Correspondence, diaries, bibles, speeches, legal documents, newspaper clippings, and artifacts compose the Henry Clay Family Papers series, and document the private and family life of Henry Clay, his wife Lucretia Hart Clay, his children, and many of his grandchildren. The series is divided into subseries based on the owner of the material.
Correspondence from and to Henry Clay forms the bulk of the series. Although a number of letters come from historically significant figures such as the Marquis de LaFayette, John J. Crittenden, and Daniel Webster, most correspondence involves members of the Clay family and provides a wealth of information regarding their familial interactions. The letters to Clay from his sons, their wives, and their children offer rare information concerning Clay’s wife, Lucretia Hart, who after 1835 refused to accompany him to Washington or even to correspond with him. In addition, the correspondence illuminates his relationships with his sons, primarily Henry Clay, Jr., but also his troubled sons Theodore Wyeth, Thomas Hart, and John Morrison. The correspondence between Henry Clay and Henry, Jr. details Henry, Jr.'s experiences as a cadet at West Point, as a lawyer in Louisville, and as a Lieutenant Colonel during the Mexican War. The series also contains letters of condolence and mementos sent to Henry Clay upon the death of Henry, Jr. at the Battle of Buena Vista; letters describing the mental troubles of Theodore Wyeth and later John Morrison; and letters lamenting the deaths of other Clay children, such as Anne Brown Clay Erwin and Susan Hart Clay Duralde. Furthermore, the series includes financial and legal documents concerning Henry Clay, several of his speeches, the family bible, and presidential campaign ribbons.
Beyond Henry Clay, the series contains the correspondence of other Clay family members including letters from and to James Brown Clay and his wife Susan M. Jacobs while they lived in Canada during the Civil War; letters from Henry Clay, Jr. to his children; and Henry Hart Clay’s correspondence while at West Point. Further highlights of the series include Henry Clay, Jr.’s Mexican War diaries, John Morrison Clay’s diary kept during his time as a horse breeder, Julia Prather Clay’s journal from her trip to Europe, James Brown Clay’s eulogy, and a newspaper clipping written by Susan Clay recounting the story of Daniel Boone’s ghostly visit to Ashland. In addition to the material created by the Clay family, the series contains the notebook of Thomas Lewinski, the architect who rebuilt Ashland between 1854 and 1857, and two letters from Walter Kirkpatrick, a tutor to the Clay children, giving an outsider’s perspective of the Clay family.
Henry Clay papers, 1797-1889
Correspondence, financial and legal papers, speeches, bibles, realia, and newspaper clippings comprise the Henry Clay papers subseries and document Clay’s interactions with his family. Organized by date, the correspondence mostly consists of letters from Clay’s third son, Henry Clay, Jr., describing life at West Point, his studies in the law, his ambitions concerning the study of literature, the condition of Henry Clay’s estate Ashland, and the Mexican War. Furthermore, Henry Clay, Jr.’s letters document his love affair with his wife Julia Prather and issues concerning his brothers, including Theodore Wythe, Thomas Hart, and John Morrison. Henry Clay’s correspondence also contains letters from various family members and friends as well as political figures like Daniel Webster and the Marquis Lafayette. Additionally, the subseries includes a small amount of financial and legal material; speeches such as a handwritten copy of the Raleigh speech; newspaper clippings concerning family members; and the Clay and Hart family bibles. The realia consists of several Clay presidential ribbons and a medallion showing Henry Clay’s profile.
Additional Henry Clay letters can be found in the correspondence of his family members, including Henry Clay, Jr., Lucretia Hart Clay, Julia Prather Clay, Henry Hart Clay, Thomas Hart Clay, and John Morrison Clay.
Letters to Henry Clay, 1811-1829
Thomas Prather to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1809 December 2
Worden Pope to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1811 October 2
Dispute of land titles to be settled by Clay.
Susan Clay Duralde to Henry Clay. Near New Orleans, primarily concerning the general health and welfare of her family, 1852 August 8
General Lafayette to Henry Clay, Paris, 1826 April 28
Lafayette has not heard from his friends in the U.S. government for awhile and requests information about the American political scene.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1827 March 27
Relates news of the Smiths' visit with him at the Academy and of his decision to remain at the school until he graduates.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1827 May 7
Recounts an incident in which he and a postal worker had an argument. The postal worker ordered him to leave the post office. Henry, Jr. left but later returned with his pistols. Some of his fellow cadets intervened preventing him from injuring the postal worker. Upon a complaint made to the postmaster general, Henry, Jr. was suspended from the boot camp where he was preparing to enter West Point Academy. The incident did not prevent his entrance into the Point.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Washington, 1827 June 16
Prepares to leave Washington for West Point and writes fondly of Bradford, a friend and fellow Kentuckian at West Point disliked by his father.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1827 June 24
Reports his safe arrival and admission to the Academy.
Ann Brown Clay Erwin to Henry Clay, Washington, 1828 July 9
General news pertaining to her family's health, a visit from Henry, Jr. and about the Washington social scene.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 January 2
Relieved that his father accepts his decision to enter the law after graduating from West Point instead of staying in the military. Both agree that with Jackson as commander-in-chief, Henry, Jr. has little chance for a successful military career.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 February 1
Concerning a perceived unfair treatment by his math professor and his overall class standing.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 March 29
Acknowledges receiving money his father sent him so he could take a summer furlough in Kentucky. He is looking forward to being in Kentucky and visiting Ashland. Comments on Jackson's election to presidency.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 May 19
Reassures his father that he will keep up his studies to maintain his class standing even though he has decided not to pursue a military career.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 June 2
Writes that he is happy and relieved to learn his father approves of his choice of a legal career and is looking forward to his Kentucky visit.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 September 1
Informs his father that he is settling down to study for his second year and he is glad he has returned to the Academy.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 September 18
Assures his father that he is happy with his decision to continue at West Point. Apologizes for having considered leaving the Academy and is glad his father convinced him to return to his studies.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1829 October 24
Acknowledges receipt of letter informing him of aunt Sophia Clay's death. He is doing well in his studies. He likes civil engineering and would not mind working as an engineer for a short time before beginning his studies of the law. Adds that he thought he would use law as a stepping-stone to a political career, but the elections of late had so disappointed him he was no longer certain he wished to be involved in politics. Adds that he would prefer to find work which would permit him to indulge in his love of literature but does not think it a practical way to earn a living.
Letters to Henry Clay, 1830-1831
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1830 May 21
Informs his father that he delivered a speech which was well received.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, circa 1830 June 23
Reiterates his pleasure that his address was a success. He will stay at West Point because he thinks it will set a good example for his younger brothers and because quitting might reflect on his character. He asks his father to respond to his reasoning and assures him that, if he wishes, he'll remain at the Academy. Henry, Jr. has been appointed adjutant, the most responsible of positions. It is possible that the forthcoming report from Board of Visitors may be marred by the opinion of the acting President, General Stokes, whose son was dismissed from the Academy.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Camp Eaton, 1830 July 4
His July 4th speech before a crowd of about 400 to 500 people went even better than his last address. Mr. Skinner, editor of a sports periodical paid him the ultimate compliment: The Orator of the day, in the language of the turf, Blood will show itself. All the attention lately given to preparing the talks has affected his studies and may have caused him to fall in his class ranking. Still, he could remain second overall, presuming his father wished him to stay at the school. Delivering addresses is good practice for a legal career.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Camp Eaton, 1830 July 12
Uncle and Aunt Brown visited. Uncle Brown spoke to him about remaining one more year and graduating. Admits he could not have a career in a military where the chief officers were beholden to a commander-in-chief who was his father's avowed enemy. Besides he was dissatisfied with the ambitions and intrigues of his superiors. Refers to the animosity between Superintendent [Sylvanus] Thayer and Secretary of War [John] Eaton. Thinks he was unfairly treated by some of his superiors because they are Jackson men and he is Clay's son.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, circa 1830 September 16
Writes that he considers only two possible careers for himself: the law or the army. Likes the idea of being a professional soldier because it has job security, good pay, and a chance to study literature in Europe. He requested one or two year leave so he could go to Paris, or some other European city, to study literature. Assures his father that he is aware it would be difficult to earn a living as a man of letters, but he wants to study briefly. Is pleased with his promotion from adjutant to teacher. Asks for advice about what to do with his life after graduation. Closes with a plea for more letters from home.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1830 December 26
Pleased his parents are going to winter in New Orleans and wishes he could go with them. Glad his father is making improvements to Ashland. Thought his father's suggestion that he tour the northern states after graduation before returning west to Kentucky is a sound idea since he is already in the area.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1830 November 16
Distressed at the news regarding the problems his older brothers Thomas and Theodore are causing with their misbehavior. He is glad to hear his sister Anne might be moving closer to Ashland and to her family. The New York elections were a disappointment. Heard his father is making improvements to Ashland and offers some suggestions. Tells how much he likes his composition and eloquence course. Asks for letters of introduction for a trip to Washington. Still grappling with what to do with his life after graduation. He would consider remaining in the army if he could be General [Winfield] Scott's aide. He does not want to be a lawyer if he could not be a first rate one. Still desirous of going to Europe to study literature.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1831 April 3
Informs his father that he will be graduating in about three months and is pleased with his performance. They will discuss future prospects when he gets to Kentucky and he will follow his father's advice about choosing a profession.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1831 May 7
Acknowledges receiving the $300 dollars his father sent to him and has decided to return home with his father after graduation rather than touring. Still does not know whether to leave or remain in the military after graduation. When he feels depressed, and does not care if he lives his life in obscurity, he favors a military career. But when his ambition is fired and he thinks of attaining a status equal to his father's, he believes law the best career choice. Asks Clay to relieve him of the responsibility of choice and make the decision for him. Notes his fear that his father thinks too highly of his abilities and expects more of him than he could achieve.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, [New York] wrapper only, circa 1832 June 11
H. Clay Jun. is written on the wrapper in Henry, Sr.'s hand with 1832 written by an unknown person.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, West Point, 1831 June 21
Informs his father that he has completed his studies, passed his examinations, graduated second in his class and has been admitted to the Engineer Corps which pleases him very much as it is a high military honor. Attributes his good fortune to General [Winfield] Scott, friend to both Clays, who is president of the board responsible for such decisions. He will be stationed in New York and work on the fortifications in the bay and harbor. Thinks he will be home by July 10th, at which time he hopes to accompany his father to Washington. Will make several stops on the way home and plans to leave the following afternoon for New York City.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1831 December 7
Finds it difficult to answer letters from home. Anne, his sister, has not arrived in New Orleans but is expected soon. Has accepted [Martin] Duralde's [his brother-in-law] invitation to live at the Duralde home as soon as it is completed. Likes New Orleans except for the climate which he says makes him ill. Observes that his letter will reach Clay in Washington at one of the most important times in the nation's history. [On December 12th, Clay was nominated as the presidential candidate of the National Republican Party.] He disagrees with his father regarding when he should stand for his examination before the Louisiana High Court. Has developed a reputation for industry and people might think him lazy if he takes to long. Thinks he will do well practicing law in New Orleans. Asks Clay for money.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1831 December 16
Still living in a hotel and studying law under Judge Porter's tutelage, but expects to move in with the Duraldes shortly. Disappointed about his prospects at the New Orleans bar. He misjudged the market for lawyers in New Orleans and would not earn as much as quickly as he thought he could. Closes requesting news from Washington.
Letters to Henry Clay, 1832
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1832 January 27
Informs his father that he has borrowed money from James Erwin [his brother-in-law] as instructed rather than cashing Clay's check. Relates general news about family and friends. Reminds his father that he said he could go to Europe. Wants to go in the spring if Clay can afford it. Judge Porter agrees that Henry, Jr. should wait before presenting himself to the Louisiana High Court for examination.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1832 February 4
Acknowledges a copy of one of Clay's Congressional speeches. Again mentions going to Europe. Relates news of James Erwin's success in his business ventures. Makes a plea for money so he might make some investments with Mr. Erwin's help. Knows of his father's financial difficulties but thinks a small amount of money could be spared. Wants to invest in New Orleans city property which has brought high returns for Mr. Erwin and several of his friends.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 March 26
Assures Clay that he will abide by his wishes and complete his legal studies before going to Europe. Details the reading he has been doing to prepare for the Bar. In addition to law, he must study history, learn Latin and Spanish, and models of oratory. Thinks he can finish his studies by May 1833 when he will go to Europe. Relates general news about the health of family members. Informs Clay that he accompanied Anne on her journey from New Orleans to Ashland. Since it was so late in the season he would not be able to return to New Orleans to continue his studies with Judge Porter. He is happy to be in Lexington and likes being in charge of the household.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 April 9
Relates his activities at Ashland. He hurt his eyes while pruning the shrubs which prevents him from studying. Is pleased with the job of getting the house and grounds in order for his parents' return from Washington. Asks advice on whether to paint the house or cover it with stucco. Theodore and his attendant visited and his brother is looking well.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, The Woodlands [Lexington home of James and Anne Clay Erwin], 1832 April 15
Acknowledges receipt of his father's letter and the $2,500 check to be given to Mr. Erwin to invest for Henry, Jr. which he will do when he returns to New Orleans. He is improving the grounds at Ashland and asks for advice on what kind of trees to plant.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 April 22
Thomas has no corn to plant [in Missouri] and asks for a supply from home. He sent several sacks believing it would meet Clay's approval. Gives account of visit to Theodore at the hospital. The family sent him a horse which he has ridden. Includes general news about his improvements to the farm.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 May 2
Reports that Anne and her newborn child [Mary] are well. Reports about the cost of painting the house versus putting stucco on it. Says stucco would cost more, but since it would last longer, would be less expensive in the long run. Mentions some outstanding debts owed by Clay and requests advice on how to pay them.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 May 11
Relates that stucco would cost more than originally thought and decides that painting the house a light color will be best. Anne and her children are well. Theodore visited them at Ashland; he is doing well. Gives general news about the farm and Clay's finances. Expresses concern about returning to New Orleans and practicing law.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 May 19
Outlines reasons he has decided to have the house painted. Keeping up his law studies, but not as instructed by Judge Porter. Decided to study common law instead of civil law. Reassures Clay that his presence at Ashland and his attention to improving the grounds does not signal a change of life plans. Notes that Mr. Erwin has arrived safely.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, The Woodlands, 1832 June 7
He will come to Washington as requested. Says he is considering marrying Julia Prather of Louisville. He has fixed the dining room and the crops are doing well, but a young colt died. Informs Clay of Dr. [Benjamin W.] Dudley's opinion regarding Theodore's condition; he is doing well as the asylum, but Theodore is deranged on two subjects: love and ambition, and probably will not get well. Since confinement seems the best choice, Theodore was returned to the asylum after a brief visit to Ashland. Thomas will be visiting soon from Clay's Prairie, Illinois. Thomas thinks he will be called to fight in the Black Hawk War.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Ashland, 1832 July 21
He went to Louisville hoping to propose to Ms. P., but did not have the opportunity as her family was preparing to visit various Kentucky springs. Lack of rainfall is making the crops grow poorly.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1832 November 27
Acknowledges receiving Clay's letter and says he has performed the requested errands. Contented now that he has married, he will practice law and seek business ventures. concluding remark: Whatever, my dear father, may have been my errors, I have always entertained for you the most unvarying filial attachment, and it shall always be my highest pleasure to endeavor to meet your wishes and commands.
