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 280

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Page 280

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 280
few or none professed to be in favor of them, yet the
non-Slaveholding majority never would permit the
South to adopt any decisive measure to exclude them
from the Halls of Congress. In no long while, how-
ever, there was a complete change. The Abolitionists
were soon strong enough to enter fully into the politi-
cal field. They nominated candidates for President
and Vice-President, and exhibited the startling fact,
that, in that election, they held the balance of power
between the parties in several of the largest States.
From that moment they were courted, openly or se-
cretly, by nearly every aspiring politician in the non-
Slaveholding States. They soon sent members to Con-
gress as their especial Representatives, and struck
down every public man in the North who dared to
defend the institutions of the South.
Against this violent crusade on the South, Mr. Cal-
houn took his stand at the very first, and combated it
with all his powers, at every step, and to the latest
moment of his life. He succeeded in arresting the
circulation of Abolition publications through the mail,
and, for a long time, he kept their petitions at the
threshold of the Houses of Congress. In fact, Aboli-
tion petitions were formally received in the Senate for
the first time, on the last day that he appeared there.
From the beginning he predicted the progress of this
agitation through all its stages, and- declared that it
must inevitably bring about a dissolution of the Union,
if not put down early and forever.
While the Abolitionists have directed their attacks
against specific parts of the Slave system, they have
never made any secret of what indeed was perfectly
apparent, that, from the first, their object was the