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 163

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Page 163

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription I am well aware that a notable scheme has been set
on foot to achieve abolition by making what is by
courtesy called " free " labor so much cheaper than
slave labor as to force the abandonment of the latter.
Though we are beginning to manufacture with slaves,
I do not think you will attempt to pinch your opera-
tives closer in Great Britain. You cannot curtail the
rags with which they vainly attempt to cover their na-
kedness, nor reduce the porridge which barely, and not
always, keeps those who have employment from per-
ishing of famine. When you can do this, we will con-
sider whether our slaves may not dispense with a pound
or two of bacon per week, or a few garments annually.
Your aim, however, is to cheapen labor in the tropics.
The idea of doing this by exporting your " bold yeo-
manry " is, I presume, given up. Cromwell tried it when
he sold the captured followers of Charles into West In-
dian slavery, where they speedily found graves. Nor
have your recent experiments on British and even
Dutch constitutions succeeded better. Have you still
faith in carrying thither your Coolies from Hindostan ?
Doubtless that once wild ,robber race, whose highest
eulogium was that they did not murder merely for the
love of blood, have been tamed down, and are perhaps
" keen for immigration," for since your civilization has
reached it, plunder has grown scarce in Guzerat. But
what is the result of the experiment thus far ? Have
the Coolies, ceasing to handle arms, learned to handle
spades, and proved hardy and profitable laborers ? On
the contrary, broken in spirit and stricken with disease
at home, the wretched victims whom you have hither-
to kidnapped for a bounty, confined in depots, put un-
der hatches and carried across the ocean forced into