Letters to Henry Clay, 1833-1834
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1833 March 11
Has just passed his bar examination before the Louisiana Supreme Court and will immediately begin practicing law. He did not need to go to Mobile and be examined for the Alabama courts after all. Julia will leave New Orleans for Louisville, but he will remain until early July. Little legal business gets conducted after July, so there is no reason for him not to join his wife in Louisville since another lawyer would take care of his clients.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1833 June 3
They have received about $10,000 from Mrs. [Matilda] Prather, apparently as a result of a property settlement. Relates other business news regarding his speculations, warehouses and bank loans.
Rodolphus Dickinson to Henry Clay, Deerfield, Massachusetts, 1833 November 12
Presents Clay with a copy of the New Testament which he has translated.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Lexington, wrapper only, 1833 December 14
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Maplewood, 1834 May 6
Says he has been so sick that he was confined to bed for a few days. Relates business news, particularly financial matters. Thomas Hart cannot repay his lown from Clay until the end of May.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Bordeaux, 1835 September 17
Don Manuel, a Spanish ass, is being shipped to James Haggerty in New York who will keep him until further instructions from Clay. Wishes the ass sold as soon as practical. their youngest daughter, Maltilda, is very ill but seems to be getting better. Bordeaux has a wretched humid climate similar to New Orleans. The dampness will spoil this year's vintage.
[Louis B. C. ?] Serurier to Henry Clay, Paris, 1835 November 7
French minister expresses appreciation for his visit to Ashland. Mrs. Clay is a good hostess. His return journey to France was agreeable. Writes about the political climate in France. Written in French.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, London, 1835 December 20
Reports that he and his family made it safely to London after a difficult journey through continental Europe. A cholera epidemic prevented their going to Italy. Stopped in Ghent as a tribute to Clay to see the hotel where the treaty was signed. The French are unhappy with Jackson's message regarding the spoliation issue and are ready to go to war with the United States over it. Asks Clay about his chances of running for the presidency against Van Buren. The slavery issue weakens the credibility of Americans with the Europeans. Cannot return to the United States until after the winter storm season, but did not want to wait too long as Julia is expecting and the trip might be hazardous for her. Wants to know if the mules he sent to New York had arrived.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, [Lexington?], circa 1841
Interested in the offer of a diplomatic post at St. Petersburg, but notes he is willing to accept the Secretary of Legation only temporarily. [No record was found that the post was accepted].
Willie P. Mangum to Henry Clay, Washington City, 1842 July 4
Thanks Clay for his Lexington speech in which he criticized the president's abuse of his veto power. The speech served to unite Whigs more solidly than ever. Letter filled with general political news about the Whigs.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1844 September 11
After reading the letter Cassius M. Clay sent to his father explains that C. M. Clay misunderstood him. The two had a discussion at Maysville about slavery. He wanted to find out C. M. Clay's views as an abolitionist and so engaged him in a conversation on the subject arguing that slavery could only be abolished in the state by the consent of the people of Kentucky. Slavery is a property issue with the welfare of the white race being the first consideration. He fears emancipation would lead to the extinction of the black race in the United States. C. M. Clay told him that if Clay, Sr. is elected, he would be the last slaveholding president. Henry, Jr. states that abolitionists will tear apart the union and if one is ever elected president it would signal the end of the nation. C. M. Clay misunderstood the younger Clay who claims he spoke only superficially of his position on the matter during the course of their conversation. Closes by reassuring his father that he thinks the abolitionists are wrong and that he is not in league with them.
Letters to Henry Clay, 1847-1851
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Camp at Agua Nueva 20 miles in front of Saltillo [Military base during the Mexican War], 1847 February 12
It has been weeks since he had heard from him. [Thomas] Smith said an unfavorable report about his conduct in the military was being circulated in Kentucky. Henry, Jr. explains to Clay that the negative reports stem from complaints he made regarding the military leadership who were prosecuting the war in Mexico, and also about the way the war was being conducted from Washington. General news about the troops, especially the false alarms they keep receiving, which allege impending attacks by the Mexican army. He is glad that [Major General William O.] Butler has been replaced by [General Zachary] Taylor as he respects Taylor. Says Taylor is unhappy that President [James K. Polk] appointed [Major General Winfield] Scott as his replacement as commander of the forces in Mexico. His comrades sympathize with Taylor. Taylor thinks he lost command because of intrigue. Henry believes Taylor's actions are motivated, to some degree, by his political ambitions; Taylor is considering running for the presidency. Except for his father, Henry, Jr. says he could not think of any other man he would rather see occupy the office.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Clay, Agua Nueva, 1847 February 19
Waited to send the letter he wrote on February 12th to enclose them together because the mail has miscarried many of his other letters. He did not think the war was going well for the U.S. because military and government leaders were not prosecuting it wisely. There is an unconfirmed rumor that [General Antonio Lopez de] Santa Anna is marching toward them with a force of 20,000 men. He had to dispose of his injured horse and he does not like his new horse as well.
Democratic Whig Young Men's General Committee of the City of New York to Henry Clay, 1847 April 8
Expresses sympathy on the death of Henry Clay, Jr. and notes that among Henry Clay, Jr.'s last words was a command to his men, an order to secure their own safety.
Officials of the City of Louisville to Henry Clay, 1847 April 10
Expresses sympathy on the death of Henry Clay, Jr. and asks his permission to bring back to his native State, the body of Col. Clay to administer the last sacred rites of sepulture, and afterwards to erect a monument, to commemorate [sic] his virtues, and perpetuate his deeds.
