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John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun
Alternate Title
Book: The Gallery of Illustrious Americans
Francis D'Avignon, 29 Oct 1813 - c. 1871
Copy after
Mathew B. Brady, 1823? - 15 Jan 1896
John Caldwell Calhoun, 18 Mar 1782 - 31 Mar 1850
Lithograph on paper
Sheet: 56.7 x 40.6cm (22 5/16 x 16")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Neckwear\Tie\Bowtie
John Caldwell Calhoun: Male
John Caldwell Calhoun: Law and Crime\Lawyer
John Caldwell Calhoun: Politics and Government\Vice-President of US
John Caldwell Calhoun: Politics and Government\Cabinet member\Secretary of War
John Caldwell Calhoun: Education and Scholarship\Scholar\Philosopher
John Caldwell Calhoun: Politics and Government\Cabinet member\Secretary of State
John Caldwell Calhoun: Politics and Government\US Congressman\South Carolina
John Caldwell Calhoun: Politics and Government\US Senator\South Carolina
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
This lithograph was part of a series published by Charles Lester titled the Gallery of Illustrious Americans. Containing twenty-four lithographs based on photographs by Mathew Brady, the series was sold via subscription. The subjects were all men of note, such as President Zachary Taylor and other leading politicians, including the fire-eating South Carolinian John C. Calhoun. Calhoun’s career had traversed the spectrum of antebellum American politics, from his fervent nationalism during the War of 1812 to his full-throated advocacy of nullification and states’ rights in the 1830s and 1840s. By 1849 he was laying the theoretical and political justification for southern secession over what he called the conspiracy to abolish slavery. He died during the negotiations over the Compromise of 1850, in which he held the position that there could be no interference in southern institutions.
Mathew Brady made the original photograph in 1848–49, but Calhoun had probably passed away before this lithograph was made.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery