Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Speech Delivered at Barnwell C.H., S.C., October 29, 1858 >> Page 329

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 329
Senate passed, and voted for it more willingly. It is
true, some Northern Democrats who voted against the
Senate bill voted for this, and thus it was carried. But
was that a reason why I should not vote for it ? Does
that prove that I sacrificed any principle ? They found
themselves wrong, and perhaps wanted some excuse
to retrace their steps. I was happy to assist in giving
it to them without cost to ourselves. I was particularly
pleased to get rid of the mysterious proviso of the first
bill, and to require a solemn compact in regard to the
public lands, which had not been properly provided
for in that bill.
The only principle involved in this whole Kansas
affair if an affair so rotten, from beginning to end, can
have a principle at all was this : Would Congress
admit a slave State into the Union ? The Senate
said yes. The House, by adopting the Crittenden sub-
stitute, said yes, if we are assured that a majority of
the people of the State are in favor of it. For this
substitute all the opposition voted in both Houses, so
that every member of Congress, of all parties, first and
last, committed themselves to the principle and policy
that a State should be admitted into the Union, with
or without slavery, according to the will of its own
people thus re-enacting one feature of the Kansas and
Nebraska bill. I should myself have been willing to
rest there, and let Kansas rest also. Whatever there
was of principle or honor in the matter was secured
by the votes already given. The English bill, how-
ever, came up in due course, and I voted for it cheer-
fully, believing that it was better calculated than any
that had been offered to close up this miserable