March 3rd, 2017

book cover - rtvp

Vice Presidents John C. Calhoun, John C. Breckinridge, and Hannibal Hamlin

Seventh Vice President John C. Calhoun (1825-32), fourteenth Vice President John C. Breckinridge (1857-61), and fifteenth Vice President Hannibal Hamlin (1861-65) all later served in the US Senate.

Calhoun, having served under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson's first term, was dropped from the ticket for Jackson's re-election in favor of Martin Van Buren. Following Jackson's victory, Calhoun didn't wait out the end of his term, but instead resigned on December 29, 1832, to take his new seat in the Senate representing South Carolina. On this date in 1843, he retired from the Senate for the first time. Later, he served as Secretary of State, and then returned to the Senate, serving from 1845 to 1850.

Breckinridge also moved directly from the Vice Presidency into the Senate, taking his seat representing Kentucky on March 4, 1861. His tenure in that body, however, was short-lived. He was expelled in December for his support of the Confederacy. In early 1865, he served briefly as the CSA's fifth Secretary of War.

Hamlin was Vice President for Abraham Lincoln's first term, but was dropped from the ticket in 1864, when Lincoln and the rest of the Republicans thought he needed a Southerner (and, it turned out, a Democrat) on the ticket to ensure his re-election. After the Civil War, Hamlin was elected to two terms in the Senate, representing Maine. He served from March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1881. After his Senate service, he was US Ambassador to Spain for nearly two years.