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 26

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Page 26

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 26
dignity, wealth, and influence, that although but half a million, they are able to control twelve and a half millions, and do in fact govern the Union ; and the plan is now laid to keep up and increase their dignity, wealth, and power, to future generations. They have managed so wisely as to get the whole Union bound by the Constitution to keep their slaves in subjection, and allow them. a representation in the General Government in proportion to the number of their slaves. The increase of these, already 54,000 'a year, will soon give the increase of one Representative every year. . By the aid of the rest of the Union, the slaves can be' kept in subjection until they shall have become much more numerous than the white people, provided they are prevented from learning to read, and thus kept in total ignorance. 'And for this purpose, laws are passed with heavy penalties against teaching slaves to read. Now it is obvious, that by those means Slavery might be extended to remote posterity, especially with what assistance the Colonization Society might be able to give them, by carrying off occasionally a little of the surplusage. Every one can easily see that these Southern gentlemen have before them a magnificent prospect of wealth and power, provided the rest of the Union will continue to be their humble servants in enabling them to keep their slaves in subjection. Now the avowed design of the Abolitionists is to abolish Slavery�not ,indeed by force of arms, but by forming against it public opinion, which will be even more powerful. They have combined together to propagate the doctrine, that ` all men are made of one blood,' and of course are `treated equal.' Vast sums of money are now pledged to prop-agate the sentiment throughout the whole land. Agents are lecturing, papers are circulating, societies are forming, and thousands continually joining them. It seems as if the world will soon be on fire. What is to be done ? Argument has been tried and exhausted in vain ! Mobs have been tried with little . effect! The heresy spreads like fire in the whirl-wind. The last remedy is now demanded�Extermination entire,�nothing less will do! If matters go on as they are, the result is obvious :�Every man who does not hold slaves will set his face against Slavery�and then, how will half a million of men continue to hold more than two millions in bondage ? Mark the design! All force is disavowed ; but then, the slaveholder must, so soon as the tide of public opinion rolls against him, yield up his slaves: be cannot hold them without aid ; much less can he bear the reproach that will be heaped upon him.
" It is not to be disguised, Sir, that war- has broken out between the South and. the North, not easily to be terminated. Political and commercial men, for their own purposes, are industriously striving to restore peace. But the peace which they. may accomplish will be superficial and hollow. ' True and permanent peace can only be restored by removing the cause of the war--that; is, slavery. It can never be established on any .other terms. The sword ,now drawn will not be sheathed till