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 285

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Page 285

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 285
afloat. Mr. Calhoun committed his views to paper,
and on the 4th of March, after a long interval, ap-
peared with it in the Senate. But he was not able
even to read it, and transferred the task to his friend,
Mr. Mason, a Senator from Virginia. In that speech
he traced the territorial history of the United States,
showing that the non-Siaveholding States, who ori-
ginally owned but one fourth of the territory of the
Union, were about to succeed, by the action of the
Government and the concessions of the South, in get-
ting possession of nearly three-fourths of it : that, by
the system of revenue and expenditure which had been
adopted, much the larger portion of the taxes were
paid by the South, while the disbursements were made
chiefly at the North : and that while these measures
destroyed the equilibrium between the two sections,
the Federal Government had concentrated all power
in itself, and interpreted the Constitution and ruled
the country according to the will of a majority, re-
sponsible only to the Northern section, by which it is
elected. The result of all, he said, was that " what
was one e a Constitutional Federal Republic, is now
converted, in reality, into one as absolute as that of
the Autocrat of Russia, and as despotic in its tenden-
cies as any absolute Government that ever existed."
He showed that the California adventurers had no
right to attempt to form a State without previous per-
mission from Congress, and that what they had done
was " revolutionary and rebellious in its character,
anarchical in its tendency, and calculated to lead to
the most dangerous consequences." He gave a succinct
history of Abolition from its origin ; showed how it
had gained strength year by year, and declared that,