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 338

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 338

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription Vt
continent, and consumes, it is said, twenty to thirty
thousand a year by her system of labor. Slaves
decrease there largely. Iii time, under the system
practiced, every slave in America might be extermi-
nated in Cuba, as were the Indians. However the
idle African may procreate in the tropics, it yet re-
mains to be proven, and the facts are against the con-
clusion that he can, in those regions, work and thrive.
It is said Cuba is to be " Africanized" rather than the
United States should take her. That threat, which,
at one time was somewhat alarming, is no longer any
cause of disquietude to the South. What have we
lost by that ? I think we reaped some benefit ; and,
if the slaves of Cuba were turned loose, a great sugar
culture would grow up in Louisiana and Texas, rival-
ling that of cotton, and diverting from it so much
labor that cotton would rarely fall below its present
You must not suppose, for a moment, that I am
opposed to " the expansion of the area of African
slavery." On the contrary, I believe that God created
negroes for no other purpose than to be the " hewers
of wood and drawers of water "—that is, to be the
slaves of the white race ; and I wish to see them in
that capacity on every spot on the surface of the globe
where their labor is necessary or beneficial. Nor do I
doubt that such will be the final result. Much less
would I oppose the acquisition of territory that would
place the slave States on a numerical equality, and
more, with the free States in the Union. But this
review and scrutiny of the resources of the South
shows, I think, pretty conclusively, that we have not
now the surplus population, nor suitable territory,