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 159

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Page 159

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 159
they are infinitely the superiors of your operatives.
When you look around you how dare you talk to us
before the world of slavery? For the condition of
your wretched laborers, you, and every Briton who is
not one of them, are responsible before God and Man.
If you are really humane, philanthropic and charitable,
here are objects for you. Relieve them. Emancipate
them. Raise them from the condition of brutes, to
the level of human beings of American slaves, at
least. Do not for an instant suppose that the name of
being freemen is the slightest comfort to them,
situated as they are, or that the bombastic boast that
whoever touches British soil stands redeemed, regene-
rated and disenthralled," can meet with anything but
the ridicule and contempt of mankind, while that soil
swarms, both on and under its surface, with the most
abject and degraded wretches that ever bowed beneath
the oppressor's yoke.
I have said that slavery is an established and in-
evitable condition to human society. I do not speak
of the name, but the fact. The Marquis of Norm an by
has lately declared your operatives to be " in effect
slaves." Can it be denied? Probably, for such Phi-
lanthropists as your Abolitionists care nothing for facts.
They deal in terms and fictions. It is the word "sla-
ery"which shocks their tender sensibilities ; and their
imaginations associate it with " hydras and chimeras
dire." The thing itself, in its most hideous reality,
passes daily under their view unheeded —a familiar face,
touching no chord of shame, sympathy or indignation.
Yet so brutalizing is your iron bondage that the
English operative is a byword through the world.
When favoring fortune enables him to escape his prison-