James Hamilton Hammond, an American statesman, born at Newberry, S. C, Nov. 15, 1807, died at Beach Island, S. C, Nov. 13, 1864. His father, Elisha Hammond, a native of Massachusetts, became in 1802 professor of languages in South Carolina college, and afterward president of that institution. The son graduated there in 1825, was admitted to the bar, and in 1830 became editor of the "Southern Times" at Columbia. He married a lady of large fortune, and devoted himself to agriculture and politics. He wrote much, made many public addresses in behalf of nullification, and took an active part in organizing the military force which South Carolina raised in 1833 to resist the federal government. In 1835-7 he was a member of congress, and in 1842 governor of South Carolina. In 1844 he published a letter to the Free church of Glasgow, Scotland, on slavery in the United States, and in 1845 two others in reply to an anti-slavery circular by Thomas Clarkson; these with other essays on the same subject were collected in a volume, " The Pro-Slavery Argument" (Charleston, 1853). Besides essays on agriculture, manufactures, railroads, and finance, he published an elaborate review of the life, character, and public services of John C. Calhoun. In November, 1857, he was elected to the senate of the United States to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of A. P. Butler. In March, 1858, he made a speech in the senate in which he called the laboring classes "mudsills," a phrase which provoked much comment.
In the same speech he said, " Cotton is king, and no power upon earth dares make war upon it." On the secession of South Carolina in December, 1860, he withdrew from the senate, but during the civil war ill health compelled him to remain quietly at home.