Clemson in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
John C. Calhoun
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Secretary of War 1817-1825
Vice President of the United States 1825-1832
United States Senator 1832-1843
Secretary of State 1844-1845
United States Senator 1845-1850
Thomas G. Clemson 1872-1888
John C. Calhoun
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 34° 40.715′ N, 82° 50.331′ W. Marker is in Clemson, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is on Fort Hill Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of Fort Hill, located near the center of the Clemson University campus. Marker is in this post office area: Clemson SC 29631, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of the First Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Clemson Agricultural College (here, next to this marker); Fort Hill Plantation Office (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Fort Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Walter T. Cox, Jr. First Woman Graduate (about 600 feet away); Quercus lyrata (Overcup Oak) (about 700 feet away); Integration with Dignity, 1963 (about 700 feet away); Military Heritage Plaza (about 800 feet away); Thomas Green Clemson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Memorial Park / The Scroll of Honor (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Clemson.
Also see . . .
1. Fort Hill (Clemson, South Carolina). Fort Hill, also known as the John C. Calhoun Mansion and Library, is a National Historic Landmark in South Carolina which was once the home of John C. Calhoun.
2. Fort Hill. Fort Hill was the home of John C. Calhoun, South Carolina's pre-eminent 19th century statesman, from 1825 until his death in 1850.
3. Heart of the University. Before there was a Clemson University, before there was the dream of a “high seminary of learning, as its founder would pen in his famous will, there was a home called
4. Fort Hill. Fort Hill (John C. Calhoun Mansion & Library), the plantation home of John C. Calhoun during the last 25 years of his life is today well-maintained in the center of Clemson University campus.
5. Fort Hill Plantation – Clemson – Pickens County. Named for Fort Rutledge that had been built on the property during the Revolutionary War.
6. Reproduction wallpaper for "Fort Hill" Home of John C. Calhoun. Fort Hill was the home of John C. Calhoun, South Carolina's pre-eminent 19th century statesman, from 1825 until his death in 1850.
7. Fort Hill Plantation at Clemson University. One of the state's most famous historic homes has undergone a meticulous restoration.
8. John E. Colhoun. John Ewing Colhoun (1750 – October 26, 1802) was a United States Senator and lawyer from South Carolina.
9. John C. Calhoun. John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was the 7th Vice President of the United States and a leading Southern politician from South Carolina during the
10. South Carolina Exposition and Protest by John C. Calhoun (1828). The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, also known as Calhoun's Exposition, was written in 1828 by John C. Calhoun, during the Nullification Crisis.
11. Disquisition on Government by John C. Calhoun (1849). In order to have a clear and just conception of the nature and object of government, it is indispensable to understand correctly what that constitution or law of our nature is, in which government originates; or, to express it more fully and accurately — that law, without which government would not, and with which, it must necessarily exist.
12. A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States by John C. Calhoun (1849). Ours is a system of governments, compounded of the separate governments of the several States composing the Union, and of one common government of all its members, called the Government of the United States.
13. Floride Calhoun. Floride Bonneau Calhoun (February 15, 1792 – July 25, 1866) was the wife of prominent U.S. politician John C. Calhoun.
14. Thomas Green Clemson. Thomas Green Clemson, (July 1, 1807 – April 6, 1888) was an American politician and statesman, serving as an ambassador and the United States Superintendent of Agriculture.
15. Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson. Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson (1817–1875) was the daughter of John C. Calhoun and the wife of Thomas Green Clemson, the Founder of Clemson University.
16. African Americans at Fort Hill: 1825-1888. African Americans were a vital force in the operation and economy of Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun from 1825 to 1850 and Thomas Green Clemson from 1872 to 1888.
