A South Carolina man has a beautiful eight-volume set of Edward Gibbon’s famous History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that he acquired inexpensively at a local library sale in Edgefield, South Carolina.
Dated 1789, these early volumes of the History are inscribed with the signature of John C. Calhoun. Could these possibly be the books of the famed 19th-century political giant and intellectual architect of the Confederacy?
Along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Henry Clay of Kentucky, Calhoun was part of The Great Triumvirate of statesmen who set the terms of debate on the most challenging issues of their time, including banking, state’s rights, westward expansion, and slavery.
History Detectives heads to South Carolina to dig deep into these books to learn more about their possible original owner and shed light on the thinking of one of the most powerful politicians in 19th-century America.
- Also with Gwen Wright Scottsboro Boys Stamp Did a penny stamp help save the Scottsboro Boys from the electric chair?
- Also with Gwen Wright Shipwreck Cannons Are these the last remains of a navy schooner that fought in a border dispute with the mighty British Empire?
- Also in Season 4 Chinese Opium Scale Could this really be an opium scale from the Chinese community of Montana?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 John Brown Letters How is this woman in Sacramento related to John Brown, the 19th-century abolitionist?
- Related Investigation Civil War Letters What can these letters reveal about a racially-charged massacre on a Civil War battlefield?
- Related Investigation Rebel Whiskey Flask Is this flask a relic from the historic "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.