Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1293a Henry Barton Dawson >> Page 266

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Page 266

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 266 THE SIMMS LETTERS
Charleston, March 9. [186812 My dear Mr. Dawson.
Friend, between us, is still I take it Constitutional:—i.e. It does not violate any provision of the Constitution, unless impliedly, & by a strained construction. You must have failed to recieve one or more of my friendly letters, whether long or short. With laborers like ourselves, who have need to be writing all day long with cramped fingers, by feeble fires, and in wintry weather, it is no policy with them to be long winded in our epistles. We condense naturally, dealing with one another, however copiously we may indulge in our addresses to the pleasant public.—You ask me what I am doing. Alas! Alas! Little to profit or pleasure. I am a sort of actor of all work. I scribble paragraphs for newspapers, which give me daily allowance of tobacco & uisquebaugh. You know our hard whiskey is Irish in origin, and uisquebaugh, the water of life, is simply an equivalent to the French "eau de vie," and the Spanish aguardiente, and the redman's Firewater. I write poesies and proses for periodicals which sometime forget to pay for them; and I am now engaged on a Border Romance, the scene laid in the Old North State, from which I hope (?) to derive the porridge for my self & children for the next six months.; Briefly, my life now, is one long & almost sleepless drudgery. It requires incessant labour, not simply to find the porridge but to boil the kettle, with coal here now at $16 per ton. I do not edit any paper, though I contribute occasionally to several, & in the Editorial character.4 I do rotate between Charleston and my plantation at Woodlands, where I am now seeking to rebuild one of the wings of my old dwelling house, four

'Dawson had begun a 2d series of his Historical Magazine in 1868. For Simms' contributions, see note 55, Feb. 12, 1867 (1226).
'Dated by Simms' remarks about the rebuilding of Woodlands and the death of his granddaughter (see note 5, below).
`Simms was writing "Voltmeier" for the Southern Home Journal (Baltimore). It was published in the Illuminated Western World during 1869. See letters to Gayarre of Mar. 13, 1868 (1294), and to Victor of Oct. 3, 1868 (1 324).
'Simms was contributing to the Charleston Mercury, the Charleston Courier, and the Charleston Daily News. Sec his other letters written during this period.