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 in this episode Mouse Toy Could this tiny toy labeled 'Micky' be the original Mickey Mouse?
- Related Investigation Our Colored Heroes Is this a WWI recruitment poster... or something else?
- Related Investigation Black Tom Shell Is this shell from a devastating act of foreign sabotage on American soil?
- Also in Season 4 Coca Cola Trade Card Could this card be a unique piece of early Coca-Cola advertising?
- Also in Season 4 Lost Musical Treasure Are these fragments of a lost moment in American musical history?
- Also with Gwen Wright Special Agent Five How did this tale of robbery and murder help FBI director J. Edgar Hoover consolidate his power?
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.