Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 2) >> Simms in Spartanburg >> Page 30

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Page 30

Secondary Scholarship | 1993
Transcription 30
The information in Mr. Coleman's article accords well with the Simms
Letters, II, pp. 343-352. On 9 August 1847, Simms wrote that he was to spend
the next two months in the Carolina Upcountry and mountains and could be
addressed at Spartanburg Court House. On 21 August, he would write from
"Spartanburg C. H." that "in a few days I shall go over to Glenn's Springs." Then on 5 September, he wrote to James Lawson from the Daniel country house itself,
a description of his travels up to this point:

I am here at the foot of the mountains rusticating, and at my desk
once more. For the last four weeks, I have been upon the road, idle
or dissipating. We had a pretty severe journey, the weather being
bad, the roads in horrible condition, and we travelling in stages.
One of our vehicles in which were my wife, Augusta, and a female
relative of my wife (Mrs. Steele) with the nurse & little Mary
Lawson, was upset. I was ahead with Gilmore & Mr. Steele, in
another stage, when we were apprised of the accident, but without
being informed whether any one was hurt or not. You may judge
of my feelings while I hurried back, nearly a mile, to the scene of
disaster. There was some thing of a wreck. The whole top of our
vehicle was smashed and dear little Mary Lawson had the
narrowest escape. She was thrown out of her mother's arms,
completely through the window of the stage, and lay just between
the wheels. A single movement of the horses would have crushed
her. Fortunately, they were quite gentle, and the innocent thing got
off with a few slight bruises of the leg and arms. We were three
days upon the road, after leaving Columbia and the railway, and at
length reached the district (county) town of Spartanburg. Here we
remained a week while the family recruited. From this place we set
off to a fashionable watering place, called Glenn's Springs, 12
miles distant, where we have been wasting in idleness the past 10
days. At this place, the mineral waters of which are very popular,
we found on an average some 200 persons, the most fashionable &
pleasant people of our interior & mountain country. Here we rode,
and sang & danced, daily and nightly.
...You would have been particularly pleased with one of the
party, Miss Martha Calhoun, a niece of John C. Calhoun, who is
a great musical genius. Her ear is said to be exquisite. She
composes waltzes & pieces, extempore, some of which have been
published. She has promised me copies which I will send to you.
From Glenn's we returned to Spartanburg, from which place we
have retired to a lovely farmhouse, about four miles distant from
the village, from which place I now address you. Here we propose
to linger for a few weeks, and here I hope to finish the play for
Forrest, of which I have sent him one act already.