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 41

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 41
intimately connected with the true merits of this im-
portant question. I am not disposed to attribute it to
any peculiar feelings of hostility entertained by the
North against the South, arising from position merely.
It is indeed natural that a people not owning slaves
should entertain a strong aversion to domestic servi-
tude. It is natural that the descendants of the Puri-
tans, without any deep investigation of the subject,
should have an instinctive hostility to slavery in every
shape. It is natural that foreigners, with whom the
North is crowded just released themselves from
bondage extravagant in their notions of the freedom
of our institutions, and profoundly ignorant. of the
principles on which society and government are organ-
ized´┐Żshould view with horror the condition of the
Southern operatives. And here let me say that these
opinions, so natural, so strong, and so distinctly mark-
ing the geographical divisions of our country, indicate
differences which, if pushed much further, will inevi-
tably separate us into two nations ; a separation
which I should regard as a calamity to the whole
human race, and which we of the South will endeavor
to avert by every means save the sacrifice of our liber-
ties, or the subversion of our domestic institutions.
But other causes are at work. This excitement
belongs, to the spirit of the age. Every close observer
must perceive that we are approaching, if we have not
already reached, a new era in civilization. The man
of the nineteenth century is not the man of the seven-
teenth, and widely different from him of the eighteenth.
Within the last sixty years there have been greater
changes not on the face of the earth, but in the his-
tory of civilized man, than had taken _place before,