James Henry Hammond And The Old South


James Henry Hammond was a unique personality, the most famous for his radical political views oriented towards the further cherishing of slavery. He is also widely known as a great spokesman, politician and successful planter. During his controversial life Hammond has built a strong career based on the portrait of civilization he was raised in and involved over his life. His conservative but at the same time convincing thoughts in combination with excellent oratory skills served him gaining a significant support from the local communities. Also, James Henry Hammond was a direct witness of both rise and fall of the cotton industry.

He made a foundation to his career when he managed to acquire around 20 square miles of property including plantations, houses and hundreds of slaves. It is worth mentioning that this property was obtained through marriage, which greatly contributed in terms of political relations associated with his wife‘s family. He was a crafty strategist and a great business man, who managed to make use both economic and political situations surrounding him. After he invested into various inovative farming techniques leading by shrewd management, he soon became the major plantholder in the state of South Carolina. Later after marriage he was elected as a Governor of the state and a member of the Nullifier Party. However, due to his health problems, he was forced to resign the Governor position and moved to Europe, where Hammond spent 2 years mainly concentrating on the ways to improve his agricultural holdings. A seemingly successful career was burned to ashes when the senior Hampton found out about the Hammond’s abuses on Hampton nieces as teenagers. This behaviour was instantly criticized by the state communities, therefore Hammond withdrew from any public occupations. After more than 10 years he eventually returned to the politics and entered the United States Senate. In 1860 the South Carolina was seceded from the Union implying Hammond lost his Senator position as well.

James Henry Hammond was a true representative of the Old South. He dedicated his whole life to preserve the Southern way of life and traditions the state was built on. Hammond thought about himself as the benevolent, generous master of his slaves. The same way he treated his family. Unfortunately, over years the control he wished he could retain began slipping out of his hands and he was mentally broken when the situation was beyond his control. James Henry Hammond has become a symbol of the end of the world of Old South.

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