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 336

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 336
desert which separates the Atlantic from the Pacific
States of this confederacy. No where is African
slavery likely to flourish in' the little oases of that
Sahara of America. It is much more likely, I think,
to go to the Pacific slope, and to the north in the
great valley, than anywhere else outside of its present
limits. Shall we, as some suggest, take Mexico and
Central America to make slave States ? African sla-
very appears to have failed there. Perhaps, and most
probably, it will never succeed in those regions. If it
might, what are we to do with the seven or eight mil-
lions of hardly semi-civilized Indians, and the two or
three millions of Creole Spaniards and mongrels who
now hold these countries ? We would not enslave
the Indians. Experience has proven that they are
incapable of steady labor, and are therefore unfit for
slavery. We would not exterminate them, even if
that inhuman achievement would not cost ages of
murder and incalculable sums of money. We could
hardly think of attempting to plant the black race
there, superior for labor as it is, though inferior per-
haps in intellect, and expect to maintain a permanent
and peaceful industry, such as slave labor must be, to
be profitable, amid those idle, restless, demoralized
children of Montezuma, scarcely more civilized, per-
haps more sunk in superstition than in his age, and
now trained to civil war by half a century of ince3-
sant revolution. What, I say, could we do with these
people or these countries to add to Southern strength ?
Nothing. Could we degrade ourselves so far as to
annex them on equal terms, they would be sure to
come into this Union free States all. To touch them
in any way is to be contaminated. England and