1. Fort Hill - National Register Nomination Form
Fort Hill's white columned "Big House" and the one-room plantation office, situated on a small hill in the midst of about five acres, are all that remain of the 1,100 acre plantation that was John C. Calhoun's home from 1825 until 1850. The mansion and office have been well preserved with little alteration, and contain many valuable original furnishings as well. Although located in the center of the Clemson University Campus,
The land upon which the mansion was erected was originally granted by the state to Robert Tate in 1784. At that time, the 600 acres was called the Fort Hill Tract, named for a fortification built there in 1776. Late in the eighteenth century the estate became the property of John Ewing Calhoun, who was to be the father-in-law of John C. Calhoun. In 1802 the Fort Hill Tract was deeded to the Reverend James and Elizabeth McElhenney and about this time a modest house, used as a rectory, was built by the minister and named "Old Clergy Hall."
The architecture of this house was very simple, consisting of four main rooms, two on the first floor, two on the second. The house was approximately 38 feet long and 18 feet wide. A large fire-place and hearth and a deep Dutch over are still interesting features of the room to the right of the north entrance hall. The west end of this room was partitioned off to enclose a staircase leading to the two rooms above. The main entrance was on the north and the front door opened into a hall-way which occupied the
After the death of Mr. McElhenney, the estate was owned by Mrs. John Ewing Calhoun, who was a cousin of John Caldwell Calhoun and became his mother-in-law when he married her daughter, Floride. In 1825, following his decision to locate permanently in the South, John Calhoun moved his family from Washington, D.C. to Clergy Hall, which he rented from his mother-in-law. Clergy Hall was located about five miles form the small town of Pendleton, in a district then developing into a socially and politically important plantation area in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mrs. John Ewing Calhoun died about 1836 and John C. Calhoun gained personal ownership of the estate the same year, and shortly thereafter changed the name to Fort Hill. Calhoun acquired adjoining tracts of land until the estate comprised 1,100 acres of forests, uplands and valleys.
Additions were made to the old house as the needs of the family, which included nine children, increased. Supposedly, Mrs. Calhoun was consistently remodeling the house and gardens, often while her husband was away in Washington. This explains the informal arrangement, unexpected steps and sudden turnings of the interior, which eventually contained fourteen rooms. The exterior of
The Calhouns used the east colonnade as the main entrance. Double doors open from it into a small hall, from which steep winding stairs ascend to the second floor. The house was heated by fireplaces in every room, each with a different carved mantel imported from Charleston. The ceiling were low and the floors are made of wide pine planks.
On the first floor, to the south of the main entrance is the parlor. To the north is the formal dining room, while the room on the western side of the original section was probably the family dining room for the Calhouns. Most of the bedrooms were located on the second floor, with dressing rooms adjoining several of them. The nursery was connected to the west end of the master bedroom, which is next to the dining room, and the quest room was above the parlor.
An article about Fort Hill in Scribner's Magazine of 1881 substantiated the belief that
Another source, (the housekeeper of the subsequent owner), said that the extension on the west end contained four rooms, each about 18 by 25 feet, and one served as kitchen, another as laundry. They were built of wood, the walls were of rough plaster, and the floors were made of stone.
Apparently the smoke-house was located a few feet south of this extension and a "double-room house" for the house servants was built near the west end of it. Beneath the brow of the hill, to the north of the mansion less than 100 feet, was an abundant spring and a large arched chamber built of stones, described as an "semi-subterranean" spring-house. Also close by were the dairy and pigeon house.
The west extension of the mansion was removed after the Calhouns died, but in 1938 a one-room detached kitchen was reconstructed on that site. The spring and springhouse were restored in 1950, and except for the library, all of the other many out-buildings of the plantation are gone.
The one-room library or plantation office is located about fifty feet south of the mansion. According to the nineteenth
These books were put in the college library for safe-keeping and they were lost in a fire in 1894. Today the building houses a collection of early maps and some Calhoun furnishings, including his chair from the Senate and a carved roll-top desk which he used when Vice President. The white frame structure, ca. 1825, has a columned porch in front and a fireplace on the south side. The exterior is oak-paneled, with fairly high ceilings. The walled excavation under the building was used as an ice house.
Fort Hill Plantation in Calhoun's time consisted of over 1,100 acres, 450 being in cultivation. The cotton fields were large -- one of them covered 120 acres. Calhoun also experimented with Bermuda grass and terraced the hillsides of his land. He raised purebred horses and experimented with cattle breeding as well as silkworm production. The large gardens were filled with a great variety of fruits and vegetables and he collected many interesting trees to landscape his estate.
