Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Name that Speaker

The time: May 1854

The place: The House of Representatives

The occasion: The debate on the Kansas-Nebraska Act

I don't expect you to be able to identify the speaker. But tell me something about him. Where is he from? North? South? East? West? Urban or rural? For or against the Act?

The clue: The speaker is not James Henry Hammond, pictured at the top.

Paragraph breaks added:
In reply, Mr. Chairman, to what dropped from the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Wentworth] last night, and to others who have been overflowing with sympathy for the southern slaves, I have to say, that the only difference between the negro slave of the South, and the white wages slave of the North, is, that the one has a master without asking for him, and the other has to beg for the privilege of being a slave. [Great laughter.]

The one is the slave of an individual; the other is the slave of an inexorable class. After the latter has added, by his labor and his toil, wealth to the community in which he has lived, he is turned adrift without any, among all the different employers that he has had, to give him a mouthful of victuals or a night's lodging.

I would ask the particular advocates of Abolition upon this floor, to point me to one single solitary degradation heaped upon the negro of the South that a white man at the North is not liable to have imposed on him for the time being through poverty?

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