Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1071c William James Rivers >> Page 341

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Page 341

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription Additional Letters and Documents, 1828—1868 341
may do against Charleston, he will hardly, if successful, attempt to penetrate the interior till cool weather. But I do not see that he need take Charleston, or that we need despair. If we do, it should be that sort of despair which sustains courage, and makes of the mortal struggle an immortal triumph. Our people, by this time, have a sufficient knowledge of what the tender mercies of the Yankees are, and of what they will be, in the case of South Carolina, should we be Sc) terribly deserted of God as to fall into their power. Vae Victis, will be their cry if they can wave sword & halter over us. From all that I can see & hear, Charleston will be defended to the last, and with all the terrible energies of men who have no alternative in sub-mission. But for our miserable supineness of character, our lack of industry & energy, our want of ingenuity and neglect of mechanical aid, & our dreadful habit of procrastination, Charleston would now be impregnable to all their efforts. I repeat, I see no reason to despair either of ourselves, our cause or the favor of God. But, even as you say, it is only the part of prudence to set one's house in order, & prepare for what may happen. As, therefore, Events ripen, I shall proceed, if I deem it necessary, to avail myself of your aid & of the refuge offered me for my library in the college at least I shall endeavour in this way to save a portion, the most valuable of the collectionss Touching the M.S.S. It is not improbable that I may put these into your hands at a much earlier period. I feel more anxious about them, specifically the original correspondence of the Revolution; & it will be for you to examine and collate from it as you please. I still think that upon examination you will discover my suggestion of a joint labour to be far from unreasonable, and, waiving the compliment which you make me at your own expense, I will add that little will need to be done with it except by industry and
55. Simms preserved his Revolutionary War documents, including many Laurens family papers, from destruction during the Civil War. In 1867 he sold them to the Long Island Historical Society. See Simms's letters to Evert Duyckinck, May 1, 1867 (1247) and June 2, 1867 (1257); Letters, 5:44—46 and 63-65, respectively. Henry P. Kendall purchased this collection from the LIHS in 1959 and housed it at the Kendall Whaling Museum, Sharon, Massachusetts. In 2001 the South Caroliniana Library acquired the Kendall Collection. See Allen H. Stokes, "Henry P. Kendall Collection Finds New Home at the South Caroliniana Library," Caroliniana Columns, Spring 2001, 1—2.