Calhoun during his last major bid for the presidency of the United States. These few phrases illustrate principles that Calhoun espoused during his career that continue to be relevant in contemporary America. S government. Calhoun served in Congress, both in the House of Representatives and Senate, and as a cabinet member, as secretary of war and secretary of state. He was elected as vice president twice, serving two different administrations, and he was the first vice president to resign voluntarily from office.
One cannot understand the life of John C. Calhoun completely without an examination of his writing and political theory of slavery. In defense of slavery, Calhoun would quote both biblical references and examples from Classical Greek and Roman texts. Undeniably, Calhoun was an ardent believer in white supremacy. Calhoun, like many landed southerners, was a slave owner who firmly believed in the institution of slavery and all the benefits derived from it.
Calhoun was born and reared in a society where slavery was taken as a given, and the moral issues surrounding slavery were rarely seriously debated or questioned. Like most slave owners, Calhoun expressed a paternalistic view toward his slaves. He provided what he deemed was proper housing, medical care, work days, holidays, clothing and marriage rites to his slaves so that he could procure the necessary labor from them. As a slaveholder, Calhoun was expected to follow the racial etiquette practiced throughout the South.
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He could not develop any relationship with a slave that challenged the established order. However, the constant contact of plantation life led to familiar bonds being formed.
One such bond was the relationship between Calhoun and Sawney Calhoun Sr. The two hunted and fished together. He and his wife, Tiller, had several children who were mentioned in the Calhoun family correspondence, including Sawney Jr.
Floride viewed Sawney Sr. However, Calhoun dismissed her suspicions and spoke in defense of Sawney. Other slaves were less fortunate at Fort Hill.
This treatment matd what would be expected from a slave owner when dealing with a runaway. It is the most severe punishment recorded for any of the Calhoun slaves. Calhoun viewed himself as a model slave owner, taking an active interest in the construction of the Fort Hill slave quarters and giving his son-in-law Thomas Green Clemson guidance on how best to preserve the value of his own slaves.
Three of their daughters died in infancy: Floride Pure, Jane and Elizabeth. The last inventory of the Fort Hill Plantation was the estate of A. Calhoun in President John F.
Kennedy, during his service as a U. Forceful logician of state sovereignty, masterful defender of the rights of a political minority against the dangers of an uncked majority, his profoundly penetrating and original understanding of the social bases of government has significantly influenced American political theory and practice.
Sincerely devoted to the public good as he saw it, the ultimate tragedy of his final cause neither detracts from the greatness of his leadership nor tarnishes his efforts to avert bloodshed.
Outspoken, yet respected, intellectual yet loved, his leadership on every major issue in the critical era of transition significantly shaped the role of the Senate and the destiny of the nation. Calhoun biographer Dr. Calhoun insisted time after time that he was bound to do his duty in the role Providence had given him.
Nowhere in his letters does.
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And nowhere does he express the slightest guilt or regret that he lived at Fort Hill in a house of privilege built on the forced labor of black men and women. Surely we have not outlived the wisdom of the leaders who framed the Constitution, and Calhoun was one of the last in that distinguished line [CB3] age.
Like Calhoun, many of them owned slaves at the same time that they crafted ideas and institutions that were to advance the cause of liberty around the world. A flawed heritage, no doubt, but if history tells us anything, it is that those ideas and institutions which later generations pronounce good do not come unalloyed from the past. The papers of John C. Calhounwhich were edited by Robert Meriwether, W.
Edwin Hemphill, and Clyde N.
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Various historians have described the life of Calhoun throughout many books, which include: Irving H. Calhoun: a BiographyMargaret L.
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Calhoun: American Portrait and John C. Calhoun, the Man. Calhoun: A Bibliography, and Merrill D.
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As a politician, Calhoun supported the institution of slavery and owned slaves at his plantation in South Carolina, Fort Hill. Benton, Thomas H. New York: D. Appleton and Co. Calhoun, John C. Life of John C. The Papers of John C.
Edited by Robert Meriwether, W. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, Edited by Clyde N.
New Brunswick, U. Capers, Gerald M. Calhoun - Opportunist: A Reappraisal.
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Gainesville: University of Florida Press, ek, H. Lee, Jr.
Calhoun: Selected Writings and Spees. Lanham, Md.
Columbia: University of Missouri P, Coit, Margaret L. Calhoun: American Portrait.
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Columbia, S. Cook, Harriet Hefner. Bryan Company, Edgar, Walter B.
South Carolina: A History. C: University of South Carolina Press, Fitzpatrick, John C. The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, James, Marquis.
Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, Lander, Ernest McPherson. Megginson, Jim. Niven, John. Calhoun and the Price of Union: A Biography. Peterson, Merrill D.
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New York: Oxford University Press, Wilson, Clyde N. Calhoun: A Bibliography. Wiltse, Charles. Calhoun Sectionalist, - Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, Wilson, ed.
Perhaps one of the best accounts of the Fort Hill Plantation was this newspaper account. Calhoun 6.
Calhoun is clear and precise in his reasoning, marching up directly to the object of his attack, and felling down the errors of his opponent with the club of Hercules; not eloquent in his tropes and figures, but, like Fox, in the moral elevation of his sentiments; free from personality, yet full of those fine tous of indignation, which are the severest cut to the man of feeling.
Congressman Alexander J. Dallas of Pennsylvania is credited with coining this phrase about Calhoun. X,xiii. See BentonFitzpatrickJamesand Parton Calhoun Indianapolis, Indiana: Liberty Fund, Coit, John C.
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