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 143

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Page 143

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 143
the reader, not into a Christian, but a Demon. To pre-
serve him from such a horrid destiny, it is a sacred
luty which we owe to our slaves, not less than to our-
selves, to interpose the most decisive means. If the
Catholics deem it wrong to trust the Bible to the hands
of ignorance, shall we be excommunicated because we
will not give it, and with it the corrupt and fatal com-
mentaries of the Abolitionists, to our slaves ? Allow
our slaves to read your writings, stimulating them to
cut our throats ! Can you believe us to be such un-
speakable fools ?
I do not know that I can subscribe in full to the
sentiment so often quoted by the Abolitionists, and by
Mr. Dickinson in his letter to me : Homo sum, humani
nil a me alienuvt puto," as translated and practically
illustrated by them. Such a doctrine would give wide
authority to every one for the most dangerous inter-
meddling with the affairs of others. It will do in
poetry perhaps in some sorts of Philosophy but the
attempt to make it a household maxim, and introduce
it into the daily walks of life, has caused many a
" Homo " a broken crown ; and probably will continue
to do it. Still, though a slave-holder, I freely acknowl-
edge my obligations as a man ; and that I am bound to
treat humanely the fellow creatures whom God has
entrusted to my charge. I feel therefore somewhat
sensitive under the accusation of cruelty, and disposed
to defend myself and fellow slave-holders against it.
It is certainly the interest of all, and I am convinced
that it is also the desire of every one of us, to treat
our slaves with proper kindness. It is necessary to our
deriving the greatest amount of profit from them. Of
this we are all satisfied. And you snatch from us the