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 194

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Page 194

Correspondence | John F. Trow & Co.; The Reprint Company | 1866, 1978
Transcription 194
and the world at large, clearly revealed to us, make us
shudder at the bare thought of it. The slaveholders
are therefore indebted to the Abolitionists for perfect
ease of conscience, and the satisfaction of a settled
and unanimous determination in reference to this
matter. And could their agitation cease now, I be-
lieve, after all, the good would preponderate over the
evil of it in this country. On the contrary, however,
it is urged on with frantic violence, and the Abolition-
ists, reasoning in the abstract as if it were a mere
moral or metaphysical speculation, or a minor question
in politics profess to be surprised at our exasperation.
In their ignorance and recklessness they seem to be
unable to comprehend our feelings or position. The
subversion of our rights, the destruction of our pro-
perty, the disturbance of our peace and the peace of
the world, are matters which do not appear to arrest
their consideration. When Revolutionary France pro-
claimed " Hatred to Kings and unity to the Repub-
lic," and inscribed on her banners "France risen
against Tyrants," she professed to be only worshiping
" Abstract Rights." And, if there can be such things,
perhaps she was. Yet all Europe rose to put her
sublime theories down. They declared her an enemy
to the common peace ; that her doctrines alone violated
the " Law of Neighborhood," and, as Mr. Burke said,
justly entitled them to anticipate the "damnum nondum
factum " of the civil law. Danton, Barrere and the
rest were apparently astonished that umbrage should
be taken. The parallel between them and the Aboli-
tionists holds good in all respects.
The rise and progress of this Fanaticism is one of
the phenomena of the age in which we live. I do