Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 62a Hugh Swinton Legare >> Page 6

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 6 THE SIMMS LETTERS
62a : To HUGH SWINTON LEGARE'
Woodlands, near Midway, Jan. 15. 1838. dear Sir
Let me thank you for your attentive consideration, and pray permission once more to trespass upon you. Away from the seaboard, I lack the usual facilities of steamboat conveyance to transmit pack-ages which are of too great size and too little importance to justify the expense of the mails. One of these, to a Philadelphia publisher, I take the liberty to enclose to you, and will be glad if you will cover it with your frank to its place of destination.' A free construction of the privileges will give you sufficient sanction for so doing, as I may plead that the contents are strictly pro bono publico. I see that the Philistines' are upon you. Arguments are wasted upon such people, and they must be met, I take it, with a weapon like Sampson's and their own—the jawbone of the ass. I am glad to see that you have wasted little breath upon them, and I smiled (with you no doubt) when I read the challenge of the venerable Mr. Slade.' The game as the French say, is not worth the candle.
62a
'Legare (see introductory sketch) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1836 and served for one term only.
'The "Philadelphia publisher" is Carey and Hart (see letter to Legare' of Jan. 29 [63al). The package probably contained part of the manuscript of Richard Hurdis (see letter to Carey of Apr.? 1838 [656]).
t[elt al abolitionists. [Simms' note.]
'The Congressional Globe, VI, 41, reports that on Dec. 20, 1837, William Slade (1786-1859), Representative from Vermont, spoke at great length on referring two memorials ... praying for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia to a select committee." When Slade began to take up the subject of slavery in the states, he was interrupted by Legal-6, who "hoped the gentleman from Vermont would allow him to make a few remarks before he Proceeded further. He sincerely hoped that gentleman would consider well what he was about before he ventured on such ground, and that he would take time to consider what might be its probable consequences. He solemnly entreated him to reflect on the possible results of such a course, which involved the interests of a nation and a continent. He would warn him, not in the language of defiance, which all brave and wise men despised, but he would warn him in the language of a solemn sense of duty, that if there was 'a spirit aroused in the North in relation to this subject,' that spirit would encounter another spirit in the South full as stubborn. He would tell them that, when this question was forced upon the people of the South, they would be ready to take up the gauntlet. He concluded by urging