William A. Withers, Cynthiana, 1847 April 16
According to the The Papers of Henry Clay, vol. 10, p. 325, footnote 6, this letter enclosed a clipping purported to be from the Frankfort Commonwealth, February 19, 1847 which published a letter from Withers's son who was a member of the 2nd Ky. Regiment in which he praised Col. McKee and Clay, both of whom died at the Battle of Buena Vista. The clipping was not found with the letter.
Members of the Commercial Room Association of Philadelphia to Henry Clay, 1847 April 19
We admired the Son, because we loved the Father...
Garnett Duncan to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1847 April 20
Cover letter for resolutions from members of the Louisville Bar and other officers of the Courts of Louisville.
General Committee of the Democratic Whig Young Men of the City of New York to Henry Clay, 1847 May 8
Julian D. Fowler to Henry Clay, Columbia, TN. Poem, 1847 June 2
D. G. Quirk to Henry Clay, New Orleans, 1847 June 29
Sends a breastpin and a locket made from Henry Clay, Jr.'s hair.
John F. Hamtranck to Henry Clay, Camp Buena Vista [Mexico], 1847 August 9
Sgt. Jameson, a soldier in whom Clay is interested, had been appointed color bearer of his regiment. Sends flowers for Mrs. Clay taken from the site where Henry, Jr. died.
Nicholas Dean to Henry Clay, New York. Letter with poem, 1847 August 12
Edward C. Jones, Presbyter of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to Henry Clay, Philadelphia, 1847 August 17
Attached to the letter is a newspaper clipping of a poem written by the Reverend Mr. Jones and published in the Philadelphia Ledger & Transcript, April 23, 1847.
Augusta Browne to Henry Clay, New York, 1847 November 25
Includes her handwritten, The Valiant Dead in Mexico, a song composed in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the War with Mexico. She requests permission to dedicate this song to him. In 1848, she published the song under the title, The Warlike Dead in Mexico with a few changes in lyrics. The words were written by Mrs. Balmanno.
Emily Bliss Souder to Henry Clay, Philadelphia, 1848 March 21
Flowers Transplanted; poem. Tribute to Clay family members who have died.
Mrs. [Brown?] to Henry Clay, Philadelphia, 1848 March
Requests a lock of Clay's hair in a poem.
Captain Angell sent Henry Clay a note written by Henry Clay, Jr. to Lt. Akin, 1849 May
The note relates to a horse and clothing. On verso: Sent by Capt. Angell to me, as lines written by my son, perhaps the last before he fell at B. Vista. H. Clay, May 1849.
Benjamin O. Tyler to Henry Clay, Bellevue Hospital, N.Y., 1849 August 29
Poem written in memory of Henry Clay, Jr. Presented to the Son of Col. Clay...his Grand Father, Henry Clay... along with a letter in which he thanks Clay for money received. Tyler is hospitalized for eye problems.
G[uido] and Adeline Schmidt to Henry Clay, New York Custom House, 1851 April 12
Poem for Clay's April 12th birthday with initial letter of each line spelling out Long Live Henry Clay. In 1849, Clay had written a letter recommending Schmidt for a job.
Thomas Julian Smith Clay to Henry Clay, Louisville, 1851 June 3
Thanks his grandfather for the pony and the halter.
Festival Association of the City of New York to Henry Clay, Circa 1852
Resolution following Henry Clay's death in honor of his service and contributions to his county.
Louisville Bar meeting minutes, April 1847
Letters from Henry Clay, 1804-1851
Henry Clay to Harry Toulmin, Frankfort, 1804 May 10
Clay answers Toulmin's letter requesting information about the trial of a man named Cox who was convicted of arson. Clay defended Cox before the examining court but not the trial court and, therefore, could not tell Toulmin what cases or authorities were cited or what testimony had been given against him. Clay did not defend Cox, because Cox could not pay the fee and, apparently, Clay thought the case unwinnable. He heard from several sources, including the late Daniel Weible whose house was destroyed by the fire that Cox was innocent of the crime for which he had been convicted; however, Weible died before he could take the steps necessary to free Cox and have the guilty party convicted. Notes that Cox was known as a man of bad character.
Henry Clay to Colonel Thomas Hart, Frankfort, 1804 December 14
Informs Hart that Mr. Edwards will pay the money he owes by Christmas as promised. Mr. Dufour would like a sample of wine from the Kentucky Vineyard to take when he visits the President [Thomas Jefferson].
Henry Clay to John W. Hunt, Senate Chamber, 1810 March 28
Encloses a check for John Hart. Members of Congress were waiting to hear from Europe before closing its session. He will let Mr. Hunt know about their loan as soon as he has some news.
Henry Clay to A[chilles] Sneed, 1812 August 25
Judge Todds [sic] requests the deed of trust given to him by General Hopkins. Clay has paid all filing fees for three suits: Hughes, Darby, and Taliaferro.
Henry Clay to Dr. J[osephus] B. Stuart, Washington, 1824 March 14
The Tariff bill has passed the Senate and is likely to do the same in the House of Representatives. Concerning the election, his friends are thinking of a New Yorker to be the vice presidential candidate.
Henry Clay to Mrs. Ch[arlotte LeClerc] Mentelle, Washington, 1825 October 24
Clay and his wife appreciate her letters. Our last affliction has almost overwhelmed us Note: Susan [Clay Duralde] died in September. Observes that of their six daughters, only one [Anne Clay Erwin] is still alive.
Henry Clay to William Garrard et al, Lexington, 1827 July 9
Accepts an invitation to a country dinner in Bourbon County.
Henry Clay to D[aniel] Webster, Lexington, 1828 July 24
Clay received both Webster's letter and the enclosure. He will forward the enclosure [not with letter] to Washington, then to Boston. Clay feels confident the election results will be favorable. His health is improving slowly. He has just received a favorable rumor from Louisiana about the election which gives him even greater confidence.
Henry Clay to Miss Eveline Simpson, Ashland, 1830 May 7
Thank you note for the worsted socks she made for him. Even Mrs. Clay agrees they are the best pair of socks he ever had. Intelligence and industry are the two most appealing qualities a woman can have.
Henry Clay to Samuel Smith, Washington, 1833 December 3
Clay is sending Durham and Devon cattle along with jackasses to Ashland. In addition, he has purchased a Durham bull and heifer descended from the blood line imported by Stephen Van Rensselaer. They will be sent out in the spring. Instructs Mr. Smith what to do with the calves when they reach the farm; he may have a half interest in them if he wishes.
Henry Clay to N[athaniel] Pope, [Washington], circa 1834 April
Although Mrs. Clay is ill, he invites Miss Prather [probably Mrs. Henry Clay, Jr.'s sister], to be their guest, but their accommodations are not large enough to extend the invitation to Misses Oldham and Pope.
