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 128

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 128

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 128
country, ensure us a repose and security known no-
where else. You cannot be ignorant that, excepting
the United States, there is no country in the world
whose existing Government would not be overturned
in a month, but for its standing armies, maintained at
an enormous and destructive cost to those whom they
are destined to overawe so rampant and combative
is the spirit of discontent wherever nominal Free labor
prevails, with its ostensive privileges and its dismal
servitude. Nor will it be long before the " Free States"
of this Union will be compelled to introduce the same
expensive machinery to preserve order among their
" free and equal " citizens. Already has Philadelphia
organized a permanent Battalion for this purpose ; New
York, Boston and Cincinnati will soon follow her ex-
ample ; and then the smaller towns and densely popu-
lated counties. The intervention of their militia to re-
press violations of the peace is becoming a daily affair.
A strong Government, after some of the old fashions
though probably with a new name sustained by the
force of armed mercenaries, is the ultimate destiny of
the non-slave-holding section of this confederacy, and
one which may not be very distant.
It is a great mistake to suppose, as is generally done
abroad, that in case of war slavery would be a source
of weakness. It did not weaken Rome, nor Athens,
nor Sparta ; though their slaves were comparatively far
more numerous than ours, of the same color for the
most part with themselves, and large numbers of them
familiar with the use of arms. I have no apprehension
that our slaves would seize such an opportunity to revolt.
The present generation of them, born among us, would
never think of such a thing at any time, unless insti-