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 146

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Page 146

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 146
hands. You see some of the fruits of your labors. I
speak freely and candidly not as a colonist who,
though a slave-holder has a master ; but as a free white
man, holding, under God, and resolved to hold, my
fate in my own hands; and I assure you that my senti-
ments and feelings and determinations are those of
every slave-holder in this country.
The research and ingenuity of the Abolitionists,
aided by the invention of runaway slaves in which
faculty, so far as improvising falsehood goes, the
African race is without a rival have succeeded in
shocking the world with a small number of pretended
instances of our barbarity. The only wonder is that,
considering the extent of our country, the variety of
our population, its fluctuating character, and the publi-
city of all our transactions, the number of cases col-
lected is so small. It speaks well for us. Yet of these
many are false, all highly colored, some occurring half
a century, most of them many years, ago ; and no
doubt a large proportion of them perpetrated by
foreigners. With a few rare exceptions the emigrant
Scotch and English are the worst masters among us,
and next to them our Northern fellow-citizens. Slave-
holders born and bred here are always more humane
to slaves, and those who have grown up to a large
inheritance of them, the most so of any showing
clearly that the effect of the system is to foster kindly
feelings. I do not mean so much to impute innate in-
humanity to foreigners, as to show that they come here
with false notions of the treatment usual and necessary
for slaves, and that newly acquired power here, as
everywhere else, is apt to be abused. I cannot enter
into a detailed examination of the cases stated by the