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 334

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 334

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 334
may accept it as an alternative, rather than submit to
unconstitutional abridgments of their rights. I con-
fess that, for many years of my life, I believed that
our only safety was the dissolution of the Union, and
I openly avowed it. I should entertain, and without
hesitation express the same sentiments now, but that
the victories we have achieved and those that I think
we are about to achieve, have inspired me with the
hope, I may say the belief, that we can fully sustain
ourselves in the Union and control its action in all
great affA,irs. It may well be asked how I can enter-
tain such views and expectations, when within these
few years the South has lost her equality in the Senate,
and the free States have at length a decided majority
in both Houses of Congress, while this unfortunate
Kansas contest has swept into their political graves so
many of our ancient friends in those States, that it
may be doubted whether they have at this moment,
after the recent selections the finale of the disastrous
Kansas abortion —a majority in a single one of them;
and there seems to be at present no prospect of our
extending the area of slavery in any quarter.
These facts are true, and if you will bear with me
I will place them all in the strongest light I can before
you for it is of the utmost importance that we
should at least see clearly how we stand, and what
are our resources, in order to form an idea of what we
can do, and how to avoid wasting our strength on
what cannot be accomplished. The equality of the'
free and slave States has long been lost in the House ;
by the admission of California it was lost in the Senate.
Since then another free State has been admitted, and
another yet has passed the Senate, and in a few years