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 Charlie Parker's Saxophone Could this be jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker's saxophone?
- Related Investigation Little Bighorn Bayonet Could this bayonet have been used at one of the largest massacres of U.S. soldiers by American Indians?
- Also with Gwen Wright Thomas Edison's House Was this New Jersey home built by inventor Thomas Edison?
- Related Investigation Jefferson Pledge Did the transformation of the nation's public education system begin with this $200 pledge?
- Also in Season 4 Philadelphia Freedom Paper Is this document found in a flea market an original freedom paper for African-Americans?
- Also with Gwen Wright Red Cloud Letter How was a leader of the Lakota people connected with the controversial sculptor of Mount Rushmore?
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.