Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 13: No 2) >> Simms Letter to the Editor >> Page 32

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 32

Reviews/Essays | 1836-01-12
Simms was likely the author of the letter of commendation appended to
the end of the following piece, published in The Southern Literary Journal
of 1 December 1836, pp. 306-307. The twenty-four signers comprise a
virtual who's who of Charleston's most respected intelligentsia.


TO OUR PATRONS AND THE PUBLIC--The Southern Literary Journal has now been
in existence between one and two years, and has been sustained, during that
period, by a friendly feeling in the community, and a gneerous and steady sup-
port. Enbracing articles of a popular character, and coming monthly into the
hands of its patrons, it is calculated, as is believed, to subserve better the objects
and wishes of the reading public, than a ponderous quarterly jounral, replete with
elaborate and grave discussion, and which is but seldom published. Monthly
Journals, accordingly, throughout the United States, have sustained themselves
better, and been better sustained by public opinion, than the heavier Reviews,
which meet the demands, and accommodate themselves to the tastes, of only the
most learned and critical readers. Where education is as widely diffused as it is
in our country, and is a blessing brought home to the door of every citizen, each
individual feels an interest int eh current literature of the day, is anxious to share
in the improvements of an enlightened age,--and popular journals, whose numbers
appear regularly, and at short intervals, create a lively interest, and skillfully con-
ducted, may be made to bear beneficially upon the best interests of the community,
and to exert a healthful influence in enlightening the minds, and elevating the
aims of the whole people, while they, at the same time, contribute largely to inno-
cent and elegant recreation. A Southern journal of literature, published in a
country abounding with accomplished and erudite scholars, should, however, em-
body the opinions of those who are capable of giving a high tone and character to
the literature of the South, and, consequently, to American literature. It requires
no magic art, should there fortunately be a concurrence of opinion as to the promo-
tion of the object by thsoe most competent to aid it, to accomplish these two results
in the pages of a monthly periodical. This work, which has heretofore assumed
only the character of a magazine, will therefore be so modified hereafter as to an-
swer these ends, and its title be slightly altered to meet this arrangement. It will
embrace able and elaborate Reviews from the most competent and distinguished
pens, or, as may occasionally be preferred, articles in which an entire subject shall
be treated, setting forth opinions, to which the work will steadfastly adhere, and
for which it will be responsible. So much is due to the learning and high literary
character in the community in which we live. The lighter kinds of literature,
thsioe proper to a popular Magazine or Journal, will receive their due share of at-
tention, more, in fact, than they have hitherto done. The co-operation of many
writers has been secured, who are capable of imparting additional interest and
brilliancy to this fascinating department. The literary notices of recent works is-
sued from the press will also be extended, and such arrangements have been made
with the largest publishing houses in the United States, that they will be received
and attended to, as soon after publication as possible. In order to accomplish