Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1253a John Esten Cooke >> Page 251

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Page 251

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription JUNE 1867 251
to hear from you when you are disposed to write. I thank you for your kind & friendly expressions, and shall always be happy in your case, as in that of all other young writers to give every encouragement to the claims of merit. Excuse the brevity of this note. My time is greatly occupied at this moment & my head is not in good order.'
Yours very truly
W. Gilmore Simms
1253a : To JOHN ESTEN COOKE
Charleston, S. C. June 4. '67 My dear Cooke.
There is a demand for your "Wearing of the Grey" in this market & not a copy to be had) I have had to give up to a friend the copy

shall always be pleased to welcome to our columns the contributions of a writer of poems such as these. The reader will readily see how very superior they are in originality of thought, feeling, fancy, and expression to the average verses of our newspapers and magazines. We beg to assure Mr. STODDARD, to whose favor we owe these articles direct, that he shall always be sure of a place in our columns, when his offerings are of so choice a kind...."'For Simms' difficulties at this time, see letter to Duyckinck of May 1 (1247). 1253a
'Wearing of the Gray; Being Personal Portraits, Scenes and Adventures of the War (New York: E. B. Treat & Co.; Baltimore: J. S. Morrow, 1867) is noticed in the Charleston Courier of May 22—almost certainly by Simms, who appears to have written most (if not all) of the reviews published in the Courier at this time. Wearing of the Gray is called a "lively and sketchy publication . . . a valuable as well as pleasing contribution to what may he entitled the Anecdoncal Hi'r ry of the War." Of Cooke as a writer, the reviewer comments: ". . . it is generally known, and acknowledged, that he is one of the most versatile, prolific and genial of all the living writers of Virginia. He has probably made larger contributions to the history and biography of the war and its heroes, in and out of his native State, than any other writer of any State; and the wonder is that, writing so much on one theme and in one province, he has succeeded so invariably and so happily in making his works several, distinct, various and individually attractive. This, alone, is in high proof of his versatihility of genius, the vitality of his fancy, and the various constituents in his mental nature, for evoking the picturesque from his subject. He has impressed his own individuality upon his themes, and this individuality equally displays itself in his works of art and fiction as in his history." He continues to discuss Cooke as novelist, in particular his Surry of Eagle's Nest ... (New York: Bunce and Huntington, 1866): "In 'Surry,' the mere story was one of a simple, direct interest, not implying much complication, and not marked