Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 103

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Page 103

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 103
I believe you will be equally justified in taking
these measures as early and decisively as in your judg.
ment you may deem proper.
The State of South-Carolina has been charged, and
sometimes from high quarters, with entertaining a de-
sire to dissolve the Union of these States ; and the ex-
pression of a sentiment looking that way, by any of
her citizens, is widely denounced as treasonable, if not
blasphemous. There is no State which has given, in
its times of trial, a more ardent or effective support to
the Union than our own. There is no State which has
less to gain by anarchy and revolution, or that is less
disposed to plunge into them wantonly. Neither her
fundamental institutions, nor her legislation, betray a
love of change. Her people are steady in their princi-
ples, and loyal to their customs, laws, and constitutions.
But their devotion is not blind. They are not to be
defrauded of their rights under prostituted forms, how-
ever sacred in their origin, nor deterred, either by ob-
loquy or danger, from maintaining them. They are by
no means insensible of the advantages of the Union.
They are not wanting in those sentiments which teach
them to venerate the institutions founded, in, part, by
their own wise and heroic ancestors ; nor in that pride
which would lead them to appreciate the glory of con-
tinuing members of a republic extending over two mil-
lions and a half of square miles, and which might one
day number five hundred millions of enlightened citi-
zens. But the Union was a compact for justice, liberty,
and security. When these fail, its living principles are
gone. SoutheCarolina can have no respect for an empty
name—still less for one which becomes synonymous to
her with oppression, vassalage and danger. It is vain