Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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Secondary Scholarship | 2000
Transcription Trelawny In Charleston

James Everett Kibler

Mary Esther Huger (1820 - 1898), daughter of Col. Francis Kinloch Huger
(1773 - 1855) and Harriott Pinckney Huger (1783 - 1824), composed a memoir
during the years 1888 to 1890, in which she recalled meeting Trelawny as a young girl
on the streets of Charleston.1 Trelawny, Lord Byron's friend in his last years, and his
associate in the struggle for Greek independence, was present when Byron died in
Greece in April 1824.
Mary Huger writes:

we met one day in the street Trelawny, Byron's friend. I am afraid I
must have read some of Byron's poetry or I would not have thought
again of Trelawny. He was walking with Mrs. Irving, the very
handsome Aunt of Bessie Hamilton. She stopped and spoke to us, and
he remarked what a pretty child my sister Hagee was - and that is all
I know of him.

Mary's sister "Hagee" (Harriott Horry Huger) was born in 1822, and the
meeting with Trelawny must have occurred some time between 1828 (the year of the
death of her uncle Thomas Pinckney) and 1830. Mary Huger remembers that about
the time of meeting Trelawny, she heard of the death of her distant cousin John Henry
Rutledge, a death by suicide over not being able to marry the woman he loved. This
occurred in 1830. (Rutledge is buried at Hampton Plantation on the Santee.)
The Mrs. Irving to whom Mary Huger refers is Emma Maria Cruger Irving.
In 1823, she married Dr. John Beaufain Irving (1800 - 1881), author, Sheriff of
Charleston, and sometime editor of the Courier. Irving was an early friend of Simms,
and was collected by him in his Charleston Book (1845). The two men had much in
common, including a shared interest in Coleridge. Irving's lecture on Coleridge was
much admired; and Coleridge was an abiding influence on Simms, especially in his
early years.
It is reasonable to conjecture that as friends and fellow literary men in
Charleston, Irving and Simms may both have entertained Trelawny, and that Simms
at the least would have wanted to greet him. We know that as a boy, one of Simms's

1 Mary Esther Huger, The Recollection of n iIappv Childhood, ed Mary Stevenson, (Pendleton,
South Carolina, 1976), p. 48.