Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 13: No 2) >> A New Simms Letter from 1836 >> Page 1

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 1

Correspondence | 2005
Transcription A NEW SIMMS LETTER FROM 1836

Mrs Anne Simms Pincus of New Orleans has discovered among her
newly acquired rare Simms editions, an important early letter written by the
author. She has granted us permission to print it here for the first time.
This becomes the seventh new Simms letter to be published in The Sinuns
Review since its first issue in 1993.
New Yorker Charles Chamberlain, Jr. Esq., to whom the letter is
addressed, is not mentioned in the Simms Letters or in Simms biographies.
Research yields only the information that a Charles Chamberlain, Jr., of
New York City was married to Regina McKinley of Brooklyn on 2 June
1864. The "Esq. " that Simms attaches to Chamberlain's name would suggest
his profession was a lawyer. Searches of New York magazines has turned
up no title edited by Chamberlain. Perhaps the project for which he was
soliciting contributions from Simms never materialised. That he was asking
Simms for contributions in 1836 points to the author's standing in the
American literary scene of the day.
This new letter of 9 December 1836 fills in a major biographical gap.
Simms was married on the night of Tuesday, 15 November 1836. He wrote
a letter from Charleston on Friday, 18 November saying he would "leave
tomorrow for the country"---that is, for Woodlands. As the new letter
reveals, some time between 19 November and 9 December Simms spent a
"protracted" visit "at the north. " Was this his honeymoon? Did he take this
opportunity to introduce his new wife to the Lawsons (married the previous
year) and his other New York friends? No firm evidence exists that he took
his new bride with him, but Simms refers to her and his daughter Augusta's
accompaniment of him on his trip to New York some six months later in
June 1837. It is very likely that she went with him in 1836 as well.