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 183

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Page 183

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 183
greatly err, if you suppose, because we rely on force
in the last resort to maintain our supremacy over our
slaves, that ours is a stern and unfeeling domination at
all to be compared in hard-hearted severity to that
exercised, not over the mere laborer only, but by the
higher over each lower order, wherever the British
sway is acknowledged. You say that if those you
address were " to spend one day in the South they
would return home with impressions against slavery
never to be erased." But the fact is universally the
the reverse. I have known numerous instances ; and I
never knew a single one, where there was no other
cause of offence and no object' to promote by false-
hood, that individuals from the non-slave-holding
States did not, after residing among us long enough to
understand the subject, " return home " to defend our
slavery. It is matter of regret, that you have never
tried the experiment yourself. I do not doubt you
would have been converted, for I give you credit for
an 'honest though perverted mind. You would have
seen how weak and futile is all abstract reasoning
about this matter ; and. that, as a building may not be
less elegant in its proportions, or tasteful in its orna-
ments, or virtuous in its uses, for being based upon
granite ; so a system of human government, though
founded on force, may develope and cultivate the ten-
derest and purest sentiments of the human heart. And
our patriarchal scheme of domestic servitude is indeed
well calculated to awaken the higher and finer feelings
of our nature. It is not wanting in its enthusiasm and
its poetry. The relations of the most beloved and
honored chief, and the most faithful and admiring sub-
jects, which from the time of Homer have been the