10- Secretary of War John C. Calhoun


The John C. Calhoun mug is part of a biographical series profiling individuals who served as the U.S. Secretary of War.  An image of John C. Calhoun and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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John Caldwell Calhoun hailed from South Carolina and served in the U.S. House and Senate.  He was the 7th vice president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.  He also held the positions of secretary of war and secretary of state.  He was said to be an elegant speaker who was a strong proponent of slavery.  John C. Calhoun is credited with escalating threats of secession in the South as abolitionist sentiment grew in the North.  Calhoun had the nickname “cast-iron man” for his rigid ideology.  He was a strong supporter of state’s rights and believed in nullification, where states could declare null and void federal laws they viewed as unconstitutional. Calhoun argued that a state had the right to secede thirty years before the Civil War.

The first two Secretaries of War were appointed between 1781 and 1789 to serve the Congress of the Confederation. The position became part of the President’s Cabinet starting with the administration of George Washington.  Washington created four cabinet positions to provide him with a source of key advisors, in the form of Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, and Secretary of War.  Current presidential cabinets are made up of sixteen officers.  Cabinet members are chosen by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

This John C. Calhoun History Mug is part of our Secretary of War series which includes the many unique individuals who served as U.S. Secretary of War.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.


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