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John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun
Charles Bird King, 26 Sep 1785 - 18 Mar 1862
John Caldwell Calhoun, 18 Mar 1782 - 31 Mar 1850
c. 1823
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 76.8 × 64.1 × 2.2 cm (30 1/4 × 25 1/4 × 7/8")
Frame (Verified): 92.7 x 81.3 x 8.3 cm (36 1/2 x 32 x 3 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942
Object number
Exhibition Label
Of all the War Hawks, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina most eloquently put forward the argument that a "second struggle for our liberty" was not only necessary, but positive for the country. As head of the Foreign Relations Committee, Calhoun believed that another war was needed to reinvigorate the country and create a new generation of patriots. He wrote, "The war will be a favorite one with the country. Much honor awaits those who may distinguish themselves." Mismanagement by the War Department throughout the war frustrated Calhoun, and as secretary of war, he would later overhaul the department, making vast improvements for the future of the military. Calhoun is the only vice president to serve under different presidents—John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He resigned under Jackson to return to the Senate, where he became a champion of states’ rights and nullification.
(Augustus F. De Forest, New York);(Keeler Galleries, New York, 4 May 1922); (Kraushaar Gallery, New York); (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); purchased 1936 by The A. W.Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust; gift 1942 to NGA; transferred 1965 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection