John C. Calhoun | Palmetto Special


"The Palmetto Special" goes to John C. Calhoun's old homeplace, Fort Hill on the Clemson campus. Four students, who also appear in the dramatic portion, tour the mansion and grounds. The conclusion of the program is at Calhoun's gravesite at St. Phillips Episcopal Churchyard in Charleston.

The Reenactment #1 -  It is the summer of 1829. Vice-President Calhoun is spending the Congressional recess at his home near Pendleton, South Carolina. His youngest daughter, Cornelia, crippled from a fall in a swing, helps her father with his correspondence. He writes to a colleague in the Senate from South Carolina, Robert Y Hayne, expressing concern over the deteriorating relations between himself and President Jackson. Calhoun discusses his theory of nullification with his son Andrew, who is off to Yale, his father's alma mater, in the fall.

The Reenactment #2 - In the family dining room, tension, caused by pressing national affairs, is broken by the antics of young cousin Ted. This portion concludes in Washington for the Jefferson Day Dinner in April of 1830 where toasts from the President and Vice-President bring their seething rift out into the open. All of the characters in the program were real. The situation at the dinner table with Ted and the duck was real, as were the toasts at the Jefferson Day Dinner.

The other situations might have occurred similar to the way they were portrayed Major locations for the reenactments were Fort Hill, Clemson, South Carolina, and the Mills House, Charleston, South Carolina

More in this Series

Palmetto Special