John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was born in South Carolina in March, 1782. He studied at Yale College where in 1802 he
graduated with distinction, read law, and was admitted to the bar. In 1808 he was elected to the Legislature
of South Carolina, and in 1810 was chosen to Congress as a Democrat. He became a prominent leader of the
war party, and soon acquired a national reputation. He favored a protective tariff and the United States Bank.
In 1817 he was appointed to the Cabinet of President Monroe as Secretary of War. He was elected Vice-President
of the United States in 1824, with John Quincy Adams as President, and was re-elected to the same office in
1828. The people of South Carolina believing that a protective tariff was detrimental to the interests of that
State, Mr. Calhoun changed his course and became an advocate of the doctrine of free trade, and advanced the
theory that a State may nullify unconstitutional laws. At that time both Calhoun and Van Buren aspired to the
Presidency, but the President favored the claims of the latter, and thereby incurred the enmity of the
Vice-President. He resigned in 1832, and was chosen a Senator of the United States. By the advice and under
the direction of Mr. Calhoun, a convention held in South Carolina in 1832 adopted an ordinance to nullify
the tariff, and prepared to resist by force the collection of the revenue; but the President soon suppressed
the incipient rebellion by preparing to meet force with force, and by declaring that upon the commission of the
first overt act of treason Calhoun should be arrested and tried for that crime. Mr. Calhoun afterward
supported the compromise tariff of 1833 and acted with the Whig party in opposing Jackson's policy relative
to the United States Bank. He was the avowed champion of slavery, which he insisted was a positive political
and social good, hoping thereby to form a solid South that would aid him in his ambitious projects. Retiring
from the Senate in 1833, he was the next year appointed Secretary of State by Mr. Tyler, in which position he
signed the treaty for the annexation of Texas to this country. He returned to the Senate in 1845 and opposed
the Mexican war and the Wilmot Proviso. Died in 1850.
Adapted from The Dictionary of Biography by Charles Morris
Key events during the life of John C. Calhoun:
||Birth of John Calhoun.
||Graduated from Yale.
||Became member of Congress.
||Appointed Secretary of War under President Monroe.
||Vice-president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.
||Ran for presidency against Martin Van Buren and lost.
||Retired from the Senate.
||Appointed Secretary of State.
||Returned to the Senate.
||Death of John Calhoun.
||Congressman and Speaker of the house of the mid-nineteenth century, associated with Webster and Calhoun.
||Influential Senator from New England. Promoted protective tariffs. Favored compromise on slavery.
||Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, President of U.S., and founder of Democratic Party.
||Fifth president of the United States, and ally of Thomas Jefferson. Acquired Florida and promulgated the 'Monroe Doctrine.'
|John Quincy Adams
||Diplomat who spent much time in Europe before becoming the sixth U.S. President.