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 192

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Page 192

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 192
with the South, and make your own laws; or, if you do not
choose such a separation, you must break up the political
ascendancy which the Southern have had for so long a
time over the Northern States." The italics in this as
in all other quotations are your own. It is well for
those who circulate your letter here, that the Constitu-
tion you denounce requires an overt act to constitute
Treason. It may be tolerated for an American, by
birth, to use on his own soil the' freedom of speaking
and writing which is guaranteed to him, and abuse
our Constitution, our Union, and our people. But
that a Foreigner should use such seditious language,
in a Circular Letter addressed to a portion of the
American people, is a presumption well calculated to
excite the indignation of all. The party known in
this country as the Abolition Party has long since
avowed the sentiments you express, and adopted the
policy you enjoin. At the recent Presidential election
they gave over 62,000 votes for their own Candidate,
and held the balance of power in two of the largest
States wanting but little of doing it in several others.
In the last four years their vote has quadrupled.
Should the infatuation continue, and their vote increase
in the same ratio, for the next four years, it will be as
large as the vote of the actual slave-holders of the Union.
Such a prospect is doubtless extremely gratifying to
you. It.gives hope of a contest on such terms as may
insure the downfall of Slavery or our Constitution.
The South venerates the Constitution, and is prepared
to stand by it forever, such as it came from the hands
of our fathers ; to risk everything to defend and
maintain it in its integrity. But the South is under
no such delusion as to believe that it derives any