Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1221a Henry Barton Dawson >> Page 248

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Page 248

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 1867-1870
Charleston Feb. 1. [186712 My dear Mr. Dawson.
You will see from the enclosed editorial that your last issue has been recieved, examined & favorably reported on. Much might be done for your magazine in the South, but for the terrible deficiency of money. Our people are literally on the verge of starvation, & from the lack of money & labour, one half of our planters will be compelled to forego any attempts to make a crop of any sort. I met half a dozen this morning, trying to borrow the means with which to resume their corn & cotton planting. They have not money to buy the ordinary implements of labour to buy mules, or the corn to feed the latter. Such is my own condition. With 2600 acres of prime land, with son & son-in-law' to manage, I am unable to make a single step forward. With $2000 I could probably make 100 bales of Cotton. As it is, I can hardly make my bread,—and by the plantation I do not. We are literally, in great numbers, dying by inches & in silence! One planter today said to me "I have 20 in family. I yesterday sold one of the few remaining articles of value, my watch, a family watch, that cost $120 for $30. to get food for my family. They have been living for months on similar sacrifices, which yet enabled me to buy for them nothing better than common corn hominy, without butter, and occasionally a bit of fat bacon.

'Dawson, the historian, was at this time editor of the Historical Magazine (New York). See note 274. Oct. 16, 1858 (900).
'Dated by Simms' reference to his review of the Dec. 1866 number of the Historical Magazine in the Charleston Mercury of Feb. 1, 1867, and by his account of conditions in South Carolina.
'Gilmore and Chevillette's husband, Donald Jacob Rowe (see note 21, Feb. 10, 1866 111471).
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