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 354

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Page 354

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 354
the Constitution ? Shall we revile them in common
with all northern men, because many revile and some
have betrayed us? To be truly great, we must be
not only just, but generous and forbearing with all
mankind. Let us place ourselves in the situation of
northern public men in this great contest, consider
their dangers and responsibilities, and making every
allowance for human weakness, do homage to the
brave and. faithful.
And this leads me to say that, having never been
a mere party politician, intriguing and wire-pulling to
advance myself or others, I am not learned in the
rubric of the thousand slang, unmeaning, and usually
false party names to which our age gives birth. But
I have been given to understand that there are to be
two parties in the South, called " National " and
" State Rights Democrats." The word " national " hav-
ing been carefully excluded from the Constitution by
those who framed it, I never supposed it applicable to
any principle or policy of our government, and having
been surrendered to the almost exclusive use, in this
country, of the federal consolidationists, I have ever
myself repudiated it. But if a southern " National
Democrat " means one who is ready to welcome into
our ranks with open arms, and cordially embrace and
promote according to his merits every honest free
State man who reads the Constitution as we do, and
will cooperate with us in its maintenance, then I
belong to that party, call it as you may, and I should
grieve to find a southern man who did not.
But, on the other hand, having been all my life,
and being still, an ardent "State rights" man—be-
lieving " State rights" to be an essential, nay, the