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 31

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Page 31

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 31
volume which I hold in my hand. It is a treatise on
this 'subject entitled " Jay's Inquiry "´┐Żwritten by Wil-
liam Jay, a judge, I believe, of the State of New York,
and a son of the distinguished John Jay. More than
five thousand copies of this work, I am told, have been
sold. He says, " the Society aimed at effecting the fol-
lowing objects',- viz. :
" 1st. The immediate Abolition of Slavery through-
out the United States.
" 2d.. As a- necessary consequence, the suppression
of the American Slave-Trade.
" 3d. The ultimate elevation of the black popula-
tion to an equality 'with the white in civil and reli-
gious privileges." p. 141.
Sir, the abolition cf slavery can be expected to be
effected in but three ways : through the medium of
the: slaveholder or -the Government--or the slaves
I think I may say that , any appeal to the slave-
holders will be in vain, In the whole history of the
question of Emancipation in Europe or America, I do
not remember a dozen instances of masters freeing
their : slaves, at least during their own lifetime, from
any qualms of conscience. If they are seized with
these qualms, they usually sell their slaves first, and
then give in their adhesion to the cause, as has been
the case with many whom I could mention.
The. Abolitionist can appeal only to the hopes or
fears or' interest of the slaveholder to induce him to
emancipate his' slaves. So far as our hopes are con-
cerned, I believe I can say. we are perfectly satisfied.
We have been born and bred in a slave-country. Our
habits are accommodated to them, and so far as we. have