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A lock of hair

Andy Calhoun embarks on project to seek John C. Calhoun DNA profile

A relative of John C. Calhoun wants to use a lock of the statesman’s hair to establish a DNA profile that could be used by “historians, genealogists, and Calhoun descendants across America.”

Andy Calhoun lives in Savannah, GA, where he was born and raised.

“My grandfather moved to Georgia after graduating from Clemson College in 1896,” he explained.

“I am not a direct descendant of John C. Calhoun. I am directly descended from John C.’s younger brother Patrick.”

And the lock of hair?

“As everyone knows, Charleston has taken down the statue of John C. Calhoun that stood in Marion Square for over 100 years,” Andy Calhoun said.

“Now they are demolishing the large base that the statue was mounted on. Buried inside this base is said to be a cornerstone (or time capsule) containing several period artifacts that includes a lock of John C.’s hair.”

Andy says that he learned about the lock of hair through an old article which appeared in a Charleston paper when the statue was erected more than 100 years ago. In addition to the hair, the time capsule contained items such as a cannon ball and one of John C. Calhoun’s speeches.

It was the lock of hair that piqued Andy’s interest.

“I am trying to mount a campaign to get at least a portion of the hair in order to perform a DNA profile on it for the use and benefit of historians, genealogists, and Calhoun descendants across America. Best I have been able to find out, there is no DNA profile in existence for John C.”

Andy Calhoun says that he has contacted the Charleston mayor, the Post and Courier, and various state legislators to ask for their help.

“My questions are who is to take possession of the time capsule and who could authorize a DNA test of the hair,” he said.

“And I don’t have any idea how many Calhoun descendants exist, although I would guess many.”

For more information, one may contact Andy Calhoun at

John C. Calhoun
John C Calhoun by Mathew Brady, March 1849

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