Henry Clay to W. B. M'Clure, Ashland, 1834 August 2
Thanks him for the speech he delivered at the Whig Festival on July 4, 1834. Hopes it will unite Pennsylvania Whigs against the present wicked and corrupt presidential administration. Louisiana has opened its campaign with much enthusiasm and Kentucky's is set to open next week. Important that the Whigs deliver a political blow to the Jacksonian Democrats in the fall elections. The injuries suffered in his recent [carriage] accident have now healed.
Henry Clay to James Taylor, Jr., Ashland, 1835 March 26
The land in Ohio was bought and surveyed by a family friend. the Bank brought suit against the family because the legal title to the land is being disputed by a man who owns adjoining property. He expects the dispute to be resolved equitably and does not think Colonel Morrison's estate liable for the troubles.
Henry Clay to Hamilton H. Jackson, Washington, 1842 April 20
Appreciates the gift of a cane. Thinks that founding a mechanics institute, as Jackson is attempting, is a worthwhile cause. Mr. Fanconia [sic, Manuel Joachim De Franca] has finished the portrait commissioned by Jackson. Clay is pleased with the final result.
Henry Clay to Epes Sargent, Ashland, 1842 August 11
Clay sends memoranda and asks Sargent if he received the other items sent to him. Wishes him well on his work [Sargent was Clay's biographer].
Henry Clay to Major Nourse, Ashland, 1842 August 20
Forwards a letter from Susan Cook who is Nourse's relative. She wants some advice from Clay, but she asks Nourse to address the problem.
Henry Clay to Jacob Stratton, Ashland. Facsimile, 1842 September 13
Informs the young men of the Whig Party that the Whigs want a sound national currency, a revenue adequate to protect home industry, just restraints on executive power, especially as regards the veto, an equitable distribution of public lands with proceeds of the sales divided among all the states, an honest and economical administration that grants its citizenry freedom of thought and the right of suffrage but with some restraints to insure free, fair elections and an amendment limiting the presidency to one term. If they could achieve these goals, Clay believes that bad administrations could be eliminated.
Henry Clay to Isaac T. Preston, Washington, 1844 May 4
Thanks Preston for informing him of the successful resolution of a suit he handled along with Henry Clay, Jr. and instructs him on how to divide the money from the settlement.
Henry Clay to H. E. William R. King, Ashland, 1845 May 14
Letter of introduction for Col. John Brand and his son, William, who are planning a trip to Europe to restore William's health. They are personal friends of Clay's and he attests to their respectability.
Henry Clay to H. E. Edward Everett, Ashland, 1845 May 14
Letter of introduction for Col. John Brand and his son, William, similar to the preceding one.
Henry Clay to Joseph Hoxie, Ashland, 1846 November 2
Glad Hoxie made it home safely and found things well there. Encloses a brief note [not found] to Mr. Meade about the desirability of feeding ground Indian corn with the crop to cattle and horses. If Hoxie wins his New York election, he will again have faith in our country. Letter written by son, John, and signed by Henry.
Henry Clay to the Reverend Jonathon Bullock, Ashland, 1851 July 15
Writes that he would love to come visit the young ladies at the school but his feeble health prevents him from so doing.
Henry Clay to unnamed recipient, Ashland, 1851 July
Letters of introduction for Dr. E. Guenty attesting to Guenty's abilities as an instructor of classical studies.
Financial and legal papers, 1797-1852
Weible v. Robert, 1799
Suit brought in Fayette County by Daniel Weible against Peter D. Robert. Suit charges that Robert owes Weible $200 for labor and materials. Clay served as Weible's attorney in the suit.
Receipt for payment in the amount of $4.90 from Achilles Sneed, Clerk [Kentucky Court of Appeals], 1802
Receipt for payment to L. Stephens in the amount of L100 collected from Thomas Tunstall, 1804 July 16
Promissory note for Richard Taylor, Clark County, to Daniel Weiseger of Franklin County in the sum of 50L and 13s, 1804 December 8
Promissory note of William Williams to James Turner in the sum of $49. Note held by Clay, 1805 September 28
Statement of account for work and materials, 1805 September 30
Receipt of payment to Henry Clay from John W. Stout paid in full on September 17, 1806, in the amount of 2L, 5s., and 6d.
William Leforce to Achilles Sneed for entering return against Robinson, 1806 March
Indenture of Henry Clay and George M. Bibb to Samuel Smith of Maryland, 1807 February 15
For loan in the amount of $12,750 for the purchase of land in Lexington formerly owned by George Nicholas. Loan to be paid in full by February 15, 1812, half paid by Clay, the other half by Bibb
Account of Henry Clay for goods purchased from Benjamin Stout, 1808 April 4
To Judges, Fayette [Ky] Circuit Court, 1808 September 3
Fayette County land dispute involving the estate of William Elliott who died in 1792 and heirs John and Milly Henry et al. Donated by Ralph Kessinger.
Receipt of payment to C.P.T. Bullitt from Henry Steiner of Frederick Town, MD for collection of $133.66 debt, 1809 April 24
Receipt of payment by Henry Clay to Achilles Sneed, Clerk of Court of Appeals, for court fees in the amount of $3.34, 1810
Contract for the sale of land in Jefferson County drawn up by Clay who represented Samuel Moale acting for the Purviance family, 1812 August 24
Receipt of payment in the amount of $450 to John H. Morton from Henry Clay for the purchase of negro man, Billy or Butler, 1812 September 7
Balance due on bond note owned by Clay to Samuel Smith, Baltimore, 1815 September 28
See Indenture between Clay and Smith, February 15, 1807.
Balance due on bond note owed by Clay to Samuel Smith and Clay's current account, Baltimore, 1815 November 4
Smith will give Clay twelve cents on the dollar for the remainder of what he owes in exchange for some yams which Smith will sell.
Promissory note to James Morrison for $1,000, Baltimore, 1818 June 24
Mortgage deed between Clay and the Bank of the United States in the sum of $3,000, 1824 November 15
Henry Clay's cancelled checks, 1830-1839
Henry Clay's license to practice law in Virginia, 1797 November 6
Defaced draft of a proposed constitutional amendment relating to military training, submitted to the House of Representatives by Mr. Harrison, 1817 February 28
Indenture between Clay and the Bank of the United States in the amount of $7,000, 1831 June 17
Seating plan of Congress, 1st Session, 32nd Congress [December 1, 1851 - August 31, 1852], 1852
Written by hand: Jan. - 1852. Clay's December 15, 1851 resignation was to take effect September 1852, but he died on June 29, 1852.
Speeches, 1833-1850, undated
Henry Clay's printed speeches, 1833, 1850
Removal of the Deposites, delivered in the U.S. Senate, 1833 December 26, 30
On Presenting his Resolutions on the Subject of Slavery, delivered in the U.S. Senate, 1850 February 5, 6
Handwritten manuscript of the Raleigh Speech delivered at Raleigh, North Carolina, 1844 April 13
Manuscript is mostly in the hand of John Morrison Clay, Henry Clay's youngest son who accompanied him on the speaking tour.
