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 164

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Page 164

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 164
tc voluntary immigration," have done little but lie down
and die on the _pseudo soil of freedom. At the end of
five years, two-thirds, in some colonies a larger propor-
tion, are no more ! Humane and pious contrivance !
To alleviate the fancied sufferings of the accursed pos-
terity of Ham, you sacrifice by a cruel death two-thirds
of the children of the blessed Shem—and demand the
applause of Christians the blessing of Heaven ! If this
" experiment " is to go on, in God's name try your hand
upon the Thugs. That other species of " Immigration "
to which you are resorting I will consider presently.
But what do you calculate will be the result of
emancipation, by whatever means accomplished ? You
will probably point me, by way of answer, to the West
Indies doubtless to Antigua, the great boast of aboli-
tion. Admitting that it has succeeded there which I
will do for the sake of the argument--do you know
the reason of it ? The true and only causes of what-
ever success has attended it in Antigua are, that the
population was before crowded, and all or nearly all
the arable land in cultivation. The emancipated ne-
groes could not, many of them, get away if they desir-
ed ; and knew not where to go, in case they did.
They had practically no alternative but to remain on
the spot ; and remaining, they must work on the terms
of the Proprietors, or perish the strong arm of the
mother country forbidding all hope of seizing the
land for themselves. The Proprietors, well knowing
that they could thus command labor for the merest ne-
cessities of life, which was much cheaper than main-
taining the non-effective as well as effective slaves
in a style which decency and interest, if not humanity,
required, willingly accepted half their value, and at