Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Letter to the Free Church of Glasgow, on the Subject of Slavery >> Page 108

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Page 108

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 108
crime, in regulating and perpetuating slavery in the
Old Testament, and the most criminal neglect, in not
only not abolishing, but not even reprehending it, in
the New ? If these Testaments came from God, it is
impossible that slavery can " traverse the laws of
nature, or violate the primary rights of man." What
those laws and rights really are, mankind have not
agreed. But they are clear to God ; and it is blas-
phemous for any of His creatures to set up their notions
of them in opposition to His immediate and acknowl-
edged Revelation. Nor does our system of slavery
outrage the most sacred domestic relations. Husbands
and wives, parents and children, among our slaves, are
seldom separated, except from necessity or crime. The
same reasons induce much more frequent separations
among the white population in this, and, I imagine, in
almost every other country.
But I make bold to say that the Presbytery of the
Free Church of Glasgow, and nearly all the abolition-
fists in every part of the world, in denouncing our
domestic slavery, denounce a thing of which they know
absolutely nothing nay, which does not even exist.
You weep over the horrors of the Middle Passage,
which have ceased, so far as we are concerned ; and
over pictures of chains and lashes here, which have no
1 existence but in the imagination. Our sympathies are
almost equally excited by the accounts published by
your Committees of Parliament—and therefore true ;
and which have been verified by the personal observa-
tion of many of us of the squalid misery, loathsome
disease, and actual starvation, of multitudes of the
unhappy laborers not of Ireland only, but of Eng-
land nay, of Glasgow itself. Yet we never presume