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 319

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 319
them slaves. We found them slaves by the common
" consent of mankind," which, according to Cicero, " lex
nature est." The highest proof of what is Nature's
law. We are old-fashioned at the South yet ; slave is
a word discarded now by "ears polite ; " I will not
characterize that class at the North by that term ; but
you have it ; it is there ; it is everywhere ; it is eternal.
The Senator from New York said yesterday that
the whole world had abolished slavery. Aye, the
name, but not the thin. ; all the powers of the earth
cannot abolish that. God only can do it when he
repeals the fiat, "the poor ye always have with you ;"
for the man who lives by daily labor, and scarcely
lives at that, and who has to put out his labor in the
market, and take the best he can get for it ; in short,
your whole hireling class of manual laborers and " ope-
ratives," as you call them, are essentially slaves. The
difference between us is, that our slaves are hired for
life and well compensated ; there is no starvation, no
begging, no want of employment among our people,
and not too much employment either. Yours are hired
by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated,
which may be proved in the most painful manner, at
any hour in any street in any of your large towns.
Why, you meet more beggars in one day, in any
single street of the city of New York, than you would
meet in a lifetime in the whole South. We do not
.:11-1k that whites should be slaves either by law or
necessity. Our slaves are black, of another and in-
ferior race. The status in which we have placed them
is an elevation. They are elevated from the condition
in which God first created them, by being made our
slaves. None of that race on the whole face of the