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 365

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Page 365

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 365
as it were, create a sovereign, by the expressly and
constitutionally recorded will of the sovereign States.
It is authorized to " admit new States." All " STATES "
are sovereign. They can define and establish property,
and your Territories, when they are admitted as States,
may do it also. In this we all agree. And it seems to
me very strange that the Territories, when a few short
years will enable them to attain the high position of
sovereign States in this Confederation, should wish to
snatch at sovereignty before their time. It was not so
of old. It can only be explained by referring to the
progress of demagogueism in these degenerate days
of the Republic, and to the insane desire to destroy
one section of this Union. But this is beside the ar-
gument.
If the framers of the Constitution had supposed
that in granting the power to the General Govern-
ment " to dispose of, and make needful rules and
regulations, respecting the territory and other property
of the United States," they conferred the power to
establish in such Territory political governments, en-
dowed with the sovereign power to define what is and
what is not property, then they would have stultified
themselves by the additional grant of power to " admit
new States." The Territories would be States at once,
and with, perhaps, great advantage over the other
States. The power " to make needful rules,"&c., has
from the first been stretched so far as to authorize
each Territory to send a Delegate to the House of
Representatives. What obstacle is there then, but
the mere will of Congress, to a Territory sending one
also to the Senate nay, two and to the House as
many as the different political and other interests of