Fort Hill: Home Of John C. Calhoun & Thomas G. Clemson
The Upcountry & Lake Hartwell Country
The Fort Hill, an antebellum plantation, was home of 19th century politician John C. Calhoun who served as Secretary War under James Monroe, the seventh Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, Secretary of State under John Tyler, and a sitting US Senator at his death in 1850. Calhoun and his wife Floride raised seven children at Fort Hill,
including daughter Anna Maria.
Thomas Green Clemson married Anna Maria Calhoun at Fort Hill in 1838, residing on the plantation both as newlyweds and later in retirement. Ambassador Thomas G. Clemson was a diplomat to Belgium, and he willed his collection of art to “adorn the wall of Fort Hill.” Clemson later served as Superintendent of Agricultural Affairs and is considered the first acting Secretary of Agriculture. He was a supporter of the Morrill Land Grant Act.
In addition to the Greek revival main house, the complex includes Calhoun’s office, a reconstructed kitchen, a springhouse, and gardens. Fort Hill interprets the enslaved African-Americans who toiled on the plantation, and there are adjacent historical markers designating the field slave quarters, cemetery, and agricultural areas. Thomas G. Clemson willed 814 acres to the state for building an agricultural and mechanical college, later known as Clemson University.
The Fort Hill National Historic Landmark site is furnished as an historic house museum primarily with original furnishings. The Fort Hill National Register block is a South Carolina National Heritage Corridor designated heritage tourism attraction.