8 September 2010

William Gilmore Simms and Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Literary Tour, Part Two: #16

William Gilmore Simms (1806-70) was a poet, novelist, and biographer of the antebellum period, and as such it almost goes without saying that his writing was pro-slavery, and therefore anti-Tom. Several of his books are online, amongst which are:

Simms was born in Charleston and his bust stands in White Point Gardens, The Battery, looking away from the Atlantic Ocean.

Simms began his professonal life as a lawyer, but soon gave it up to write. He was a popular writer, and received praise from Edgar Allan Poe, but the War Between the States destroyed him financially and spiritually. Although his works are now largely forgotten, a William Gilmore Simms Society exists.

The base of this memorial a few hundred yards from Simms's bust is blank, apart from the handwritten message: 'This memorial is dedicated to all those smart enough to live and die for themselves and not for oppresive [sic] fascist governments.' The anarchist symbol under this message suggests that the writer was referring to all governments.

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