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 43

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Page 43

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 43
mels of centuries of ignorance and sloth, he has been
pressing onward for good and evil, with an energy
tremendous and terrific. All nature has felt the im-
pulse. The thin air has been converted into a resist-
less power. Steam, whose every definition was an
useless vapor, has been made the most tremendous
engine which has ever yet been placed in human hands
overcoming in its infancy time, space, and resistance
with a celerity and ease just not supernatural. Rail.
roads have been thrown over swamps, rivers, lakes and
mountains, which, connecting new and distant points,
open vast channels for intercourse and commerce.
Labor-saving machinery of every kind has been incal-
culably improved: much of it perfected. In one word,
we have reached a period when physical impossibilities
are no longer spoken of. What was visionary yester-
day, is planned, estimated and resolved upon to-day
to-morrow it is put in execution, and the third day
superseded by something more wonderful and more
important still.
During the period of this mighty change, the great
struggle between the rulers and the ruled has been
carried on with corresponding vigor ; through the thou-
sand channels which genius has opened, wealth has
flown in to aid it in its contest with the strong arm of
power. The two combined, finding themselves still
unable to cope with the time-hardened strength of here-
ditary government, and eager, impatient, almost frenzied
to achieve its conquest, have called in to their assistance
another ally the people. Not the " people " as we
have hitherto been accustomed in this country to define
that term, but the MOB THE SANS-CULLOTTES. Pr0-
claiming as their watchword that now prostituted sen-