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 351

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 351

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 351
But if I am all wrong if my facts and reasonings
are false, and my hopes delusive if, in 1860, they
beat us what then ? These are questions that may
well be asked. And the answer is obvious. We
must be prepared ; and the very efforts we must make
to prevent such results will better prepare us than any
course we can pursue that I can see. We must be
prepared, I say, to take care of ourselves, whatever
may come. It is clear that the slaveholding States of
this confederacy, whatever hazards they may choose
to incur by remaining in alliance with a majority of
non-slaveholders now so inflamed against them, must
ever and at all times hold, under God, their destinies
in their own hands. They can never permit .any
foreign or hostile power to legislate in reference to
their peculiar industrial system, whether to abolish or
modify, or impose undue burdens on it. Such legisla-
tion must be resisted with all our means, and without
regard to any consequences. If it should so happen
that the free States of this Union, being now, and
always to be, in a majority, do establish a political
line between the two sections, and the two systems of
labor, legislate upon it and maintain it, then they will
constitute a power as foreign to us as any nation in the
world, and we cannot submit to it. Whatever the
weak and defenceless colonies of other countries may
have submitted to, before these southern States will
be placed in the condition of St. Domingo or Jamaica,
or one at all approximating to it, they will rend this
Union into fragments and plunge the world in ruin.
It is in their power to do both, for the world cannot
get on without them ; and, if ruthless fanaticism and
brute force combine, under whatever names, and with