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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

CALHOUN, John Caldwell

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CALHOUN, John Caldwell. (Abbeville District, SC, Mar. 18, 1782--Washington, D.C., Mar. 31, 1850). Concerned in 1838 that additional territories created in the North might bring about more abolitionist votes in the Senate, Calhoun was totally opposed to the formation of Iowa Territory, which contained the future city of Dubuque. Efforts by Senator George Wallace JONES to convince his colleague that many who lived in Iowa sympathized with the South made no impression.

Jones enlisted the aid of Calhoun's daughter who, on a signal from Jones, sent a note to her father on the Senate floor. Once Calhoun left the room, Jones had another senator friendly to the Iowa Territory bill bring the subject up for a vote. With Calhoun absent, southern opposition to the bill collapsed. Iowa became a territory within twenty minutes.

Jones' efforts to pacify Calhoun included having a county in Iowa Territory named in his honor.