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 165

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Page 165

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 165
once realized far more than the interest on the other
half in the diminution of their expenses, and the redu-
ced comforts of the freemen. One of your most illus-
trious Juilges, who was also a profound and philosor
phical Historian, has said " that Villeinage was not ab-
olished, but went into decay in England." This was
the process. This has been the process wherever (the
name of) Villeinage or Slavery has been successfully
abandoned. Slavery in fact " went into decay" in An-
tigua. I have admitted that under similiar circumstan-
ces it might profitably cease here--that is, profitably
to the individual Proprietors. Give me half the value
of my Slaves, and compel them to remain and labor on
my plantation at 10 to 11 cents a day, as they do in
Antigua, supporting themselves and families, and you
shall have them to-morrow, and, if you like, dub them
" free." Not to stickle, I would surrender them with-
out price. No —I recall my words : My humanity re-
volts at the idea. I am attached to my Slaves, and
would not have art or part in reducing them to such a
condition. I deny, however, that Antigua, as a comp
munity, is or ever will be as prosperous, under present
circumstances, as she was before abolition, though fully
ripe for it. The fact is well known. The reason is
that the African, if not a distinct, is an inferior Race,
and never will effect, as it never has effected, as much
in any other condition as in that of Slavery.
I know of no ,Slave-holder who has visited the west
Indies since Slavery was abolished, and published his
views of it. All our facts and opinions come through
the friends of the experiment, or at least those not op-
posed to it. Taking these, even without allowance, to
be true as stated, I do not see where the Abolitionists