William Gilmore Simms (April 17, 1806 – June 11, 1870) was a poet, novelist and historian from the American South. His writings achieved great prominence during the 19th century, with Edgar Allan Poe pronouncing him the best novelist America had ever produced. He is still known among literary scholars as a major force in antebellum Southern literature. He is also remembered for his strong support of slavery and for his opposition to Uncle Tom's Cabin, in response to which he wrote reviews and a pro-slavery novel.
Simms was born on April 17, 1806, in Charleston, South Carolina, of Scots-Irish ancestors. His mother died during his infancy, and his father failed in business and joined Coffee's Indian fighters; as a result, Simms was brought up by his grandmother. In his teen years, he worked as a clerk in a drug store but began to study law at the age of eighteen. He married Anna Malcolm Giles in 1826. The bar of Charleston admitted him to practice in 1827, though he soon abandoned this profession for literature...
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