Handwritten manuscript of the Raleigh Speech in French, 1844
Newspaper clippings, printed materials, and recollections relating to the lives and deaths of members of the Clay family, especially Henry Clay, 1846-1889, undated
Newspaper clippings relating to Henry Clay, including a copy of his will, 1846-1848, 1889, undated
Newspaper clippings of miscellaneous topics, 1853, 1862, 1881, 1889
Broadsides [facsimiles] announcing a meeting of the Young Men of Louisville to gather to receive the remains of Henry Clay, 1852 July 6
An Address on the Life and Character of Henry Clay, delivered in the 4th Street M.E. Church, July 10, 1852, by Thomas M. Gally, 1852
Report on the Ceremonies on the Fourth of July, 1857 at the Laying of the Corner Stone of a National Monument to be Erected near Lexington, Kentucky to the Memory of Henry Clay, , 1857
Speaker Reverend Robert J. Breckinridge, Published by the Clay Monument Association.
Recollections by Thomas Jessup of the Clay-Randolph duel , Jessup represented Clay in the negotiations, 1853 March 4
In Memory of Henry Clay: Address of the Young Men of Cincinnati to the Afflicted Widow and others of the bereaved family of Mr. Clay , 1852
Bibles and prayer books, 1812-1842, undated
Henry and Lucretia Clay's Family Bible, 1822, undated
Holy Bible. Philadelphia: H. C. Carey & Lea, 1822
Includes Family Record section; the most recent entry, July 19, 1929, recorded the death of Lucretia Clay Erwin Simpson.
Detached spine label from Henry and Lucretia Clay's family bible, 1822
Miscellaneous items removed from Henry and Lucretia Clay's family Bible, undated
Several pages from another Bible removed from Henry and Lucretia Clay's family Bible, undated
Photocopies of the Family Record section from Henry and Lucretia Clay's family Bible, 1822
Hart Family Bible, 1812
Holy Bible. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1812
Hart family Bible. Includes Family Record.
Photocopies of the Family Record from the Hart family bible, 1812
Other Bibles, 1833-1842
New and Corrected Version of The New Testament, by Rodolpus Dickinson (a presbyter of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and Rector of St. Paul's Parish, District of Pendelton, South Carolina) Boston: Lilly. Wait, Colman & Holden. Half-title: Dickinson's corrected Version of the Christian Scriptures. , 1833
Inscription: Henry Clay with the sincere respects of the translator. See the Reverend Mr. Dickinson's letter of November 12, 1833 in Box 1, Folder 4,
Photocopies of the Family Record section of The Cottage Bible and Family Expositor. Hartford: Case, Tiffany & Burnham,, 1842
The Book of Common Prayer, Philadelphia: Desilver, Thomas and Co., 1837
On flyleaf: This Book was used by Genl. Wm. Henry Harrison President Elect. when attending public worship in Trinity Church Pittsburgh, January 31, 1841. Presented to the Honble. Henry Clay by John D. Davis as a token of the high regard which he entertains for his very great personal worth and splendid public services. Pittsburgh March 27, 1848. Another inscription: This Book was used by the Hon. Henry Clay from the time he became a member of the E. Church until his death. Last inscription: I baptized the Hon. Henry Clay in his parlor, at Ashland, on the twenty-second day of June, 1847, five years before he died. I also baptised his great, great grandson Henry Clay Anderson, on the eight-teenth [sic] day of October, 1893 Ed. F. Berkley St. Louis.
Assorted Henry Clay family items, undated
Realia, 1842-1844, undated
Clay for President campaign ribbons, 1842-1844
Henry Clay medallion, undated
Inscribed on verso: The eloquent defender of national rights and national independence. In broken case with Mrs. Harold R. Cunning's name inside.
In memorium card with Clay's silhouette, undated
Lucretia Hart Clay papers, 1828, 1840
Correspondence, 1828, 1840
Letter to Mrs. Henry Clay from Henry Clay, Jr., West Point, 1828 August 28
He has moved into the barracks and has been given an office. He is now a sergeant and his duties are to attend a few parades and do some writing in the adjutant's office. He received several letters from Thomas [his brother].
Letter to Mrs. Henry Clay from Henry Clay, Senate Chamber, 1840 February 21
Had a distressing night and did not get any sleep because of Henry, Jr.'s letter informing him of Julia's death. Clay notes that Julia's death will mean additional burdens and responsibilities for Lucretia, but thinks the Prather family will help. He did not want to go to Richmond [Va.] but would do so anyway thinking the journey might be a distraction from his grief. James sent a letter from Natchez in which he infers that he is involved in a love affair.
Newspaper clippings of obituaries of Lucretia, Henry, Jr., and John M. Clay, undated
Lucretia Clay's cap, undated
Theodore Wythe Clay papers, 1821-1825
Diplomas from Transylvania University, 1821, 1823, 1825
Licenses to practice law in Kentucky and Louisiana, 1823, 1824
Henry Clay, Jr. papers, 1827-1847
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1827-1829
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1827 April 2
Glad to hear his son is contented at West Point. Thinks he will benefit greatly by graduating from the academy. It will afford more opportunities in seeking a profession than if he went to another school. Clay does not want him going to Europe with Mr. Holley but promises him a trip to France after he completes his studies at West Point. Tells him that all his fatherly hopes rest on him as Theodore and Thomas will not live up to their potential. Clay will return to Kentucky soon, but [Lucretia] will remain in Washington.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1827 December 25
Happy to hear reports of his son's good work at West Point. Henry Clay Hart arrived from Norfolk [Va]. Clay and Hart are preparing to sail for the Mediterranean. Mr. Erwin, father of James Erwin, who married Anne Brown Clay, is with them. If he needs any money, just ask for it and keep up the good work at school.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1828 February 6
Hears more good news of his son's progress at West Point and it makes him very happy. It will not be too late to study law after West Point. He will be at the perfect age to undertake the task. Clay has not heard from Thomas for a long time and admits he is afraid to hear from him. Last he heard Thomas had left Arkansas for parts unknown.
