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John Caldwell Calhoun
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Birth: Jul. 9, 1843
Demopolis
Marengo County
Alabama, USA
Death: Dec. 18, 1918, USA

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: of Captain, JOHN CALDWELL CALHOUN 1843-1918.

Class of '63, South Carolina College, inherits one of the most illustrious ancestries in America. He was born near Demopolis, Marengo County, Alabama, on his father's plantation, July 9, 1843. He is the grandson of the distinguished South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun, whose wife was Floride, daughter of John Ewing Calhoun, United States Senator for South Carolina, in the 7th Congress, and who died in 1802. His eldest son, Andrew Pickens Calhoun, was the father of Captain Calhoun, and one of the largest cotton planters in the South, before the Civil War, who devoted himself entirely to agricultural pursuits. The origin of the family has been distinctly traced back to the reign of Gregory the Great, and connects with the Earl of Lexon, in Dunbartonshire, Scotland, and one of the younger sons of King Conock, of Ireland, who came to the same region at that period. The name of Conock soon became corrupted into Colquohoun, Colquhoun, Colchoun, and finally Calhoun. The first ancestor who obtained the barony of Colquhoun in Dumbartonshire, was Umphredies, who lived in the time of Alexander Second, and his posterity have enjoyed successive possession ever since. His son, Robert who lived in the reign of King David, was ordered by that king to storm and take the castle of Dumbarton, which was strongly fortified. His written reply to the king was, "Si je puis." (If I can.) He effected the capture of the castle by strategy. Collecting his trusted friends and followers, he arranged for a great hunt in the immediate neighborhood, which drew out temporarily from the castle most of the defending warriors and retainers, and when the chase was at its height he suddenly sounded the recall of his clan and hounds and took unresisting possession of Dumbarton Castle, of which he was subsequently created Earl. For this deed of personal valor and warlike strategy, the crest was bestowed upon him. This consists of a Stag's Head indicative of the chase, supported by two ratch hounds, with the motto "Si je puis." and below this, the words, "Snock Locken" the war cry of the Colquhoun Clan.

The cognomens of James and Patrick have had the preference for eldest sons in the family. Their first settlement was in Pennsylvania and from thence they removed to the waters of Kenhawa, Wythe County, Virginia. They were driven from there by the Indians after Braddock's defeat, and established Calhoun Settlement, in Abbeville County, SC., February, 1756. Their settlement here was again devastated and broken up in 1760 after a desperate encounter with the Indians, in which James, the youngest son, and his mother were slain. Subsequent to this, Patrick the youngest son, father of the celebrated statesman, and great grandfather of our subject, was appointed to the command of a body of Rangers, by the Provincial Government, for the defense of the frontiers, at the time of the Revolution, and rendered conspicuous and sanguinary service in fighting both Indians and Tories in defense of his country.

In succeeding years, his son John C. Calhoun, the eminent statesman, was Chairman of the Congressional Committee that declared the War of 1812 with England. The above Patrick's wife, Martha Caldwell, of Charlotte County Virginia had three brothers who served valiantly in the Revolutionary War. The eldest was murdered in cold blood by the Tories, the second was slain in the battle of Cowpens, where his body bore the marks of thirty saber wounds, and the third was imprisoned by the English, for nine months, in the dungeons of St. Augustine, Florida.

On his mother's side, Captain Calhoun's lineage goes back to the reign of King William III, at which time a census of the officers of the Court and Government both civil and clerical, shows the name of William Green (in 1693-4) among the select body guard of one hundred under command of Charles, Earl of Manchester, in daily waiting upon the king. They were required to be men of the best quality and not less than six feet high. Their attire consisted of scarlet coats to the knee, scarlet breeches, richly mounted with black velvet, broad crown caps with velvet bands, and distinguished by ribbons of the king's color. Robert, the son of the above William, was born in 1695, and emigrated to Virginia with his uncle, Sir William Duff, a Quaker about the year 1717. Sir William settled in what is now King George County, Virginia, and acquired large landed possessions. Duff Green, son of the above Robert, was next in line of maternal ancestry. He married for his second wife, Ann daughter of Col. Henry Willis, founder of Fredericksburg, Virginia, whose wife, Mildred Washington was aunt and godmother of Gen. George Washington, which thus, brought his children into blood relationship with the Father of his Country. Similar ties also exist with the Lee's, Lewis'es, and Henry's, of Virginia.

John Green was appointed a captain of the Culpepper Minutemen, in the War of the Revolution, and had reached the rank of Colonel of the First Virginia Regiment, when leading the advance of the storming party at Great Bridge. He was also seriously wounded in the engagement at Mamorouk. The previously mentioned William Green, who is next in direct maternal line of Captain Calhoun's ancestry, was the youngest son of the above Duff. He became a Revolutionary soldier at the age of fifteen and was with Washington at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-8, and afterward with General Morgan at Cowpens. He married Ann Marshall, who was a cousin of Chief Justice John Marshall, and also of the celebrated Humphrey Marshall of Kentucky.

Next in line was Gen Duff Green, the noted diplomatist, soldier and editor of General Jackson's time, who served with General Harrison's command in the War of 1812. General Duff Green's maternal grandfather was Markham Marshall, whose wife was Ann Bailey and these resided for some time in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, from whence they removed to Wayne County, Kentucky. It is said that the descendants of Ann Bailey and Mildred Washington include more distinguished names than any other families in America. General Duff Green of Kentucky was the father of Margaret Maria Green, who was his second child, and Colonel Calhoun's mother. Her mother was Lucretia Edwards, a sister of Ninian Edwards, a distinguished jurist, and first Governor of Illinois.

The first ten years of Captain Calhoun's life were spent on his father's plantation in Alabama and most of the subsequent six years at Fort Hill, the ancestral estate, with the baronial surroundings incidental to Southern plantation life at that period. His first educational training was under Rev. John L. Kennedy, a man of note and great force of character, in a little pine-log schoolhouse called "Thalian Academy" near the family home. Inheriting a close resemblance to his mother's mental, moral, and physical characteristics, the warmest affection and most devoted love grew up between them, which increased in breadth and intensity until her decease in July, 1891, and was revealed more fully in documents that came to light for the first time after her death. It is to her noble life and efficient training that Captain Calhoun attributes whatever he has accomplished that is worthy of record. The motto she indelibly stamped upon his mind was to always avoid doing anything his conscience could not fully approve. When his mother married, she was a leading belle in the first circles of Washington.

In the fall of 1860, at the age of seventeen years, young Calhoun entered the South Carolina College at Columbia as a sophomore. In the subsequent spring of 1861 the Civil War broke out, and he immediately volunteered for the Confederate Army in a company of cadets, which hastened to Charlestown, where they arrived at the time of the bombardment of Fort Sumter. After the cadets were disbanded he proceeded to Columbia and joined Capt. Tom Taylor's company, which formed a part of the Hampton Legion Cavalry, of which he was appointed Color Sergeant. He was, however, discharged on account of his extreme youth. Hastily returning to his home, he organized a fine cavalry troop of 160 men and was on his way to the front within one month of his discharge. His company was assigned to Adams Battalion, commanded by Major James P. Adams, and afterward merged into the Fourth Regiment. South Carolina Cavalry, under command of Col. B. H. Rutledge, which was one of the regiments composing Gen. M. C. Butler's Brigade (since United States Senator from South Carolina), and it was under this commander Captain Calhoun continued to serve until the end of the war. When Lee surrendered he returned to Fort Hill, only to find his ancestral home devastated, and the entire fortune of the family swept away, in addition to which was the recent death of his father, that imposed upon him the immediate care and support of his widowed mother, together with provision for and the education of his young brothers, Andrew, James, and Patrick, and sisters, Margaret, and Lucrecia. As evidence of the heroic fidelity with which he discharged the dual obligations of substitute father and brother toward his young brothers and sisters, the following extracts from the last will of his mother, found among her effects after her death, and addressed to Captain Calhoun personally, show one of the highest tributes ever given by a loving mother to a loyal and devoted son:

