Floride Bonneau Calhoun (1792 - 1866) MP

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Birthplace: Charleston, SC, USA
Death: Died in Pendleton, SC, USA
Managed by: Doug Robinson
Last Updated:

About Floride Bonneau Calhoun

Floride was the wife of Vice President/US Senator/Secretary of War&State John C Calhoun. Her father was US Senator John Ewing Colhoun. He was born a "Calhoun" and apparently changed the spelling of his last name himself. He was a 1st cousin of his son-in-law John C Calhoun. Out of 10 children Floride was only survived by one her daughter Anna. She was buried next to her children, not her husband.

See link (1) for more on Floride's time in the White House as 2nd Lady, etc.

the Peggy Eaton Affair

In 1829 is when Flordie would go into the history books when she was involved in the famous "Peggy Eaton Affair." Peggy Eaton did not have the best reputation before she married John Eaton. The scandal was known in all social circles. Andrew Jackson had asked John C. Calhoun to ask Flordie to make Mrs. Eaton Feel welcome. Jackson was used to scandal, his beloved wife Rachel endured all the talk and criticism during Jackson's run for The Presidency, it was enough for Rachel to suffer so much anguish that she suffered a fatal Heart Attack and die before her husband took office in December 1828. When Flordie refused to return the visit of the Eaton's Jackson was furious, and Calhoun of course sided with his wife. (2)

Jackson had known Peggy Eaton for some time and liked her. Perhaps more important, Jackson had lost his wife, Rachel, just months before his inauguration, and he blamed her death in part on what he saw as slanderous attacks on Jackson's own marriage. (When Andrew and Rachel Jackson first married, questions arose about the timing of her divorce from her first husband, a situation that led to the charge that the Jacksons had been living in sin.) Always one to take offense at any attack on his personal honor, Jackson naturally sided with Peggy and John Eaton and became furious with the allegations. He fumed: "I did not come here to make a cabinet for the ladies of this place, but for the nation!" ....

The attack on Mrs. Eaton had been led by Floride Calhoun, wife of Vice President John C. Calhoun. Calhoun had been elected vice president both in 1824 and 1828 and had run separately from Jackson, and there was some old animosity between Jackson and Calhoun dating back to the time when Calhoun was Secretary of War under President Monroe and Jackson was chasing Indians in Florida. Van Buren's appointment to the Court of St. James had to be approved by the Senate, and because of growing opposition to Jackson's policies in the Senate, the vote for approval turned out to be a tie. Vice President Calhoun, presiding over the Senate, cast the deciding vote against Van Buren. Henry Clay, a savvy politicians himself, remarked to Calhoun that he had destroyed an ambassador but created a Vice President.

And so it was. In 1832 Andrew Jackson asked Van Buren to join him on the Democratic Party ticket as his running mate and candidate for vice president. Jackson and Van Buren were elected, and Van Buren succeeded President Jackson in the election of 1836. Thus the Peggy Eaton affair, the story of a woman scorned, rather than remaining a low-level scandal, altered the course of American political history, not the first time nor the last in which a woman would play that role. (3)

Links

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 12260832
  3. THE PEGGY EATON AFFAIR
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Floride Calhoun's Timeline

1792
February 15, 1792
Charleston, SC, USA
1811
October 15, 1811
Age 19
1814
December 19, 1814
Age 22
1816
1816
Age 23
1817
1817
Age 24
Willington, McCormick, SC, USA
1819
September, 1819
Age 27
1821
February 9, 1821
Age 28
1823
May 17, 1823
Age 31
1824
April 22, 1824
Age 32
1826
April 4, 1826
Age 34
Beckhamville, Chester, South Carolina, United States