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 28

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 28
mination�and to act the more efficiently, form ourselves into a society and adopt the following, &c.
Here is a circular, dated " Pautucket, Rhode Isl-
and, Jan. 12, 183G," calling a " Rhode Island Anti-
Slavery Convention," to meet shortly at Providence.
It is signed by eight hundred and forty persons. I
will read from it the following remarkable passage,
from which it may be seen how deep the roots of this
hostility to our institutions have struck into the foun-
dations of society.
" Our country friends, we hope, will attend as numerously as they
have signed the circular. The wealth and aristocracy of our cities are against us. They sympathize not with the ` poor and needy,' but with ` the arrogant and him of high looks.' Let our laboring men, then, the mechanics and the farmers, attend the Convention. They can easily arrange their business so as to make it convenient to be in Providence at that time."
Here, Sir, is the Prospectus of the sixth volume of
the " LIBERATOR," published at Boston by Isaac Knapp.
Prefixed to it is an incendiary picture, and it contains
the following passage, which exhibits, possibly with
some exaggeration, in a strong point of view, the ex-
tent of the agitation on this subject throughout the
non-slaveholding States.
" The sixth volume of the ` Liberator' commences on the first of January, 1836. During the term of its existence, it has succeeded, in despite of calumny and a strong opposition, in dispelling the apathy of the nation, creating an extraordinary and most auspicious interest for the op-pressed, inducing a rigid investigation of the subject, and securing a host, of mortal combatants who are pledged never to retreat from the field. The wrongs of the slaves�the danger of keeping them longer in bondage�the duty of giving them immediate freedom�are the topics of conversation or discussion in all debating societies�in lyceums�in stage3 and steamboats�in pulpits and in periodicals�in the family circle, and between a man and his friend. The current public sentiment is turning, and soon it will roll a mighty river, sweeping away in its healthful and resistless career all the pollutions of slavery."