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 photographed 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.

Mathew Brady Studio Daguerreotype, circa 1849
21.6 x 16.3 cm (8 1/2 x 6 3/8 inches); 21.6 x 16.5 cm (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches) framed
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut