William Gilmore Simms, the only writer from the American South, other than Poe, to rank as a major national literary figure before the Civil War, was born 17 April 1806 in Charleston, South Carolina. His grandparents, William and Elizabeth Sims, emigrated from Ireland to South Carolina shortly after the American Revolution. Simms’s father, also named William Gilmore, added the second “m” to the family name. He operated a tavern and grocery in Charleston and married Harriet Singleton in 1804. The couple’s first son died the year Simms was born, and when Simms’s mother and their third child died in childbirth in 1808, Simms’s father, whose business failed about the same time, condemned Charleston as “a place of tombs” and fled to the frontier, leaving two-year-old William,…

2743 words

Citation: Meats, Stephen E.. "William Gilmore Simms". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4078, accessed 29 February 2024.]

4078 William Gilmore Simms 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.