Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Speech on the Admission of Kansas, Under the Lecompton Constitution, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 4, 1858 >> Page 312

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 312

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 312
tary rivers ; and beyond we have the desert prairie
wastes to protect us in our rear. Can you hem in such
a territory as that ? You talk of putting up a wall of
fire around eight hundred and fifty thousand square
miles so situated ! How absurd.
I But, in this territory lies the great valley of the
Mississippi, now the real, and soon to be the acknowl-
edged seat of the empire of the world. The sway of
that valley will be as great as ever the Nile knew in
the earlier ages of mankind. We own the most of it.
The most valuable part of it belongs to us now ; and
although those who have settled above us are now op-
posed to us, another generation will tell a different tale.
They are ours by all the laws of nature ; slave-labor
will go over every foot of this great valley where it
will be found profitable to use it, and some of those
who may not use it are soon to be united with us by
such ties as will make us one and inseparable. The
iron horse will soon be clattering over the sunny plains
of the South to bear the products of its upper tributa-
ries of the valley to our Atlantic ports, as it now does
through the ice-bound North. And there is the great
Mississippi, a bond of union made by Nature herself.
She will maintain it forever.
On this fine territory we have a population four
times as large as that with which these colonies sepa-
rated from the mother country, and a hundred, I might
say a thousand fold stronger. Our population is now
sixty per cent. greater than that of the whole United
States when we entered into the second war of inde-
pendence. It is as large as the whole population of the
United States was ten years after the conclusion of
that war, and our own exports are three times as great