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[246] Frederick Law Olmsted sketched the South of the mid-nineteenth century more vividly than did the sons of the soil. There was no real literary public in the South for a native writer like Simms. He was as dependent upon New York and the Northern market as a Virginian tobacco-planter of 1740 had been upon London. But within a dozen years after the close of the War and culminating in the eighteen-nineties, there came a rich and varied harvest of Southern writing, notably in the field of fiction. The public for these stories, it is true, was still largely in the North and West, and it was the magazines and publishing-houses of New York and Boston that gave the Southern authors their chief stimulus and support. It was one of the happy proofs of the solidarity of the new nation.

The romance of the Spanish and French civilization of New Orleans, as revealed in Mr. Cable's fascinating Old Creole days, was recognized, not as something merely provincial in its significance, but as contributing to the infinitely variegated pattern of our national life. Irwin Russell, Joel Chandler Harris, and Thomas Nelson Page portrayed in verse and prose the humorous, pathetic, unique traits of the Southern negro, a type hitherto

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W. G. Simms (1)
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