Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Speech on the Justice of Receiving Petitions for the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia >> Page 15

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription SPEECH
ON THE JUSTICE OF RECEIVING PETITIONS FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
THE motion of Mr. Cushing, of Massachusetts, to
receive the petition of sundry inhabitants of Massa-
chusetts praying for the abolition of Slavery and the
Slave-trade in the District of Columbia being under
consideration :
Mr. Hammond said, that when he had first demand-
ed the preliminary question of reception on the presenta-
tion of a similar petition some weeks ago, it was his hope
and expectation that it would be decided without de-
bate. On every subsequent occasion when he had felt
it his duty to make a similar demand, he had enter-
tained the same desire, and had himself refrained from
taking any part in the discussions which had arisen.
It was obvious, however, that gentlemen presenting
these petitions were determined to discuss them ; and
after what had occurred on last petition-day, he con-
cluded that no petition would be offered to the House
hereafter, without a preliminary speech as well as mo-
tion. As much, therefore, as he felt indisposed to
block the proceedings of the House on this important
day, he thought perhaps he had as well say at once
what he had to say on this subject in its present stage,