Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Bryant Visits Woodlands, 1843 >> Page 1

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 1

Correspondence | 1850, 1856

In a letter dated from Barnwell District on 29 March 1843, William Cullen
Bryant describes his visit to Simms. This he published in his Letters of a Travelle
(New York: Putnam, 1850), pp. 81-89. Simms' Letters, I, 350n, reprints a part of
a shortened version in Evert Duyckinck's Cyclopaedia of American Literature, II
(New York: Scribner, 1856), pp. 189-190, but makes no mention of its source.
The text here is the full original version as Bryant published it in Letters of a
Traveller (1850).

South Carolina, March 29, 1843-
Since I last wrote, I have passed three weeks in the
interior of South Carolina ; visited Columbia, the capital
of the state, a pretty town ; roamed over a considerable part
of Barnwell district, with some part of the neighboring one
of Orangeburg ; enjoyed the hospitality of the planters
very agreeable and intelligent men ; been out in a racoon
hunt ; been present at a corn-shucking ; listened to negro
ballads, negro jokes, and the banjo ; witnessed negro dances ;
seen two alligators at least, and eaten bushels of hominy.
Whoever comes out on the railroad to this district, a dis-
tance of seventy miles or more, if ho were to judge only by
what he sees in his passage, might naturally take South
Carolina for a vast pine-forest, with here and there a clear-
ing made by some enterprising settler, and would wonder
where the cotton which clothes so many millions of the hu-
man race, is produced. The railway keeps on a tract of
sterile sand, overgrown with pines ; passing, here and there,
along the edge of' a morass, or crossing a stream of yellow