Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 817a Lorenzo Sabine >> Page 329

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription Additional Letters and Documents, 1828—1868 32.9
frankly. Nor did I say that your work on "Dueling" was a had book; only an incomplete one. The very fact, that I gave it several very long newspaper notices, showed that I held it in a certain degree of esteem.44 I thought it very deficient in American material, and I could see that you had only a partial acquaintance with the various European authorities. In respect to the Americans, you seem also to have made but very partial inquiries into the subject, having but a meager [studyl of the Southern States, where Duelling was most in practice. As regards your introduction, I thought it well written, though full of mistakes & misconceptions. It seemed to me that you argued the case from a wholly false & mistaken point of view, and this, I believe, was the amount of my criticism. In respect to your own intellectual qualifications, I had neither reason, nor motive to disparage them. I was prepared to consider them with great respect. I felt that you had force of utterance & ingenuity of thought; enough so, to make a very plausible case out of a bad argument. I read with great interest & pleasure, one of your public reports on our progress as a nation, the title of which I now forget, and the book is not by me, but you will readily remember the document to which I allude. That showed, according to my judgment, peculiar abilities for historical research, and the exercise of a very glowing & spirited pen. I think you still altogether wrong in certain matters of revolutionary history, and can only ascribe it to the bias of that narrowing N.E. education, which, for fifty years, at least, has been training all its people in a course of disparagement of all other sections than their own; suppressing the claims of other states, suppressing all that is unfavorable to their own, & exaggerating grossly all their performances. Were Massachusetts to be subjected to as searching a criticism as yours of South Carolina, you would be confounded at the result. One point, touching [John] Rutledge & the proposed
44. Writing as "Louis," Simms reviewed Sabine's Notes on Duels and Duelling, Alphabetically Arranged, with a Preliminary Historical Essay (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company, 1855) in the Charleston Mercury, May 9, 1855, and May 17, 1855. In his 1859 edition of Notes, Sabine recognized Simms's assistance: "For many valuable suggestions, as well as for supplying important deficiencies in my accounts of several duels at the South, he is entitled to my most respectful acknowledgments. In the present edition, as will be seen in the notices that follow, I have availed myself of his articles in the Mercury to a very considerable extent" (217).