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 330

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 330
business, which has furnished much the most dis-
graceful chapter, so far, in our history.
But it is said that in submitting this land ordinance
to a vote of the people of Kansas, Congress submitted
also the Lecompton Constitution with its pro-slavery
clause. If so, the passage in which it was done can
surely be pointed out. Badly drawn up as the bill is,
I should like to see the clause or the words that will
justify such an assertion. If there was such a clause,
why did not Judge Douglas and his friends vote for it ?
Why did not the black republicans and all who voted
for the Crittenden substitute which also submitted the
constitution, vote for this bill ? It was the very point
they made, yet to a man they voted against it. That,
I think, should be conclusive.
But, then, it is said it was a virtual submission of
the constitution to the people, because, if they refused
to ratify the modified land ordinance, the admission
of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution was de-
feated. Well, the facts are so ; I cannot and do not
deny them. But I should like to know how that could
by any possibility have been avoided or remedied.
Suppose Congress had admitted Kansas without modi-
fying anything, yielding even to her enormous "land
grab," which embraced many more acres than there
are in all South Carolina, I should like to know if the
Lecompton Constitution would not still have been sub-
mitted to the people as virtually as it was by the Eng-
lish bill ; that is, not submitted at all, but left with
them an inevitable necessity. Congress could do no
more, no less, no other way. The constitution belonged
to the people of Kansas. Congress could not withhold
it from them a moment, nor could it make them organ-