Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Bryant Visits Woodlands, 1843 >> Page 3

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Page 3

Correspondence | 1850, 1856
Transcription plants, which never shed their leaves in winter. These,
woods abound in game, which, you will believe me when I
say, I had rather start than shoot,—flocks of turtle-doves,
rabbits rising and scudding before you ; bevies of quails,
partridges they call them here, chirping almost under your
horse's feet ; wild ducks swimming in the pools, ' and wild
turkeys, which are frequently shot by the practiced sports-
But you must hear of the corn-shucking. The one at
which I was present was given on purpose that I might
witness the humors of the Carolina negroes. A huge fire
of light-wood was made near the corn-house. Light-wood
is the wood of the long-leaved pine, and is so called, not be
cause it is light, for it is almost the heaviest wood in the
world, but because it gives more light than any other fuel.
In clearing land, the pines are girdled and suffered to
stand ; the outer portion of the wood decays and falls
of; the inner part, which is saturated with turpentine,
remains upright for years, and constitutes the planter's pro-
vision of fuel. When a supply is wanted, one of these dead
trunks is felled by the axe. The abundance of light-wood
is one of the boasts of South Carolina. Wherever you are,.
if you happens to be chilly, you may have a fire extempore ;
a bit of light-wood and a coal give you a bright blaze and a
strong heat in an instant. The negroes make fires of it in
the fields where they work ; and, when the mornings are
wet and chilly, in the pens where they are milking the