TIMROD, HENRY. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, 1829; died in Columbia, South Carolina, 1867. Henry Timrod was one of the most gifted of the Southern poets, but like his friend, Paul Hamilton Hayne, suffered to such a degree from the devastation wrought by the war that his gifts had no opportunity to develop as they would have under more favorable circumstances. He was the son of a bookbinder, who was himself something of a poet. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he became a correspondent of the "Charleston Mercury" and later assistant editor of the "South Carolinian" of Columbia. Sherman's troops so devastated this region that Timrod's home in Columbia was broken up, and the death of a favorite child having still further saddened him, he was unable to regain a hold upon life. After a struggle of two or three years with poverty and illness, he died while still at the best promise of his art. His poems, which were originally printed in 1860, were necessarily neglected owing to the public mind being focused on the approaching war, but his friend, Paul Hamilton Hayne, rescued them and in 1873 published them with a fitting and sympathetic memoir.

This biographical note is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.



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