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 126

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Page 126

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 126
evil to us, and even to declare that our Nothern States
ought to withdraw from the Confederacy rather than
continue to be contaminated by it. The American Abo-
litionists appear to concur fully in these sentiments, and
a portion at least of them are incessantly threatening to
dissolve the Union. Nor should I be at all surprised if
they succeed. It would not be difficult, in my opinion, to
conjecture which region, the North or South, would
suffer most by such an event. For one I should not
object, by any means, to cast my lot in a confederacy
of States whose citizens might all be slave-holders.
I endorse without reserve the much-abused senti-
ment of Gov. M'Dufe, that " slavery is the corner
stone of our Republican edifice ; " while I repudiate, as
ridiculously absurd, that much-lauded but nowhere
accredited dogma of Mr. Jefferson, that " all men are
born equal+" No Society has ever yet existed, and I
have already incidentally quoted the highest authority
to show that none will ever exist, without a natural
variety of classes. The most marked of these must, in a
country like ours, be the rich and the poor, the educated
and the ignorant. It will scarcely be disputed that the
very poor have less leisure to prepare themselves for
the proper discharge of public duties than the rich ;
and that the ignorant are wholly unfit for them at all.
In all countries save ours these two classes, or the poor
rather, who are presumed to be necessarily ignorant,
are by law expressly excluded from all participation
in the management of public affairs, In a Republican
Government this cannot be done. Universal suffrage,
though not essential in theory, seems to be in fact a
necessary appendage to a Republican system. Where
universal suffrage obtains, it is obvious that the govern-