Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 2) >> 10th Simms Symposium — ''Simms the Poet'' >> Page 31

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Reviews/Essays | 2008
Transcription 10th Simms Symposium-"Simms the Poet"


Joseph Cecil Wingard

{The following detailed essay on the 10th Simms Symposium held in
Athens, GA , 11-13 September 2008 at the Historic T.R.R. Cobb House
is from the skilled pen of poet and journalist Mr Wingard of Andalusia,
AL. It appeared as part of his column in the Andalusia Star-News. Mr
Wingard is a valued member of the Society. One of his poems appeared
as frontispiece to a previous Simms Review. He has graciously given his
permission to publish the piece here in the Review. }

"I arrived in Athens, Georgia, to attend a three-day symposium on William Gilmore Simms,
the most prominent writer in the South prior to the War Between the States. The
symposium is sponsored by the S. Society, of which I am a member, and `symns' every .
two years.

"We met in the recently renovated T.R.R. Cobb House.

"This beautifully restored, two-story, pink, wooden, clapboard, ante-bellum house with two
double, octagonal bays on each side and a porch with Doric columns and pilasters between
the bays, featured a balcony with iron-wrought railings, white trim, and green shutters, see
in extensive, attractive landscaping.

"The house, long ago, had been sold to Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta and moved there
for a bed and breakfast. It sat, a ruin, undeveloped, however, some twenty years, until
purchased by the wealthy Watson-Brown Foundation around 2004 and returned to its old
home of Athens and renovated last year. It is rented now for public and private functions.

"Thomas `Tom' Reade Rootes Cobb was a graduate of the University. of Georgia in Athens
and a co-founder of its law school, a Confederate Brigadier General, and the principal
author of the Confederate Constitution. He died for the South in 1862 at Fredericksburg. His
body lay in state in the Cobb House. `Tom' was a younger brother to Howell Cobb, governor
of Georgia, who swore in Jefferson Davis as first and only president of the Confederate
States of America in Montgomery, Alabama. Two ante-bellum homes of Howell Cobb stand