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 37

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Page 37

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 37
slaves are a peaceful, kind hearted and affectionate
race, satisfied with their lot, happy in their comforts,
and devoted to their masters. It will not be an easy
thing to seduce them from their fidelity. But if by an
artful and delusive appeal to his excited passions the
Abolitionist should succeed in drawing the slave into
his fiendish purposes, our never sleeping watchfulness
would speedily detect every conspiracy that might be
formed. Our habits in this respect have become a
second instinct. Our vigilance is as prompt and per-
sonal as our courage as faithful a guardian, and not
more troublesome. It does not arise from fear, but
from the fact that we ourselves, to a great extent,
constitute our own police, and in guarding against
minor evils will not fail to discover every danger of
great magnitude. Such has been and such will always
be the case. Every insurrection which has yet been
meditated,´┐Żand there have been but very few, when
not discovered by some faithful slave, has been soon
discovered by the whites, the unfortunate occurence at
Southampton only excepted--if that can be called an
insurrection which was the bloody outbreaking of six
drunken wretches. I believe that every appeal to the
slave to assist, through the horrid process of burning
and assassination, in his own emancipation, much as it
is (in secret at least) cherished, will be without success.
Sir, I feel firmly convinced that, under any
circumstances, and by any means, emancipation, grad-
ual or immediate, is impossible. We may be disturbed
in our comforts, harassed, injured, perhaps some par-
tial sufferings may be the consequences of their mad
and savage projects, but slavery can never be abolish-
ed. The doom of Ham has been branded on the form