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 355

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Page 355

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 355
essential element of the Constitution, and that no one
who thinks otherwise can stand on the same constitu-
tional platform that I do, it seems to me that I am,
and all those with whom I act habitually, are, if de-
mocrats at all, true " State rights democrats." Nothing
in public affairs so perplexes and annoys me as these
absurd party names, and I never could be interested
in them. I could easily comprehend two great par-
ties, standing on the two great antagonistic principles
which are inherent in all things human : the right and
the wrong, the good and the evil, according to the
peculiar views of each individual, and was. never at a
loss to find my side, as now, in what are known as the
democratic and republican parties of this country,
But the minor distinctions have, for the most part,
seemed to me to be factitious and factious, gotten up
by cunning men for selfish purposes, to which the true
patriot and honest man should be slow to lend himself
For myself, and for you while I represent you, I shall
go for the Constitution strictly construed and faithfully
carried out. I will make my fight, such as it may be,
by the side of any man, whether from the North,
South, East, or West, who will do the same, and I will
do homage to his virtue, his ability, his courage, and
so far as I can make just compensation for his toils
and hazards, and sacrifices. As to the precise mode
and manner of conducting this contest, that must ne-
cessarily, to a great extent, depend upon the exigencies
that arise ; but of course I could be compelled, by no
exigency, by no party ties or arrangements, to give up
my principles, or the least of those principles which
constitute our great cause.
If the South has any desire to remain in the