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 339

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Page 339

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 339
within our present reach, to create any number of
slave States ; that to attempt it by costly, yet imprac-
ticable and abortive, enterprises, will be to waste our
strength to no purpose ; and that the idea of recover-
ing the equality in voting of the slave and free States,
whether on the floors of Congress or elsewhere, is
vis'onarv. We had better, then, I think, at once
make up our minds, according to the facts, and giving
up all bootless efforts, look every consequence of our
position full in the face. For one, I can do so without
dismay without the slightest trepidation. Why, the
South, numbering twelve millions of people, possesses
already an imperial domain that can well support an
hundred millions more. What does she need to seek
beyond her borders, or what has she to fear ? With
such a sea-coast and harbors ; such rivers, mountains and
plains ; so full of all the precious metals, so fertile in
soil, so genial in climate, producing in such unparalleled
abundance the most valuable agricultural staples of
the world ; capable of manufacturing to any extent ;
and possessing the best social and industrial systems
that have ever yet been organized she might have
sunk into sloth from excess of prosperity had she not
been kept on the alert by the fierce assaults of an
envious world. Assaults which, at one time alarming,
it has been in fact scarcely more than wholesome exer-
cise to repel ; an exercise which has made us the most
virtuous and one of the most enlightened and most
powerful people who now flourish on the globe. The t South has long been undervaluing and doing great
injustice to herself. She has been lamenting her weak-
ness, and croaking about the dangers that beset her,
when she might glory in her strength and hurl defiance
to her enemies.