CALHOUN’S REAL LEGACY
Posted By : manager
Posted : February 25, 2022
Compatriot Lowndes is a member of the Fort Sumter Camp. This letter appeared in the Post & Courier on January 11th. It’s printed here in the original, unedited form.
The most maligned statesman in the history of the U.S. is John C. Calhoun. Recent events are further evidence. His monument has been destroyed, his statue is consigned to a warehouse. The latest insult on the horizon is (a plan) to send the statue to L.A. He was not responsible for the recent tragedies we have experienced. We are. Until we stop pointing fingers elsewhere, we cannot escape the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Nor was Calhoun the cause of the Civil War as a scribe suggested in a recent editorial. He died in 1850 but predicted it on his death bed. It would occur and be calamitous to this country he loved.
He was not a secessionist though he believed in the right of secession. He was a Unionist. To a friend he is quoted:
“If I am judged by my acts, I trust I shall be found as firm a friend of the Union as any man in it….”
His statement that slavery was a “positive good” failed to include the rest of his remarks. He was comparing the paternalist plantation system to the “wage slaves” of the north who “Calhoun”, continued from page 1
toiled in the unhealthy sweatshops for unreasonable hours. Historians today tend to ignore facts by choice or ignorance.
Yet, a select committee in the (U.S.) Senate, headed by John F. Kennedy unanimously selected J.C. as one of the five greatest Senators resulting in having his portrait hung in the Senate Reception room (1957). He is not the Darth Vader of our time.
Nevertheless, City Council is set to send Calhoun’s statue to L.A. “on loan”, the city of fiction and drama. Expect him to be cast as a circus monster as in some Ringling Bros. format; a dispersion that will taint South Carolina as a whole. That must not happen. He belongs to us. Right the wrong did, find a suitable place for his statue, and allow South Carolinians (to) ascribe his legacy.