Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 13: No 2) >> A New Simms Obituary—Charleston News, 13 June 1870 >> Page 15

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Obituary | 1870-06-13
Transcription means of his family and he had little classical
training ; but he acquired knowledge with an
astonishing, celerity, and was soon the posses
sor of a vast fund of miscellaneous informa-
tion. At eight he wrote verses, and at eighteen
his self-acquired scholarship was already re-
markable. No professor or college did for
him one-hundredth part of what he did for
himself.
Mr. Simms was originally destined to the
study of medicine. This pursuit jumped not
with his tastes, and he chose the law by pref-
erence, being admitted to the bar at the age
of twenty-one. Law, however, was too te-
dious for the acutely active mind of Mr. Simms,
all whose inclinations lay in the direction of
the pleasant paths of literature. His first ac-
tive literary engagement was in the editorship
of the Charleston City Gazette, a paper which
opposed the doctrine of nullification. The
Gazette was a failure, and Mr. Simms, its pro-
prietor as well as editor, was a heavy loser.
The effect was not unhealthy, for it caused Mr.
Simms to devote himself, in earnest, to litera-
ture as a profession.
The literary debut of Mr. Simms was made in
1826, when he published a Monody on General
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. A volume of
his poems followed in 1827, and Early Lays
was published the same year. The warm
reception given to his first efforts was highly
gratifying. to the young author, who -thence
forward, for more than forty years, applied
himself to those pursuits in which he won fame
for himself and honor for his native State.
The publication of Atalantis in 1832 Intro-
duced Mr. Simms to the literary circles of
New York. The next year the Harpers' pub-
lished his first tale, Martin Faber, the Story of
a Criminal, which at once attracted public at-
tention.
From this time, so uniform was his career,
that a few words will sum up the incidents of