John Calhoun (Zac) Littlepage, number 10 if you are counting, was born 13 October, 1846, the family’s last son. He was the second child of Lewis and Caroline to reflect the family’s Democratic Party political allegiance. In fact three year-old Zac is listed on the 1850 U.S. Census as “John C. C. Littlepage.” 1 Where “Zac” came from remains a mystery to this author, but the name was in use early.2
Rose only referred to her seven year-old brother as Zac; she did so 17 times. Most of her references were connected with his education. The other times he was mentioned it was along with other family members going to or fro. Zac and slightly older brother Edmund were likely constant companions. Eddy’s death must have been traumatic, leaving him with a void no other sibling could fill. We have no more information about his childhood past his appearance with his family in the 1860 U.S. Census when he was 14.
Four years later, when Caroline began her first journal entry in the new volume, Zac was close to turning 18. He had watched the war envelop the county and his family. With his father dead and brothers away, he and his often-absent big brother Bil were left to see to Woodbury’s farming operations and to protect their mother and three sisters. Soon the Confederate conscription officer would call. Zac had several choices available to him in the summer of ’64, none very good.
- South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun is usually seen as one of the greatest congressional leaders in U.S. history. The year Zac was born Calhoun had just rejoined the US Senate after serving John Tyler as Secretary of State. In his years in public life he evolved into the quintessential proponent of states-rights and a strong defender of slavery. During his long career Calhoun attracted many admirers and followers, as well as enemies, most publicly Andrew Jackson, for whom he served as Vice-President. He was a transitional figure in the development of modern political parties. He is usually considered a Democrat, but he distrusted democracy. Just which portions of Calhoun’s character and politics influenced Lewis and Caroline Littlepage enough to name their son for him is unknown. (back)
- Suggestions anyone? (back)