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 161

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Page 161

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 161
apply " moral suasion" to the slaveholders them-
selves. As a matter of curiosity, I should like to
know what their idea of this " moral suasion " is.
Their discourses—yours is no exception are all tirades,
the exordium, argument, and peroration turning on the
epithets " tyrants "" thieves,"" murderers," addressed
to us. They revile us as " atrocious monsters,"" viola-
tors of the laws of nature, God and man," our homes
the abode of every iniquity, our land a "brothel."
We retort, that they are " incendiaries " and " assassins."
Delightful argument ! Sweet, potent " moral suasion ! "
What slave has it freed what proselyte can it ever
make ? But if your course was wholly different if
you distilled nectar from your lips, and discoursed
sweetest music, could you reasonably indulge the hope
of accomplishing your object by such means ? Nay,
supposing that we were all convinced, and thought of
slavery precisely as you do, at what era of "moral
suasion " do you imagine you could prevail on us to
give up a thousand millions of dollars in the value of
our slaves, and a thousand millions of dollars more in
the depreciation of our lands, in consequence of the
want of laborers to cultivate them ? Consider : were
ever any people, civilized or savage, persuaded by any
argument, human or divine, to surrender voluntarily
two thousand millions of dollars ? Would you think
of asking five millions of Englishmen to contribute
either at once or gradually four hundred and fifty
millions of pounds sterling to the cause of Philanthropy,
even if the purpose to be accomplished was not of
doubtful goodness ? If you are prepared to undertake
such a scheme, try it at home. Collect your fund
xeturn us the money for our slaves, and do with them