James Brown [Henry, Jr.'s uncle] to Henry Clay, Jr., Paris, 1828 July 29
Although he has not seen him since infancy, he is proud of him. Thinks West Point is a fine place for a young man and is glad he is doing well in his studies. Implores Henry, Jr. to stay as it will prove most beneficial in the future. Says it could be detrimental to his career opportunities to quit before finishing.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1828 October 21
Has just returned from his trip to the West [Kentucky] and his health is much improved. Keeps hearing how well his son is doing in school and the news makes him happy. Mr. [Alva] Woods has been installed as the president of Transylvania and the college has reopened. All at home are well.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1828 November 14
Sorry to hear that Richard's [Shelby] prospects for remaining at West Point are not good. Clay will pass on the letter to Richard's father so that he can decide what to do. Clay concedes Jackson's election to the presidency.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1828 December 20
Offers suggestions for Henry, Jr.'s upcoming two month encampment. Suggests the route he should take home to Ashland. Reassures Henry, Jr. that he does not have a low opinion of him, but a very favorable one. By remaining at West Point until his studies are completed, he will be at the prime age to study law, if that is what he wishes to do. Clay will secure a furlough for him once he completes his four years at West Point so he can study law to see if he likes it. If he wishes to continue with the law, he can resign his commission; if not, he can pursue a military career.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1829 January 14
Glad to hear Henry, Jr. is reassured about his standing in his father's eyes. Reiterates his belief that any young man who applies himself as faithfully and diligently as Henry, Jr. has will succeed in any profession he chooses to follow. Henry, Jr. will be twenty years old when he completes his course at West Point and that is the best age at which to begin a study of the law. Will give him some money for the trip to Kentucky. He wrote to Richard [Shelby] and hopes that the young man will get another chance to continue his course at school.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1829 January 26
he is pleased with his son's class standing after the recent examination and a third in mathematics is acceptable. It is an honorable ranking and he should not complain of it. Richard Shelby arrived in Washington. Clay does not know whether he can get him reappointed to the academy. Clay has been confined to the house for nearly a week with a cold. Mrs. Clay has a cold, too.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1829 February 9
Did not mean to tell his son in his last letter that no injustice had been done to him by his math teacher, only that he should guard against anyone trying to manipulate his feelings. Clay and family will return to Ashland in early March and he will think about whether to continue in public life. Richard [Shelby] has left Washington for West Point with the assurance of reappointment. Clay's health is not good.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1829 April 19
Arrived home in late March and found the house and grounds in need of work, but it will be in order by the time Henry, Jr. arrives for his visit. Pleased to hear of his son's choice of a law career after West Point. To gain eminence at the bar one has to work incessantly. Clay admits he did not study as much as he should, but relied on the resources of his genius. If he could do it all over again, he would wait until he was 24 or 25 before beginning a law career. Both Thomas and Theodore are at Ashland.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1829 September 3
Henry, Jr. is becoming more satisfied with West Point and his father hopes he will decide to remain there for the rest of his courses. ...I do not wish to force you to remain...My opinions I wish you to receive not as commands but as advice flowing from one who loves you much...
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1829 December 2
Grandfather [Henry] Watkins [Clay's step-father] has died and his wife [Elizabeth] is quite feeble. Thomas left with Mr. Kerr for Illinois to sell some land owned by Clay near Terre Haute [Ind.] Confesses he has little faith in Thomas's stability. Thinks Henry, Jr.'s suggestion of being an engineer is a good one, especially since he only wants to do it temporarily. Clay continues to advocate a career in law.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1829 December 23
Grandmother [Watkins, Clay's mother] and Uncle John [Clay] have died. Clay leaves for New Orleans soon for his health. He delivered an address to the Kentucky colonization Society and will send a copy as soon as it is printed.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1829 December 26
Assures Henry, Jr. that the family is thinking of him. Agrees that the country needs an American institute [a national institute of higher learning], but disagrees that West Point is the best place for it. Thinks a large city would be better. Uncle [James] Brown could tell him about the national institute in France. [Brown was appointed by President Monroe as U.S. Minister to France].
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1830-1831
James Brown to Henry Clay, Jr., Philadelphia, 1830 February 9
Response to request for information regarding France's national institute. Does not know much about it but will inquire and get back to him. Brown discusses feelings of sorrow over the recent deaths of his step-father, sister, and brother. Is pleased to receive reports of Henry, Jr.'s success at West Point.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 March 29
Has just returned from New Orleans where Henry, Jr.'s success at West Point was frequently mentioned. Mrs. Clay is happy and feeling well. Mr. Martin, the new overseer, is working out well. The farm looks good. Glad to hear he will give the 4th of July oration. Thinks the subject of a national institute of learning a good topic but cautions him to be more concerned with the ideas and arguments he wishes to express than with style. Advises him not to allow anyone to publish his address until he is more mature. A single [in]discreet sentiment or expression might occasion you bitter regrets. Relates news about family and friends.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 May 24
Anxious to know how his examinations will go. Relates general family news. A young Danville man, [Cary] Fry, is on his way to West Point. Asks his son to be attentive to him and treat him with kindness... Says he receives good news from his Washington friends but does not think that he wants to return to public life.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 June 25
His father will abide by his agreement that if after the third year his son wishes to leave West Point, Clay will not make him stay the final year. The decision is up to him. Sends a check for $100. Clay will be in Columbus, Ohio in July.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 June 30
Glad to hear that the address delivered by Henry, Jr. was well received. Relates news about family members.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Olympian Springs, 1830 August 24
Pleased to hear Henry, Jr. will complete his final year at West Point and urges him to be content with that decision. Advises him not to be too quick to decide that the authorities at the school are prejudiced against him and have treated him unfairly. If he truly has been treated unjustly, he should rise above it.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 October 31
Apologizes for writing so infrequently. Reports that Thomas and Theodore are at Ashland, and he is very unhappy with both of them because of their behavior. Relates news about other family members. He is glad to hear of Henry, Jr.'s promotions at the academy and praises him for his accomplishments. Aunt [Ann Hart] Brown has died. discusses several improvements at Ashland including building of brick and new conical ice house.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1830 December 9
The Erwins are preparing to return to New Orleans and the older Clays have decided to join them for the winter. Relates other general news. Has purchased 111 acres of adjoining land from the McNair estate.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Louisville, 1831 March 31
Anne [Brown Clay Erwin] returned with them from New Orleans to her new home near Ashland. Time is nearing when Henry, Jr. will graduate. Advises him to accept his commission and then request a furlough. Relates general news about family members.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1831 April 20
Sends Henry, Jr. a check for $300. Will discuss his future when he returns home.
U.S. Army. Adjutant General's Office, 1831 July 12
Order No. 32 listing of 1831 cadet class, including Henry Clay, Jr.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1831 December 23
Pleased with the decisions they made while at home. Glad Henry, Jr. decided to go to New Orleans to study law. Advises him to engage in serious study and research for that is how he will attain eminence at the Bar.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1831 December 25
Ann [daughter] has written to him about Mr. [Martin] Duralde's offer to allow Henry, Jr. to reside at the Duralde home while he studies law.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1832
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 January 3
Undecided about resigning from the Senate. [In December, 1831, Clay was nominated for President by the National Republican Convention.] He is feeling despondent. Lengthy discussion of legal ramifications when Henry, Jr. marries. [Henry, Jr., married Julia Prather, October 10, 1832.] As for the country's political situation, Clay thinks the Union will survive whatever course Congress takes.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 January 17
Happy to hear from Judge Porter that Henry, Jr. is so diligent in pursuing his legal studies. Refers to a recent speech in the Senate and is preparing yet another one to deliver. Since he is putting all his intellectual energies into these labors, he has none left for other pursuits. Both his parents have colds.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 February 21
Has neglected correspondence to tend to pressing political matters. Received Henry, Jr.'s letter inquiring about a trip to Europe and thinks the trip should wait until after he passes the bar, but before he begins to practice law. If his son decides differently, Clay will abide by the decision. Uncle Brown is visiting the family and is well.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 February 27
Clay received Henry, Jr.'s letter requesting money to speculate in New Orleans city property. Clay says he will give Henry, Jr. $2,500 if he will postpone his trip to Europe as Clay cannot afford both.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 April 7
Happy to hear his son is content and to hear from Judge Porter that Henry, Jr. is progressing well in his studies. Approves of the improvements of the grounds at Ashland. Gives general instructions on how to proceed. Tells him to visit his grandmother and Aunt Price, and to go to see Theodore.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 April 17
Gives more instructions on how to proceed with the improvements at Ashland, including what to do about the house.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 May 1
Additional suggestions about how to improve the house. Sad to hear that Theodore is not improving, but fears he will never be well again. General news about farm and family. Does not know when Congress will adjourn and cannot say how the issues before it will be resolved.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Senate Chamber, 1832 May 11
More ideas about the house at Ashland. Tells him to take care of financial matters for him. Clay's health is not good and he wants to get home but does not know when he'll be able to leave Washington.
