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 190

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Page 190

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 190
State. It is true, as you say, it " occasioned a general
outburst of National feeling "—from the opposition ;
and a " Parliamentary inquiry was instituted "—that
is moved, but treated quite cavalierly. At all events,
though the fact was admitted, Sir James Graham yet
retains the Home Department. For one, I do not
undertake to condemn him. Such things are not
against the laws and usages of your country. I do
not know fully what reasons of State may have in-
fluenced him and justified his conduct. But I do know
that there is a vast difference, in point of " national
morality," between the discretionary power residing in
your Government to open any letter in the public
post office, and a well-defined and limited law to pre-
vent the circulation of certain specified incendiary
writings by means of the United States Mail.
Having now referred to everything like argument
on the subject of Slavery that is worthy of notice in
your letter, permit me to remark on its tone and style,
and very extraordinary bearing upon other Institu-
tions of this country. You commence by addressing
certain classes of our people as belonging to " a nation
whose character is now 8o low in the estimation of the
civilized world ; " and throughout you maintain this
tone. Did the Americans who were " under your roof
last summer" inform you that such language would be
gratifying to their fellow-citizens " having no practical
concern with slaveholding ? " Or do the infamous libels
on America, which you read in our Abolition papers,
induce you to believe that all that class of people are,
like the Abolitionists themselves, totally destitute of
patriotism or pride of country ? Let me tell you that
you are grossly deceived. And although your stock