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 367

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Page 367

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 367
and probably nothing not familiar to every one who
has heard all that has been said here, which I have
not. In every aspect of this new doctrine and there
are many I have not touched it has appeared to me
an illegitimate and dangerous excrescence on our re-
publican system the offspring of an unsound, morbid,
and licentious spirit of mobocracy, well calculated, in
fact, if successfully persisted in, sure to destroy the
genuine spirit of our political institutions nay, to
destroy the confederacy.
It was not my intention to have intruded upon the
Senate any remarks upon the subject ; but the Senator
from Illinois, in his speech the other day, made some
allusion to my State which I thought should be cor-
rected. He asked not to be interrupted, and after-
wards promised to make the correction in the report
of his speech. I do not doubt that he has done so ;
but what he said has gone forth from the reporters,
and cannot be fully corrected by any omission from
his speech. On this account I felt bound to make the
corrections myself ; and could not refrain from saying
something more.
When South Carolina voted for General Cass, in
1848, after his celebrated letter to Judge Nicholson,
she put upon that letter the interpretation then uni-
versal in the South ; she assumed him to mean, in
what he said, that a Territory, when it came to frame
a constitution, and ask admission as a State, might
declare what should be property within its limits.
South Carolina did not intend by her vote to sustain
squatter sovereignty.
The compromise measures of 1760, which the
Senator says contained this doctrine, had not a friend,