The New Student's Reference Work/Calhoun, John Caldwell
Calhoun (kăl-ho͞on′), John Caldwell an American statesman, was born in Abbeville County, South Carolina, in 1782. He graduated at Yale College with high honors, studied law and after serving in the state legislature was sent to Congress. He took an active part in urging the war with England in 1812 and many other measures. After six years in the house of representatives, he became secretary of war in the cabinet of President Monroe, and in 1824 was elected vice-president of the United States, and four years later was again elected to the same office. He became about this time an advocate of free-trade, and believed in the doctrine of state sovereignty or state rights. He was the author of the South Carolina Exposition, which declared that any state can make null and void unconstitutional laws of congress. Calhoun resigned before the close of his term, and was elected to the United States senate. He was secretary of state for a short time under President Tyler, and negotiated the so-called Tyler treaty for the annexation of Texas. He returned to the senate, where he remained until his death at Washington, March 31, 1850. Calhoun was one of the foremost of American debaters. He, Webster and Clay were called The Great Trio. His debate with Webster in 1833 on the nature of federal government was one of the most noted for eloquence and ability in the annals of any country.