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John C. Calhoun, a political rival of Houston, served in the United
States government as a Congressman, Senator, Secretary of War, Vice
President, and Secretary of State. Originally from South Carolina,
Calhoun graduated from Yale, attended law school in Connecticut and
passed the South Carolina bar in 1807. After practicing in his native
district for two years, Calhoun ran for the state legislature and
won, launching a political career that would take him to the second-highest
political office in the country.
Elected to Congress in 1811, Calhoun introduced the war report,
advocating the War of 1812. Calhoun and Henry Clay, two famous "War
Hawks," urged war with England to vindicate American national
honor. Calhoun served as Secretary of War under President James Monroe
from 1817-1825. During that time, Calhoun met Houston when Houston,
serving as Indian Subagent, escorted a group of Cherokees Chiefs
to the White House. The meeting between the two men was not an amicable
one and a lifelong rivalry ensued.
In 1824, Calhoun sought to succeed Monroe as President, but withdrew
his candidacy to run as Vice President. He served as Vice President
under John Quincy Adams and began a term under Andrew
resigned in 1832 over policy disputes, including tariff and states'
Focused on protecting southern interests, Calhoun ran for a Senate
seat in South Carolina. He served as a Senator from 1832-1843, and
after serving as Secretary of State in 1844, the last year of President
John Tyler's administration, he returned to the Senate and served
from 1846 until his death. Calhoun was a spokesman for slavery and
states' rights, the precipitating issues of the Civil War. He died
in Washington in March of 1850.
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, accessed June, 2003
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