"My Darling Child. - Life is uncertain and last night I thought I might be dying and determined not to let another day pass without putting my wishes in a form that they might meet your eye. Do not feel that you are in any way bound to do as I say, but if it meets with your approbation and departed spirits are permitted to watch those on earth, I shall continue to bless you even in heaven - I have taught the children to look to you as the means that has given us shelter, food, and clothing, since your father's death, therefore as the above love token would be but a small item, let them feel that to you they are indebted for the greatest blessing in life - education. As all our silver was sold from us but some few small items, I think it best to name a piece to each one, as the easiest way of dividing and retaining them in the family, and I wish them to be secured from sale forever, even if they have to be named to a child of each, or in case of no issue, must be named by the owner to some favorite nephew or niece, and in that way commemorating how easy it is for riches to take wings and fly away, and how blest I have been in having you act as you have, and they in your fatherly care."

Captain Calhoun courageously assumed the life of a planter after the war, with restricted means, and under absolutely changed conditions of labor, and by his energy, industry and integrity produced the resources to efficiently discharge the obligations of nature and affection.

Captain Calhoun rapidly became recognized as a leading citizen of New York. He was elected a member of the "Manhattan Reform Lawyers', New" and other clubs in the metropolis, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

He was one of the chief originators of the Southern Society Captain Calhoun was one of the originators of the Sons of the American Revolution Society, and has always taken a keen interest in whatever incites Americans to loyal pride in their forefathers. In 1897, he was appointed Special Ambassador to France by the Sons of the American Revolution, to confer with the President and Cabinet of the French Republic and also with the representatives of descendants of Lafayette, Rochambeau and De Grasse and of the Society of Arts, Science and Literature, asking their co operation in commemorating the 119th anniversary of the signing of the treaty between France and the Colonies.

As a result of his services, at a large banquet given subsequently by the Sons of the American Revolution Society at Delmonico's, New York, President Faure and all the above named representatives cabled messages direct to the Society, which were read to the assembled guests and afterward published in the annual book of the Society. In appreciation of the courteous and diplomatic manner with which the whole matter had been conducted by him, he was also subsequently presented by the Sons of the American Revolution with a beautifully engraved and illuminated set of resolutions in acknowledgment of his efforts in behalf of the Society and country.

Captain Calhoun was also one of the Committee to receive Admiral Dewey, and of the Committee of Five having the entire management of the affair.

At the present time Captain Calhoun is the principal owner of the Baltimore Coal Mining and Railway Company, a corporation of Baltimore County, New Brunswick, controlling the cannel coal fields of that region. His oldest son is the managing director of the mines. In 1870, Captain Calhoun was married to Linnie only daughter of David Adams of Lexington, Kentucky, and also a grand-niece of Richard M. Johnson, once Vice-President of the United States. Their four eldest children died at early ages, and the remaining four, are: James Edward (1878), David Adams (1881), Julia Johnson (1884), while the name of the illustrious grandsire is now perpetuated in the person of the eighth child, John Caldwell Calhoun (1887) of the fourth generation.

SOURCE: A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Volume 1, pages 721-724, by Sons of the American Revolution, collated and edited by A. Howard Clark, Registrar-General, National Society, Washington D.C., Copyright 1902, by Louis H. Cornish, New York, press of Andrew H. Kellogg, New York, NY. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Andrew Pickens Calhoun (1811 - 1865)
  Margaret Green Calhoun (1816 - 1891)
 
 Spouse:
  Linnie A. Davis Calhoun (1847 - 1917)*
 
 Siblings:
  John Caldwell Calhoun (1843 - 1918)
  Andrew Pickens Calhoun (1852 - 1872)*
  Patrick Calhoun (1856 - 1943)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Saint Philips Episcopal Church Cemetery
Charleston
Charleston County
South Carolina, USA
 
Created by: Elizabeth Olmstead
Record added: Nov 22, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12453149
John Caldwell Calhoun
Added by: Robert Kuhmann
 
John Caldwell Calhoun
Added by: Michael Dover
 
John Caldwell Calhoun
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
 
 
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8th cousin
- Brenda Neal Hedges
 Added: Dec. 28, 2016

- Virgil & DeAnna Hancock-Cooley
 Added: May. 3, 2014

- Elizabeth Olmstead
 Added: Jan. 18, 2014
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