Calhoun graduated from Yale College in 1814. After his graduation from Yale, Calhoun studied law, first in Concord, New Hampshire, and later in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Calhoun was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Springfield. Calhoun was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress and as a Whig to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1843). Calhoun served as chairman of the Committee on Private Land Claims (Twenty-sixth Congress).
Calhoun was not a candidate for renomination in 1842.
In 1844 Calhoun was a Presidential Elector for Henry Clay. He served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1848-1851 and State bank commissioner from 1853 to 1855.
He served as mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1859. Calhoun died in Springfield, Massachusetts, November 8, 1865, he was interred in Springfield Cemetery.
National Republican Party, Whig Party.
Calhoun served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1825-1834, serving as speaker 1828-1834. Calhoun served as member of the Massachusetts Senate in 1846 and 1847, serving as its president He was again a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1861.