John C. Calhoun House

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
National Historic Landmark
“In looking back, I see nothing to regret and little to correct.” – John C. Calhoun

In the late 1820’s, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun purchased a two-room country house built in 1803 for his family. As his political fortunes grew, the house was enlarged. Family history notes that when Calhoun was in Washington during his two terms as Vice President of the United States, his wife oversaw many of the additions that brought the house to its present Greek-Revival appearance by his death in 1850.
Fort Hill’s interiors were originally embellished with a variety of French hand-blocked wallpapers and borders, notable in light of Calhoun’s support of trade tariffs for imported goods, including wallpapers. Fort Hill and its 1100 acres was willed to the state of South Carolina in 1886 by Thomas Green Clemson, John Calhoun’s son-in-law, to found the state’s agricultural college. Clemson University operates the house and Calhoun’s adjacent office as a museum on their campus.

Key Issues
• Research Fort Hill’s collection and analyze its interiors for evidence of its 1840s- 50s appearance during the height of Calhoun’s career
• Assist with the reproduction of 4 of the 24 wallpapers found in the house; select additional period-appropriate papers
• Prepare a detailed report about the Calhoun family’s use of Fort Hill