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 154

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Page 154

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 154
and laboring classes in their own country and around
them, wherever they may be placed, to whom God
has denied the advantages he has given themselves. If
so, it would naturally seem the duty of true humanity
and rational philanthropy to devote their time and
labor, their thoughts, writings, and charity, first to the
objects placed as it were under their own immediate
charge. And it must be regarded as a clear evasion
and sinful neglect of this cardinal duty, to pass from
those whose destitute situation they can plainly see,
minutely examine, and efficiently relieve, to inquire
after the condition of others in no way entrusted to
their care, to exaggerate evils of which they cannot be
cognizant, to expend all their sympathies and exhaust
all their energies on these remote objects of their um
natural, not to say dangerous benevolence, and, finally,
to calumniate, denounce, and endeavor to excite the
indignation of the world against their unoffending fel-
low-creatures for not hastening under their dictation
to redress wrongs which are stoutly and truthfully
denied, while they themselves go but little farther in
alleviating those chargeable on them than openly and
unblushingly to acknowledge them. There may be
indeed a sort of merit in doing so much as to make
such an acknowledgment, but it must be very modest
if it expects appreciation.
Now I affirm that in Great Britain the poor and
laboring classes of your own race and color, not only
your fellow-beings, but your felloth-citizens, are more
miserable and degraded, morally and physically, than
our slaves ; to be elevated to the actual condition of
whom, would be to these your fellow-citizens a most
glorious act of emancipation. And I also affirm that