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 156

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Page 156

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 156
" In Shropshire the seams are no more than 18 or 20
inches."Ibid, p. 67. "At the Booth pit," says Mr. Scri-
ven, " I walked, rode and crept 1,800 yards to one of
the nearest faces."-Ibid. " ` Choke-damp,'" Fire-damp,'
` Wild-fire,' ` Sulphur' and ` Water' at all tunes men-
ace instant death to the laborers in these mines.""Robert North, aged sixteen : Went into the pit at 7
years of age, to fill up skips. I drew about 12 months.
When I drew by the girdle and chain my skin was bro-
ken, and the blood ran down. I durst not say any-
thing. If we said anything, the butty, and the reeve,
who works under him, would take a stick and beat
us."-Ibid. " The usual punishment for theft is to
place the culprit's head between the legs of one of the
biggest boys, and each boy in the pit sometimes there
are 20 inflicts 12 lashes on the back and rump with
a cat."—Ibid. " Instances occur in which children are
taken into these mines to work as early as 4 years of
age, sometimes at 5, not unfrequently at 6 and 7, while
from 8 to 9 is the ordinary age at which these employ-
ments commence."--Ibid. The wages paid at these
mines is from $2,50 to $i,50 per month for laborers,
according to age and ability, and out of this they must
support themselves. They work 12 hours a day.--
In Calico printing. "It is by no means uncommon
in all the districts for children 5 or 6 years old to be
kept at work 14 to 16 hours consecutively." Rep. on
Children, 18 4 2, p. 59.
I could furnish extracts similar to these in regard to
every branch of your Manufactures, but I will not mul-
tiply them. Everybody knows that your operatives
habitually labor from 12 to 16 hours, men, women and