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 136

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Page 136

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 136
But I do not intend to admit that this charge is just
or true. Without meaning to profess uncommon mod-
esty, I will say that I wish the topic could be avoided.
I am of opinion, and I doubt not every right-minded
man will concur, that the public exposure and discus-
sion of this vice, even to rebuke, invariably does more
harm than good ; and if it cannot be checked by instil-
ling pure and virtuous sentiments, it is far worse than
useless to attempt to do it by exhibiting its deform-
ities. I may not, however, pass it over ; nor ought I to
feel any delicacy in examining a question to which the
Slave-holder is invited and challenged by Clergymen
and Virgins. So far from allowing, then, that licen-
tiousness pervades this region, I broadly assert, and I
refer to the records of our Courts, to the public press,
and to the knowledge of all who have ever lived here,
that among our white population, there are fewer cases
of divorce, separation, trim. con. seduction, rape and
bastardy, than among any other five millions of people
on the civilized earth. And this fact I believe will be
conceded by the Abolitionists of this country them-
selves. I am almost willing to refer it to them and
submit to their decision on it. I would not hesitate to
do so if I thought them capable of an impartial judg.
meat on any matter where Slavery is in question. Bu{
it is said that the licentiousness consists in the constan-
intercourse between white males and colored females
One of your heavy charges against us has been that w(
regard and treat these people as brutes ; you nog-
charge us with habitually taking them to our bosome-
I will not comment on the inconsistency of these actin
ations. I will not deny that some intercourse of th'
sort does take place. Its character and extent, how