masonic Lodges of Columbia appointed him the head of a commission of three to go North "to to & make collections for the relief of the Fraternity in this place [Columbia], the restoration of their paraphernalia & buildings." The Freemasons of Columbia were to pay his expenses, and in Mar. 1866 he was made an honorary member of Richland Lodge No. 39, in Columbia (see letter of B. Mendel to Simms of Mar. 6, 1866, original in the South Caroliniana Library). He left for New York City on June 7, 1866. and returned to Charleston on Oct. 8. See letter to Lawson of Sept. 9, 1865 (1132), and following letters.
Ellis was a Freemason, a member of Trenton Lodge No. 5. When he received his Master Mason degree on June 12. 1865, he was in the U.S. Navy and was thirty-one years old. He died on Oct. 20. 100. We are indebted to Edward Rainey, Grand Secretary of The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of New Jersey, for this information.
The contents of Simms' letter indicate that in 1866 Ellis was a member of the publishing firm of Chapman and Co., 116 Nassau Street, New York City.
'Smith reads this (evidently somewhat illegible) word a'"ourson," French for "cub-hear."'Smith prints "Newhelds'," an obvious misreading.
'See note 2, June 10, 1853 (6636).