Thomas Green Clemson

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Thomas Green Clemson, IV (1809-1889) was an American politician and statesman, serving as an ambassador and the United States Superintendent of Agriculture. He is the founder of Clemson University. Born in Philadelphia, Clemson studied in Paris, and upon his return to the U.S. co-authored significant legislation to promote agricultural education. With knowledge of both French and German, he served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium in the 1830s.

Clemson married Anna Calhoun, daughter of John C. Calhoun, the noted Senator and Vice President from South Carolina. After Calhoun's death, Clemson inherited the Fort Hill plantation near Pendleton, South Carolina and lived there to his death in 1889.

Before his death, Clemson drafted a final will which called for the establishment of a land-grant institution called the "Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina" upon the property of the Fort Hill estate. The military college opened its doors in 1889 to 443 cadets. Clemson Agricultural College was renamed Clemson University in 1964. A statue of Thomas Green Clemson and the Fort Hill house are located on the campus. The town of Calhoun that bordered the campus was renamed Clemson in 1932.

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