Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Two Letters on the Subject of Slavery in the United States, Addressed to Thomas Clarkson, Esq. >> Page 118

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Page 118

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 118
ancient branch of commerce--'and that your efforts to
suppress it have effected nothing more than a three-
fold increase of its horrors. There is a God who rules
this world All powerful Farseeing : He does not
permit His creatures to foil His designs. It is He
who, for His allwise, though to us often inscrutable
purposes, throws " impossibilities " in the way of our
fondest hopes and most strenuous exertions. Can you
doubt this ?
Experience having settled the point that this Trade
cannot be abolished by the use of force, and that block-
ading squadrons serve only to make it more profitable
and more cruel, I am surprised that the attempt is per-
sisted in, unless it serves as a cloak to other purposes.
It would be far better than it now is, for the African,
if the trade was free from all restrictions, and left to
the mitigation and decay which time and competition
would surely bring about. If kidnapping, both secret-
ly and by war made for the purpose, could be by any
means prevented in Africa, the next greatest blessing
you could bestow upon that country would be to trans-
port its actual slaves in comfortable vessels across the
Atlantic. Though they might be perpetual bondsmen,
still they would emerge from darkness into light--
from barbarism to civilization from idolatry to Chris*
tianity in short from death to life.
But let us leave the African slave trade, which has
so signally defeated the Philanthropy of the world,
and turn to American slavery, to which you have now
directed your attention, and against which a crusade
has been preached as enthusiastic and ferocious as that
of Peter the Hermit destined, I believe, to be about
as successful. And, here let me say, there is a vast dif,