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 139

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Page 139

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 139
In an economical point of view which I will not
omit Slavery presents some difficulties. As a gener-
al rule, I agree, it must be admitted that free labor is
cheaper than Slave labor. It is a fallacy to suppose
that ours is unpaid labor. The slave himself must be
paid for, and thus his labor is all purchased at once,
and for no trifling sum. His price was in the first
place paid mostly to your countrymen; and assisted in
building up some of those colossal English fortunes,
since illustrated by patents of nobility and splendid
piles of architecture—stained and cemented, if youlike
the expression, with the blood of kidnapped innocents,
but loaded with no heavier curses than Abolition and
its begotten fanaticisms have brought upon your land
some of them fulfilled, some yet to be. But, besides
the first cost of the slave, he must be fed and clothed
well fed and well clothed if not for humanity's sake,
that he may do good work, retain health and life, and
rear a family to supply his place. When old or sick
he a clear expense, and so is the helpless portion of
his family. No poor law provides for him when un-
able to work, or brings up his children for our service
when we need them. * These are all heavy charges on
slave labor. Hence, in all countries where the dense-
ness of the population has reduced it. to a matter of per-
fect certainty that labor can be obtained whenever
wanted, and the laborer be forced by sheer necessity
to hire for the smallest pittance that will keep soul and
body together and rags upon his back while in actual
employment dependent at all other times on alms or
poor rates—in all such countries it is found cheaper to
pay this pittance than to clothe, feed, nurse, support
through childhood and pension in old age a race of