CDV OF JAMES SIMONS, SOUTH CAROLINA SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

$195.00

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Item Code: 1138-1602

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This image is a full-standing studio view of Simons. He wears an officiant's robe of Speaker of the South Carolina House. Image is clear with very good contrast. Plain mount in very good condition. Period ink identification along bottom edge of mount. No photographer's backmark. Pencil notes on back.

James Simons (1813-1879) of Charleston, S.C., was a lawyer, legislator, and militia general. He was speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives when the war broke out, he was appointed by President Jefferson Davis as the first general officer of the Confederacy. As brigadier general of South Carolina Militia Fourth Infantry Brigade, he led the first attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861.

As a boy Simons was placed under the tutelage of Mr. McClintock, a well-known and respected teacher of Pendleton, South Carolina. Later he enrolled at the College of Charleston, but soon left and transferred to South Carolina College, now the University of South Carolina where he graduated number one in the class of 1833. He then decided to pursue a law degree and studied in the law office of Eggleston & Frost.

In 1835 he was admitted to the bar and began his law practice. In 1842 Simons was elected to represent Charleston in the House of Representative of South Carolina. By 1850 he was elected Speaker of the House succeeding J. Izard Middleton. At the time South Carolina seceded from the Union he had risen to the command of the Fourth Brigade of the State Militia.

At the start of the Civil War Simons was the first general officer of the Confederacy appointed by Jefferson Davis. He was the commanding officer of the Confederate defenses at Morris Island during the first attack at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. General Pierre Beauregard would send a letter to Simons expressing his earnest wish that he might have the benefits of his services should he again be called upon to command Carolina troops. A difference with then Governor Pickens barred the way to longer active service befitting his rank and position, but Simons cheerfully volunteered as a private soldier in the Marion Artillery.

After the war Simons became President of the State Society of the Cincinnati as well as continuing his law profession. He died on April 26, 1879 (aged 65) and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.

This image was from the collection of the late William A. Turner.  [jet] [PH:L]

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