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