| American History Stories, Volume III|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Anecdotes from the time Washington became president through the War of 1812, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and the sectional differences leading to the Civil War. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-12 |
CALHOUN AT HOME
 Although Calhoun and Webster were always bitterly opposed in
political life, they did not fail to appreciate each
other's talent and real honest worth. We aren't all of
us always so fair as the little boy who said of a rival
classmate, "I hate Jimmie Waters 'cause he gets ahead of
me; but just the same I know he's a heap smarter than I
To hold a fair, honest judgment of an enemy, to judge
him without petty personal prejudice, is a thing that
many a grown-up boy and girl fails to do.
Webster was big and broad enough to do this. While
hating Calhoun as a politician and an enemy, no one
more thoroughly appreciated his talent and respected
his manhood than he did. On Calhoun's death it was
Webster who pronounced his eulogy and gloried in the
opportunity to do the dead man justice.
Webster's famous eulogy was a noble compliment; but
nobler still was the love and reverence of Calhoun's
own household. To remain a hero for a lifetime in
one's own family, to be still respected and reverenced
by those who have for years known one's daily life, is
a greater proof of real nobility than any public eulogy
can ever be.
The great man's family loved him even more than they
admired him; and yet they exulted in his career. "Come
soon again," said a younger brother to the eldest son,
 was leaving the homestead for his home in Alabama.
"Come soon again and see us, for do you not see that
father is growing old? and he is the dearest and best
old man in the world!"
His own daughter in speaking of him, to a gentleman
with whom she was conversing, said, "I wish you had
known my father;" "You would have loved him. People
admired him, but those who knew him in his family
reverenced him. We all worshipped him."
She often went with her father to Washington during the
Congressional session. Great and self-reliant as was
the statesman, he took pleasure in talking with his
gifted child, and often made her his confidant in
"Of course," she said, referring to the high compliment
he paid her, "I do not understand as he does, for I am
comparatively a stranger to the world; yet he likes my
opinion, and I frankly tell him my views on any subject
about which he inquires of me."
His tenderness and consideration for his children was
remarkable in so busy and perplexed a life as his.
A younger daughter, being an invalid, found her
favorite occupation in reading. She was allowed to go
to the letter-bag when it came from the office, and
select the papers she wished to read. Once, two papers
concerning news of importance which her father was
anxious to see, were taken by her to her own room. But
he would allow no one to disturb her until she had
finished reading them.
 Our public men are often tempted to sacrifice their
families to official life. If Mr. Calhoun was thus
tempted, he never yielded to it. His cheerful home was
more attractive to him than the Senate Chamber.
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