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Summer Day Trip: Visit Fort Hill on the campus of Clemson University

Fort Hill, the home of John C Calhoun is on the campus of Clemson University
Fort Hill, the home of John C Calhoun is on the campus of Clemson University
photo by author

In the middle of Clemson University is Fort Hill Plantation, the home of South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun(1782-1850). Calhoun lived at Fort Hill during the last 25 years of his life. As he and his wife, Floride, outlived 9 of their 10 children, and the surviving child was a daughter, Anna, she inherited the home with her husband, Thomas Green Clemson.(1807-1888) As the Clemsons outlived their children, their estate was the basis forClemson University.

The plantation is open to the public seven days a week, and, unlike most historic homes, most of the furnishings are original.It is administered by Clemson's Department of Historic Properties and is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tour of the house takes about an hour and includes both floors with several bedrooms, parlor and state dining room. There is also an outbuilding which served as Calhoun's study which contains Calhoun's desks from when he served in Congress and as Vice-President. There is no admission charge.

John C Calhoun was one of south Carolina's great political figures. He served,as various times, as Secretary of War, Secretary of State, member of Congress, Senator and Vice-president under two. Presidents, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. The only person to do so. He also was the architect of the "states rights" doctrine.

Fort Hill is located on the Clemson campus, about 2 1/2 hours from Columbia. It is well worth the effort but be advised that parking may be an issue. Fort Hill is located at 101 Fort Hill Street. A map of the campus can be obtained at the Clemson Visitor Center on Alumni Circle.

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