Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Simms's Unpublished Rhymes >> Page 47

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Page 47

Secondary Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 47 THE SIMMS REVIEW

to thank Allen Stokes and the staff at the South Caroliniana for their gracious
hospitality during my residence at the library. I would have accomplished far
less than I did without their knowledgeable assistance.
2. Among the manuscripts in the Charles Carroll Simms Collection is "Sir Will
0' Wisp or the Irish Baroner; A Tale of its own Day," a novella which Simms
left unpublished at the time of his death. Based on a short story called "Jack
0' Lantern" that Simms published earlier in his career, the novella features a
Faustus-like narrator who with considerable trepidation enters into a part-
nership with a very urbane devil. I have completed the transcription of this
manuscript, and hope to have it ready for publication before the next Simms
Conference in 2010.
3. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes cites James Orchard Halliwell-
Phillipps and his The Nursery Rhymes of England as the first authoritative
source on the history of nursery rhymes. First published in 1842, the work was
republished in various editions throughout the nineteenth century: "This collec-
tion, interspersed with notes about the age and origins of the nursery rhymes,
was ... the first to draw attention to the antiquity of the rhymes with any convic-
tion, and the first collection which attempted to be comprehensive .... Together
with Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales [also compiled by Halliwell-Phillipps
in 1849], it is the basis ... of almost every nursery anthology" (Oxford v).
Earlier nursery rhyme editions cited by Halliwell-Phillipps as among his sources
included Infant Institutes (1779), Grammer Gurton's Garland or the Nursery
Parnassus (1810), The Popular Rhymes ofScotland (1824; 1843), and Bellenden
Der's Essay on the Archaeology of Nursery Rhymes (1834) (Opie vi).
4. Historians disagree on the actual publication date, some setting it as early as
1785 for the first printing.
5. Not surprisingly, Simms does not appear in the "Index of Notable Figures
Associated with the Invention, Diffusion, or Illustration of Nursery Rhymes,"
which appears as an index in the Oxford English Dictionary of Nursery
6. A copy of these published rhymes is located in the Charles Carroll Simms
Collection at the South Caroliniana Library.
7. While the preface is signed by the editors of the periodical, I suspect that most,
if not all, of the preface was written by Simms.
8. Rhymes that do not have a title are cited by the first line of the rhyme.
9. I am indebted to members of the Simms family for granting me access to this
10. Descendents of the marsh tacky still live along the South Carolina coast, but
they are an endangered breed, numbering according to most estimates between