Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Speech on the Relations of the States, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, May 21, 1860 >> Page 361

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 361

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 361
of power ; but it was, by unanimous consent, construed
to mean that Congress might establish a suitable pro-
visional government for each Territory as soon as the
number of inhabitants required that law and order
should be enforced, and the property of the United
States, as well as peace and justice, preserved there,
by the intervention of the Federal Government. It
was considered a " needful regulation," and nothing
more.
Yet these adventurers, few or more, squatting on
land they do not own, but which belongs to all the
States, and of which they do not squat on more than a
small portion within the limits assigned them, are those,
into whose hands the opponents of these resolutions
demand that sovereignty throughout their whole bor-
der shall be surrendered. Why, they are but volun-
tary exiles who have been allowed to seek homes in a
wilderness not discovered, purchased, or conquered by
them, but still the property of the States, whereon
these tenants by sufferance, in their yet unfinished term
of social infancy and political pupilage, the great agent
of the States has kindly undertaken to protect ; giving
them judges, Governors, and a sort of Legislature
all subject, however, to be withdrawn at any moment
and the whole system supported from the Treasury
of the States. Yet it is said that such Territories are
sovereignties, and such people sovereigns, and that
such an organization can assume the high and sove-
reign function of defining and declaring what is and
what is not property, and thereby forbid a large pro-
portion of the citizens of the States, who really own
the lands, from entering such Territories with their
rightful property.