Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 2) >> Simms in Spartanburg >> Page 31

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Page 31

Secondary Scholarship | 1993
Transcription 31
The play was, of course, Norman Maurice; and the great actor Edwin Forrest
never performed in it. Among the "fashionable and pleasant people" at Glenn's
Spring named in the Charleston Courier of 27 August 1847 were Hon. F.W.
Pickens and family; Mrs. John C. Calhoun, her sons, and niece; Professor Twiss
amd family; and W.G. Simms and family.
From "Spartanburg C.H.," on 23 September 1847, Simms again writes

Tomorrow, I expect to set off on a visit to the mountains of
North Carolina. I shall be gone a week or ten days when I begin
my slow descent to the low country. My purpose is to visit as
much fine scenery, and to see & hear as much as I can. I shall
make a book of it. 'A chiel's among 'em taking notes, & i' faith,
he'll prent 'em!'--While here, I have been doing the tragedy. It is
finished. Four acts have been sent to Forrest, and the fifth only
needs to be copied out....Our folks improve. My wife weighs 112
pounds, Gilmore 38 & myself 170.--The climate here is delicious.
No hot weather. Beautiful hills lie around us garnished with oak,
hickory & chestnut, from clumps of which you see cottages
gleaming white upon the distant summits. We ride or walk at all
times. Mineral Springs bubble out on every hand-- and the gold
dust glimmers among the pebbles that pave the streams. There are
several gold mines in this district, some worked by steam, and the
mineral springs of Iron, Sulphur, Magnesia &c are frequent. One
of the former is on the place where we remain. No healthier region
in the world, far prettier, and more persuasive climate, for August
and Sept. could not be found. I shall buy here & you shall come &
see me in the Summer. The trout streams are numerous. They are
takes of 5 & 6 pounds. Come!--But they use live bait, not the fly.
I shall take & eat one on your account.

By 19 October 1847, Simms would write from Charleston:

I am here again, on the seaboard, and after a two months
ramble among our mountains, I have been for some weeks the
occupant of a camp among the hunters, beyond our remotest
bounds of civilization. I have slept with the howling of the wolf &
the sudden shriek of the panther in my ears, and have eaten my
steaks of venison, fresh from the haunches of the buck, eight
hundred feet above the Atlantic levels.

Simms's single most important mountain journey for his career as author had
come to an end. Years later, he would consult his 1847 mountain journal that he
kept on this trip, for raw material for "Sharp Snaffles," The Cub of the Panther, and other important works.