Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 10: No 2) >> An Unrecorded 1879 Simms Notice from the New York World / The Simms Memorial at Charleston. / The Simms Memorial. >> Page 17

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Scholarship | 2002
Transcription of that novel of the then Mr. Bulwer. He was
then a precticing lawyer in Charleston, where
his father, whose name he bore, has once been
a merchant. But after his marriage in 1836 to
the daugher of a wealthy planter in Barnwell
District, Mr. Simms, with the earnest coopera-
tion of all parties interested, was enabled to de-
vote himself exclusively to literature.
He took up the history of the colonial and
revolutionary South with zeal, and treated it
with persistent energy. His "Partisan,""Mellichampe" and "Rebel of Dorchester"
--which form a trilogy--rank in subject-matter
and treatment with the "Lionel Lincoln" and
"Spy" of Fenimore Cooper. The action of
these three novels covers the exciting period of
active warfare during the American Revolu-
tion upon South cArolina soil. After these
came "The Scout,""Woodcrafts,""Eutaw,""Guy Rivers,""Richard Hurdis,""Border
Beagles." Beauchampe" and "Helen Halsey."
Of his romances founded on American history
the best known are "The Yemassee"--which
pictures Indian life at the South as Cooper's
"West of the Wish-ton-wish" picutres it at the
North, the "Lily and the Totem" and "Vas-
concelos"--the first a tale of the unfortunate
Huguenot settlement in Florida and the last
founded upon the marvellous and melancholy
story of De Soto the discoverer. Mr. Simms
produced on the stage with come soccess two
original dramas--"Norman Maurice; or, The
Man of the People," and "Michael Bonham;
or, The Fall of the Alamo," and he wrote inter-
esting biographies of "Captain John Smith,""General Marion" the "Swamp Fox," the
"Chevalier Bayard""and "General Greene."
Int he early part of his literary career he was
the editor of the Charleston City Gazette
to which he contributed a series of strong arti-
cles against nullification. His contributions to
literature in magazines, reviews and pamphlets
were incessant throughout his life. Undoubt-
edly he deserves to be called the most prolific
of American authors. But although he wrote
rapidly his style was finished and vigorous. He
was a careful delineator of character, a vivid
"word-painter," especially happy with his de-
scriptions of scenery and a master in the con-
sistent construction of plots. Most emphati-
cally too it may be said of him that there is not
a line he ever wrote which "dying
he would with to blot" on account of
its morbid or morally unwholesome then-
dencies. In private life he was the