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 141

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Page 141

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 141
tor for his own non-effectives ; and it is both more ex-
pensive to those who pay, and less beneficial to those
who receive its bounties. Besides this, Slavery is rapid-
ly filling up our country with a hardy and healthy race,
peculiarly adapted to our climate and productions, and
conferring signal political and social advantages on us
as a people to which I have already referred.
I have yet to reply to the main ground on which
you and your coadjutors rely for the overthrow of our
system of slavery. Failing in all your attempts to
prove that it is sinful in its nature, immoral in its effects,
a political evil, and profitless to those who maintain it,
you appeal to the sympathies of mankind, and attempt
to arouse the world against us by the most shocking
charges of tyranny and cruelty. You begin by a vehe-
ment denunciation of " the irresponsible power of one
man over his fellow men." The question of the re-
sponsibility of power is a vast one. It is the great po-
litical question of modern times. Whole nations divide
off upon it and establish different fundamental systems
of government. That "responsibility," which to one
set of millions seems amply sufficient to check the gov-
ernment, to the support of which they devote their lives
and fortunes, appears to another set of millions a mere
mockery of restraint. And accordingly as the opinions
of these millions differ, they honor each other with the
epithets of " Serfs " or "Anarchists." It is ridiculous to
' c1 troduce such an idea as this into the discussion of a
mere Domestic Institution. But since you have intro-
duced it, I deny that the power of the slave-holder in
America is " irresponsible." He is responsible to God.
He is responsible to the world —a responsibility which
Abolitionists do not intend to allow him to evade and