Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 279

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Page 279

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 279
all attempts to bring it forward. It was not until 1834-
'35, that it again made its appearance on the political
stage, when petitions were poured in upon Congress to
legislate upon it. It was then discovered that, without
attracting much attention, a great many Abolition
Societies had been formed in the Northern States, who
had set up presses and printed books, pamphlets,
newspapers and engravings in immense numbers, and
disseminated them North and South for the purpose of
arousing the people to what were termed the horrors
of African Slavery. Public lecturers were also em-
ployed and sent everywhere. The excitement in-
creased rapidly. The people of the non-Slaveholding
States seemed ripe for it. But lately they had been
apparently baffled in their attempt to make us the
overseers of our slaves for their benefit. No longer
having it in prospect to reap the harvest of our fields
and gather into their own granaries, by virtue of their
legislation, one half of the net produce of the labor
of the slaves, they were eager, in their rage and dis-
appointment, to deprive us of the slaves themselves,
and blast our prosperity forever. Both branches of
Congress were soon flooded with petitions, full of the
vilest abuse and slander of the South, and praying for
the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade in the
District of Columbia. , Others followed asking the
Abolition of Slavery in the Territories, Forts, Dock-
yards, Sic., and of the trade between the States. Some
demanded the Abolition of Slavery in the States ; and
finally it was petitioned that the Union should be dis-
solved to save the North from the sin of slaveholding.
Warm and, at length, the most angry debates in Con-
gress were brought about by these petitions. At first,