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” …
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Meats, Stephen E.. "William Gilmore Simms". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2005
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