In relation to the present Clemson University campus, the vegetable garden was where
The house servants' quarters extended from the west end of the mansion, beyond the outside kitchen. The slave quarters were located a short distance from where the present Architectural building now stands. The slave houses were built of stone and were joined together in a continuous range over 200 feet long, each house with a back and front yard. The stables were some distance away, as were the cotton press, granaries and the mills for grinding corn and wheat.
Many Clemson University buildings are located on what was once the lawn of Fort Hill, and the front gate of the plantation was where Sikes Hall how stands. The driveway to the mansion wound through a line of trees by the present Administration building to the east front of the house; some of the original trees are still standing. The spacious lawn was landscaped with oaks, locusts, cedars, elms, willows, wild orange, and fig trees. A fenced-in yard surrounded the house and the gate was where the Trustee House is now located. Gift trees, a varnish tree from Madagascar from Commodore Stephen Decatur, a hemlock from Daniel Webster, and an arborvitae from Henry Clay, still grace the
In 1850 Calhoun died and Thomas G. Clemson, his son-in-law, eventually inherited the estate. He lived in the mansion for many years and he willed the estate to the state of South Carolina for the establishment of an agricultural and mechanical college, with a provision to provide for the preservation of the Calhoun mansion. Clemson's will stated in part: "It is my desire that the dwelling-house of Fort Hill shall never be torn down or altered; but shall be kept in repair with all of the articles of furniture and vesture which I herewith give for that purpose, and shall be always open for the inspection of visitors..."
The college was established in 1889 with $80,000 and 814 acres bequeathed by Clemson, as a land grant college. Fort Hill is presently maintained by Clemson University and with gifts and a per capita tax on members of the South Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who supervise preservation and conduct tours of the house.
Fort Hill, the plantation home of John C. Calhoun during the last 25 years of his life is today well-maintained in the center of Clemson University campus. When he moved to the house in 1825 Calhoun was Vice President of the United States, at the height of his career, having gained national recognition as one of the "War Hawks" in the Twelfth Congress and as Secretary
Though his political career kept him away much of the time, Calhoun returned to Fort Hill whenever the opportunity offered and he wrote some of his most important political speeches and essays there, probably in his one-room library. During the Congressional recess of 1828, with a crisis brewing in his native state, Calhoun returned home to write his famous "South Carolina Exposition," embodying the doctrine of nullification. When nullification became a fact four years later, Calhoun hurried to South Carolina to guide proceedings, subsequently giving up the vice-presidency to enter the Senate in support of his doctrine.
During the first part of Polk's administration he retired to private life at Fort Hill, when he was not asked to remain as Secretary of State, but soon returned to the Senate because of the Oregon and Texas controversies. During his last summer at Fort Hill in 1849, Calhoun finished writing his "Discourse on the Constitution of the United States," and his famous essay "A Disquisition on Government," in which he presented his
John Caldwell Calhoun was born March 18, 1782 in Abbeville District, South Carolina. After graduating from Yale University in 1804, he studied law in South Carolina and Litchfield, Connecticut and was admitted to the bar in 1807. He was elected to the South Carolina Legislature in 1808, to the United States Congress in 1811. Until his death on March 31, 1850 in Washington, D.C., Calhoun was one of the most influential and dominant political figures in the country.
2. John Caldwell Calhoun (1782 - 1850)
John Caldwell Calhoun (cousin of John Ewing Colhoun and Joseph Calhoun), a Representative and a Senator from South Carolina and a Vice President of the United States; born near Calhoun Mills, Abbeville District (now Mount Carmel, McCormick County), S.C., March 18, 1782; attended the common schools and private academies; graduated from Yale College in 1804; studied law, admitted to the bar in 1807, and commenced practice in Abbeville, S.C.; also engaged in agricultural pursuits; member, State house of representatives 1808-1809; elected as a Democratic Republican to the Twelfth and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from
Categories. • Antebellum South, US • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • Politics •
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