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 33

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Page 33

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 33
ished. In northern latitudes, where no great agricul-
tural staple is produced, and where care, skill, and a
close economy enter largely into the elements of pro-
duction, free labor has been found more valuable than
that of slaves. You will there find labor usually ex-
ercised in small combinations under the immediate eye
of a watchful and frugal master. I speak more par-
ticularly of those who cultivate the soil ; but the large
masses of mechanical operatives who are brought
together form no exception to the principle. They are
classified. There is an accurate division of their labor ;
each branch of it requires peculiar art, and in the
higher departments a degree of skill must be attained,
to produce which, stronger stimulants are necessary
than can be ordinarily applied to slaves.
In such countries the dominant classes have found
it to their advantage to permit each individual to ac-
cumulate for himself, and to deprive him of a portion
of his earnings sufficient for their purposes through
the operations of the government. Hence the partial
emancipation of the serfs of the continent of Europe.
Hence the abandonment of villeinage in England.
And hence the emancipation of slaves in the free states
of this Union. But in southern latitudes, where great
agricultural staples are produced, and where not only
a large combination of labor under the. direction of
one head is required, but it is also necessary that the
connection between the operatives and that head should
be absolute and indissoluble, domestic slavery is indis-
pensable. To such a country it is as natural as the
clime itself as to the birds and beasts to which that
climate is congenial. The camel loves the desert ; the
reindeer seeks the everlasting snows ; the wild fowl