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 317

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 317

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 317
furnished for three years ? I will not stop to depict
what every one can imagine, but this is certain: Eng-
land would topple headlong and carry the whole
civilized world with her, save the South. No, you
dare not make war on cotton. No power on earth
dares to make war upon it. Cotton is king. Until
lately the Bank of England was king ; but she tried to
put her screws as usual, the fall before the last, upon
the cotton crop, and was utterly vanquished. The
last power has been conquered. Who can doubt, that
has looked at recent events, that cotton is supreme?
When the abuse of credit had destroyed credit and
annihilated confidence ; when thousands of the strong-
est commercial houses in the world were coming down,
and hundreds of millions of dollars of supposed prop-
erty evaporating in thin air ; when you came to a dead
lock, and revolutions were threatened, what brought you
up ? Fortunately for you it was the commencement of
the cotton season, and we have poured in upon you one
million six hundred thousand bales of cotton just at the
crisis to save you from destruction. That cotton, but for
the bursting of your speculative bubbles in the North,
which produced the whole of this convulsion, would
have brought us $100,000,000. We have sold it for
$65,000,000, and saved you. Thirty-five million dollars
we, the slaveholders of the South, have put into the
charity box for your magnificent financiers, your " cot-
ton lords," your " merchant princes."
But, sir, the greatest strength of the South arises
from the harmony of her political and social institu-
tions. This harmony gives her a frame of society, the
best in the world, and an extent of political freedom,
combined with entire security, such as no other people