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 134

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Page 134

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 134
to exhibit their zeal before the world. So far as num-
bers are concerned, I believe our clergymen, when
called on to make a showing, have never had occasion
to blush, if comparisons were drawn between the free
and slave States. And although our presses do not
teem with controversial pamphlets, nor our pulpits
shade with excommunicating thunders, the daily walk
of our religious communicants furnishes apparently as
little food for gossip as is to be found in most other
regions. It may be regarded as a mark of our want of
excitability though that is a quality accredited to us
in an eminent degree that few of the remarkable
religious i8ms of the present day have taken root
among us. We have been so irreverent as to laugh at
Mormonism and Millerism, which have created such
commotions farther North ; and modern prophets have
no honor in our country. Shakers, Rappists, Dunkers,
Socialists, Fourrierists and the like keep themselves
afar off. Even Puseyism has not yet moved us. You
may attribute this to our Domestic Slavery if you
choose. I believe you would do so justly. There is
no material here for such characters to operate upon.
But your grand charge is that licentiousness in in-
tercourse between the sexes is a prominent trait of our
social system, and that it necessarily arises from
slavery. This is a favorite theme with the Abolition-
ists, male and female. Folios have been written on it.
It is a common observation, that there is no subject on
which ladies of eminent virtue so much delight to
dwell, and on' which, in especial, learned old maids like
Miss Martineau linger with such an insatiable relish
They expose it in the slave States with the most minute
observance and endless iteration. Miss Martineau, with