William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870)

Edited by Louis P. Masur

in “… The Real War Will Never Get in the Books”

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780195098372
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853908 | DOI:
William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870)

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William Gilmore Simms was the most prolific and best-known Southern writer of the day. After 1825, when he published his first work, a poem on the death of Charles Pinckney, Simms produced a huge and diverse body of work. Less than a year into the Rebellion he proclaimed he was sick of hearing and talking of the war. His pamphlet, Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, reveals a man overwhelmed by the horror that now enveloped his world. He also edited a volume of War Poetry of the South. He edited several newspapers. He had convinced himself that his slaves were loyal and loving, but after the war, when only three of the remaining fifty freedmen agreed to be hired by their former master's son, Simms lashed out at Southern blacks and Northern whites and the new economic arrangements that would require a flexibility of which Simms was incapable.

Keywords: William Gilmore Simms; Charles Pinckney; Rebellion; slaves; blacks; whites

Chapter.  10251 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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