Simms, William Gilmore
- Mary Ann Wimsatt
Simms, William Gilmore (17 April 1806–11 June 1870), author, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Gilmore Simms, a merchant, and Harriet Ann Augusta Singleton. When Simms was not yet two, his mother died in childbirth (the baby dying also); and his disconsolate father, calling Charleston “a place of tombs,” left the city, eventually settling in Mississippi, where he acquired a plantation and remained for the rest of his life (Trent, p. 4). The young Simms was reared in Charleston by his maternal grandmother, Jane Miller Singleton Gates, who told him stories of Indians, pirates, the colonial era, and the American Revolution, thereby stimulating his imagination and furnishing him with a vast fund of material on which he would draw for his writing....