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 27

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Page 27

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 27
victory, entire victory, is ours or theirs ; not until that deep and damning
staiu is washed out from our nation, or the chains of Slavery are riveted
afresh where they now are, and. on our necks also. It is idle, criminal,
to speak of peace on any other terms."
Sir, while we are discussing the question of the
reception of these :petitions, movements are making at
the north, and ; societies are springing .up like mush-
rooms. Here :are the proceedings of a meeting held
within- a- few weeks past, at Lowell, Massachusetts, the
centre of the tariff interest, at which was formed a
Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society," the preamble
of. whose constitution I will read :
"WHEREAS, unconditional slavery exists to a fearful extent amongst
us as a nation, in violation of those principles that moved our fathers to
the dreadful struggle of the Revolution´┐Ż' that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'" WHEREAS, the aristocracy of the South are determined to perpetuate
it by means scarcely less dreadful than,,the tortures of the Inquisition, and
the [bastard] aristocracy of the North are aiding their ' chivalrous' corn-
peers of the South in their inhuman endeavors by misrepresenting, slan-
dering, threatening, and imprisoning those who boldly espouse the cause
of universal freedom, and further by circulating publications and making
speeches so highly incendiary as to excite mobs, and impel them to their
ruthless work of terror and destruction.
" WHEREAS, the crisis has ' arrived at which the descendants of the
pilgrims must determine whether they will establish the shameful and
cowardly precedent of surrendering their most sacred rights at the nod
of an arrogant, domineering, and self-constituted aristocracy, or in the
spirit of their fathers manfully maintain them.
AND WHEREAS, if we remain silent and inactive we effectually sur-
render those rights, and with them the hopes of the slave, till the predic-
tion of Jefferson shall be realized, and the slave, fearless and free, shall
till the land of his thraldom enriched with the blood of his master. THEREFORE, RESOLVED, under a deep sense of duty to ourselves, to the
slave, to our country, and to God, that ` sink or swim, live or die, survive
or perish,' we will exercise the right of discussing the subject of slavery ;
that we will use all constitutional and peaceful means for its speedy ter-