John C. Calhoun
1782 - 1850
John C. Calhoun, devoted most of his political career to protecting the interests of the South while maintaining the Union. Calhoun came to Washington in 1811 as a congressman from South Carolina, quickly attaining recognition for his powerful support for war against Britain. He became secretary of war under James Monroe and was elected Vice President twice--under John Quincy Adams in 1824 and Andrew Jackson in 1828.
But in 1832 his support for states' rights caused a rift
with Jackson, and Calhoun resigned the vice presidency for the Senate. Calhoun remained a powerful and charismatic figure in Washington until his death, the perpetual Democratic opponent of Whig politicians Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. : Mathew Brady made a daguerreotype of Calhoun around the winter of 1849 and used this image to create many more portraits, including a lithograph and a large, majestic painting that hung in Brady's studio.

Henry F. Darby (1829 - 1897)
Oil on canvas, c. 1849
46 x 36 inches
United States Senate Collection, Washington, D.C.