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 131

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Page 131

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 131
sections of these recently settled countries, and will as
naturally cease in due time. Adventurers from the
older States and from Europe, as desperate in charac-
ter as they are in fortune, congregate in these wild re-
gions, jostling one another and often forcing the peace-
able and honest into rencontres in self-defence. Sla-
very has nothing to do with these things. Stability and
peace are the first desires of every slave-holder, and the
true tendency of the system. It could not possibly exist
amid the eternal anarchy and civil broils of the ancient
Spanish dominions in America. And for this very
reason domestic slavery has ceased there. So far from
encouraging strife, such scenes of riot and bloodshed
as have within the last few years disgraced our Nor-
thern cities, and as you have lately witnessed in Bir-
mingham and Bristol and Wales, not only never have
occurred, but I will venture to say never will occur in
our slave-holding States. The only thing that can cre-
ate a mob (as you might call it) here, is the appearance
of an Abolitionist, whom the people assemble. to chas-
tise. And this is no more of a mob, than a rally of
shepherds to chase a wolf out of their pastures would
be one.
But we are swindlers and repudiators ! Pennsyl-
vania is not a slave State. A majority of the States
which have failed to meet their obligations punctually
are non-slave-holding ; and two-thirds of the debt said
to be repudiated is owed by these States. Many of
the States of this Union are heavily encumbered with
debt none so hopelessly as England. Pennsylvania
owes $22 for each inhabitant England $222, counting
her paupers in. Nor has there been any repudiation,
definite and final, of a lawful debt, that I am aware of.