Stamptuary Hall: John C. Calhoun

Ah, Calhoun. Not one of my heroes. The stamp that honors him is not a United States postage stamp, but a Confederate stamp.

Born exactly 200 years (and a couple months) after he was, I find his views scary. His ideas on concurrent majority should have, logically, been an argument against slavery. Calhoun said, “The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.” Sounds like a great reason (among many) for people not to be allowed to enslave one another!

I also find his crazed, mean facial expression scary:

John Calhoun's statue face, up close. Sorry for blurriness.

His statue, donated by South Carolina, is in the Crypt of the Capitol. Below is the full photograph that I took of it.

John C. Calhoun


About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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