Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Fort Hill Plantation Office

Marker ID:  
Location: on Fort Hill Street, Clemson, SC
County: Pickens
Coordinates: N 34° 40.715    W 082° 50.331
  34.678589    -82.838847
Style: Free Standing **


John C. Calhoun´s Plantation Office was his private sanctuary and housed both his study and library during his twenty-five year residency at Fort Hill. In this building Calhoun developed and set forth his most historically significant constitutional arguments and political theories.

Vice-President John C. Calhoun moved to the Pendleton District from Washington D.C. in 1825 and settled into the Presbyterian manse "Clergy Hall." After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Secretary of War under President James Monroe, Calhoun had been elected to the vice-presidency under John Quincy Adams in 1824. He later christened his renovated Greek revival home "Fort Hill" and made it his permanent residence for the rest of his life. At Fort Hill in 1828, Calhoun anonymously penned "The South Carolina Exposition and Protest," outlining his political theory of nullification. In July 1831, he published his famous "Fort Hill Address" publicly signaling his doctrine of states´ rights. Calhoun resigned as vice-president under Andrew Jackson in December 1832 during the nullification crisis.

Calhoun was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1832. His oratory in debates with fellow senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster earned them the name "The Great Triumvirate." Calhoun´s service in the Senate was interrupted briefly while he served out a term as Secretary of State for President John Tyler, which included overseeing the annexation of Texas. On March 30, 1850, Calhoun died in Washington after serving almost continually in public office for forty years. Calhoun´s major books A Disquisition on Government and Discourse on the Constitution were published posthumously.

The Fort Hill plantation estate is a National Historic Landmark. The complex is preserved as an historic house museum in accordance with the will of Calhoun´s son-in-law Thomas G. Clemson and is furnished almost entirely with original family artifacts.

Restoration made possible by a generous gift from
Archie Shaw Dargan (Class of 1949) and Caroline Sligh Dargan,
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in memory of his uncle,
George Edwin Dargan, Esq.

Erected 2003