We Will Hang The Abolition Soldiery
Thomas Carmichael Hindman of Arkansas
United States House of Representatives, January 19 1860

The party opposed to us was, and is, that known as Republican - a title synonymous, in our estimation, with sectionalism, with hostility to State rights, with disloyalty to the Constitution, with treason to the Government, and with civil war, bloodshed, murder and rapine.

That it is a sectional party, is shown by the fact that it has no representative here except from the northern States, and that it sprang to life out of the festering prejudices of northern anti-slavery mailgnity, and is kept alive by appeals to those prejudices only.

That it is hostile to State rights, and disloyal to the Constitution, is shown by its openly avowed intention to keep the leading property interest of the South out of the common Territories, by congressional prohibition of slavery there, which the Supreme Court of the Union has solemnly adjudged to be unconstitutional.

That it is a treasonable party is shown by its nullification of the fugitive slave law, in at least eight northern States, and its persistent refusal to comply with the Federal compact for the delivering up of fugitive slaves. Not only is this done in that number of States, but constant efforts are made to add to the black list of recreant and dishonored sovereignties.


It may perhaps be not inappropriate in me now to digress a little from the line of my argument, for the purpose of exposing, by facts of recent occurrence, that degree of blindness with which fanatics habitually look abroad in quest of imaginary evils - not seeing or caring to see real and terrible wrongs at their own door. I have seen, within a few hours past, certain proceedings of the Pemberton mills operatives, in Massachusetts, published in the New York Herald of yesterday, which I ask to be read as a portion of my remarks.

The Clerk read as follows:

Proceedings of the Pemberton Spinning Operatives and Strikers

1. Resolved, That we, the spinners of the frame or ring spinning on the Pemberton Mill Corporation, have long enough endured the low prices for our hard labor - wages which are too low to live by, as we cannot meet our bills for the necessities of life with such a contemptible compensation for our labor as has been paid us for the past year.

2. Resolved, That we respectfully solicit a public investigation of the facts of the case, and a public exposure of the oppression and tyranny, abuse and obscenity, which have been perpetrated upon the female department of the Pemberton spinning room, from time to time, by cringing tools of a monopolist corporation.

3. Resolved, That such language, and such obscene behavior, such malicious abuse, as we have endured from time to time, perpetrated upon us by the menials and slave-drivers in high and low places, placed over us to drive and hunt us down in our labor, from early morning until late at night, is more appropriate to the barbarous or dark ages than the enlightened age of the nineteenth century; yes, more appropriate to the slave-drivers of the negroes of the South than to the tyrannical monopolists of an enlightened community, who seek to make the condion of the white laborers at the North worse than that of the slaves of the South. * * * * * * * * *

5. Resolved, That such abuses, such vile and oppressive means as have been resorted to, to still persist in crushing our every right and just demand into a perfect annihilation, are too much for a brute creation to withstand, and much more for a white and intelligent community.

6. Resolved, That it is these wrongs, and this vile, tyrannical oppression, combined with incompetency of government, and wages so low that negro slavery is far preferable, and death sweet, rather than continued durance vile.

7. Resolved, That we believe a generous and just public will sympathize and investigate our affairs and our condition; and also, after such investigation, every candid and unprejudiced individual, black, yes, even the despised negroes of an abolition community, as well as the white Anglo-Saxon, both high and low, will render the verdict, viz: that such abuse, and such oppression and wrongs, such mean, contemptible tyranny over us, in the shape of sneaking, cringing tools to the meanest tyrannical dynasty that exists in the manufacturing world at large, have driven us to this revolt or strike for our rights and for justice at this inclement season of the year.

8. Resolved, That unless a different state of affairs exists in the future, both in regard to wages and in the mode of government over us, that we will die on our strike rather than submit to such heinous and outrageous injustice from the Pemberton tyrants.

9. Resolved, That in the language of a noted anti-slavery agitator, in regard to the perpetuation of the Federal Union, that we also say, that under these circumstances that now exist, and have existed between us and our employers, let the former union and the present slide forever, before they shall any longer enslave and abuse us.

10. Resolved, That the above resolutions are the unanimous sentiments of the Pemberton frame spinning operatives; also, that the same are authorized by us to be printed in one or more of the public presses in this city.

Lawrence, February 14, 1859.

Mr. HINDMAN. From the paper just read, let the civilized world judge between the slave-holders of the South, who hold the negro in that subordination for which nature and nature's God intended him, and the false philanthropists of the North, who inflict, or consent to the infliction, on white men and women, of such intolerable outrages and grievances as are there set forth.


I said that the tenets and practices of the Republican party lead to civil war, to bloodshed, to murder, and to rapine. That is shown by John Brown's invasion of Virginia, and slaughter of her peaceable citizens. The Republican members here may now disclaim all sympathy with that old traitor; they may say again and again that they contributed nothing to his enterprise, either in men, money, arms, or favorable wishes; but until they shall have abandoned Republicanism, and repented of their connection with it, a discerning and intelligent public will deride and spurn all such protestations.

These innocent lambs that now bleat so gently, under fear of popular condemnation, are the same men who wrought up the northern mind to that pitch of frenzy out of which John Brown's bloody raid proceeded. By their maddening and furious abuse of slavery and slaveholders, they set on fire the brain of that old fanatic. Had there been no Republican party, there would have been no invasion of Harper's Ferry. John Brown was the tool of Republicanism, doing its work; and now, that the work is done, Republican politicians cannot skulk the responsibility. The country will hold them to it, and will gibbet them for it, as effectually as if the hemp that strangled John Brown and his confederates had also strangled these his instigators, from SEWARD, the author of the infamous irrepressible-conflict doctrine, down to his last-made convert and disciple, the member from Pennsylvania. [Laughter on the Democratic side.] I refer to that member from Pennsylvania [Mr. HICKMAN] who has on this floor twice threatened to apply the teachings of SEWARD, and to reenact the conduct of John Brown, by mustering and marching eighteen million northern men against the South, to whip her into submission to the higher law.

When that invasion is made, the price of hemp will go up, for our whole crop will be needed to hang the abolition soldiery; [laughter from Democrats and the galleries;] but the price of arms will go down, for we will take from our invaders arms enough to equip our whole population. [Applause from Democratic benches and the galleries.] The history of that invasion will be like that of the old Assyrian raid into Judea; the fate of its forces will be the same as that of the hosts of Sennacherib:

"Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown."

That, sir, will be the fate of the invaders of southern soil. In the language of a prominent Republican member of this House, "we will welcome them, with bloody hands, to hospitable graves." [Applause in the galleries.]


The Congressional Globe, The Official Proceedings of Congress, Published by John C. Rives, Washington, D. C.
Thirty-Sixth Congress, 1st Session,
New Series...No. 33, Friday, January 20, 1860, pages 523, 524.