John C. Calhoun was born on March 18, 1782, near Calhoun Mills in the Abbeville District of South Carolina. Later in life he served in the South Carolina State House of Representatives from 1808–1809, and then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1811 until 1817 when he resigned. He served as Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President James Monroe from 1817–1825. He was then elected as Vice-President on ticket with Andrew Jackson in 1824, and served from March 4, 1825 to December 28, 1832. He resigned his position upon his election to the United States Senate on December 12, 1832, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Robert Y. Hayne. He was then re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 1834 and 1840 and served from December 29, 1832 until his resignation, effective March 3, 1843. Next, he served as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President John Tyler from 1844–1845, and was again elected to the U.S. Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Daniel E. Huger. He was re-elected in 1846 and served from November 26, 1845, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 31, 1850.
Calhoun attended common schools and private academies before earning his degree from Yale College in 1804. He attended Litchfield Law School in Connecticut and read law in Charleston. Calhoun was admitted to South Carolina bar in 1807.
Located in the Legal History Room, 250.