Thomas H[art] Clay [brother] to Henry Clay, Jr., Clay's Prairie, IL, 1832 May 23
Thanks Henry, Jr. for sending the seed corn so promptly. He is busy planting a variety of crops. [Thomas lives on Clay's Prairie, a farm owned by Clay in Illinois near Terre Haute.] The region is in a state of alarm because of the Indian Attacks [Black Hawk War]. Some men have volunteered to fight the Indians. He will do so at the second call to arms. He will be in Lexington soon.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1832 May 25
Agrees that painting the house is best. Does not think they will get away from Washington for awhile. If Henry, Jr. wishes, he can visit them. Congress has taken up the bank question and he does not know how long it will take to complete the legislation. Once that issue is settled, they still have to deal with issues of the tariff and public lands.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, 1832 August 5
Presumes that Henry, Jr.'s affair [with Julia Prather] has only been postponed until the weather is less oppressive. From the news Clay has received he believes that Jackson's defeat is certain. If the dog's lameness is cured, he will bring Mr. Caldwell's gift of a little pointer dog to Henry, Jr.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1832 November 24
Has to go to Washington this winter, but does not want to leave Kentucky. Agrees that the movement against nullification occurring in Louisville is being directed from Washington. He will be leaving soon and as is his custom has left a will with his wife who will remain at Ashland. He made Henry, Jr. one of the executors.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Philadelphia, 1832 December 30
Accompanied James from Ashland to Philadelphia where they parted. James went on to Boston and Clay will return to Washington. The political situation seems to be approaching a crisis stage but he thinks South Carolina will not implement its Ordinance until the tariff issue is decided. Since Jackson is against this issue, it will be a difficult battle.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1833
Abner S. Lipscomb, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, 1833 February 27
Certificate declaring that Henry Clay, Jr. has been successfully examined on the principles and practices of law and is now permitted to practice law in the state.
Julia Prather Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Louisville, circa 1833 April 19
She is not sure where to reach her husband and wants to know where he is and when he will come home. Hopes he can purchase the land near Ashland as he desires. She is sorry circumstances prevented them from living at Ashland during Clay's absence as he invited them to do. Her condition makes it irksome to go out. [Perhaps expecting Henry Hart who was born in July of 1833]. She opened a letter he received from Charleston but not the one from Louisiana. Regrets not being able to accompany her father-in-law to the east this July as he suggested.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1833 June 7
Gives his son permission to use his name to secure a loan. Cholera has struck Lexington and killed about 50 people. People are fleeing town to avoid the disease. No one in the Clay family has yet been struck. Two or three slaves may be ill with it but none have died yet. Notes various people known to the family who have died of cholera.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1833 July 6
Glad to hear he got home safely. Lexington is almost free of cholera. Afraid the pestilence might hit Louisville, but hopes Henry, Jr. and Julia will be safe from it.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1833 July 7
Good that Louisville has not been struck with the cholera epidemic. Time to mow the fields. If Henry, Jr. has no stock to put to the woods to eat the grass there, Clay will provide the stock.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1833 July 14
Hay cut, stacked and under cover. Although the price is high recommends that Henry, Jr. buy Billy and his family because Billy is too trustworthy a slave to lose.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1833 July 23
Congratulates Henry, Jr. and Julia on the birth of their first child [Henry Hart]. Especially proud that it is a boy and is anxious to see and hold him. Would be glad to have the child named for him. The fruit trees are ready for harvesting.
Julia Prather Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Louisville, circa 1833 October 20
Admonishes her husband for not writing home more often. Received his letter indicating he is going to Chicago. She is anxious to see him and regrets she did not go with him. Henry [their son] is doing well. He can expect to find several letters waiting at St. Louis when he returns there. Asks him to come home as soon as possible.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Philadelphia, 1833 November 24
Trip to the East went well. Congratulates him that his public talk [at Transylvania University] was so well received.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1833 December 1
Happy to hear that his son is so contented with his life. Clay was welcomed back to Washington with celebrations and has been showered with gifts and accolades. Thinks Henry, Jr.'s idea to raise sheep is a good one but cautions him to build a secure pound to protect them from dogs. Did not like the idea at first but having looked into the market for wool, Clay now thinks it is a good idea.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1833 December 5
The Jacksonians have control of the House of Representatives. Things are better in the Senate. Theodore's letter indicates that his condition has worsened. Thomas is not writing which suggests he may have lapsed into his old habits. Asks Henry, Jr. to tend to his livestock.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1834-1835
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 January 17
Has been a long time since he received a letter from Henry, Jr. Wishes to be kept abreast of things at Ashland. Sends a check for $1,000 to take care of the farm's finances.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 January 23
Thanks Henry, Jr. for taking care of things for him. Regarding the deposit question, Clay fears it will fail in the House; however, popular opinion might cause those who are wavering to support it.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 February 11
Instructs Henry, Jr. to sell Warrior, a donkey, to Mr. Hockaday. The deposit question is still undecided. Popular support has caught the attention of members of the House, but it still may not be enough, To day Judge [Thomas T.] Bouldin of Virginia expired in the H. of R. while announcing the death of his predecessor Mr. J[ohn] Randolph!
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 February 17
Thanks Henry, Jr. for attending to his financial matters for him and gives him additional instructions. Deposit question still undecided. Mrs. Clay is having stomach problems.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., 1834 February 19
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 March 19
Thanks Henry, Jr. for taking care of his financial affairs. James [Brown Clay] is in Washington and has expressed a wish to leave the mercantile business and continue his education. Clay has reluctantly agreed. Mother's [Lucretia] health is very poor; she has been reduced to a skeleton. Deposit question still not settled, but it is clear that a majority of the House supports it.
J[ohn Jordan] Crittenden to Henry Clay, Jr., Frankfort, 1834 April 13
Did not respond sooner to Henry, Jr.'s letter because of illness. He supports a convention to draw together the party, an opinion shared by others. The best way to begin might be locally and let the idea catch on through the state, then expand. Agrees that Lexington is the best place for a statewide convention.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 April 13
Your mother is still feeble...unless she gets better in a few weeks, I fear she can not survive. Hopes the warm weather will help her get well. Discusses some financial matters. the Tories have triumphed in New York. He considers this a victory for the Whigs.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1834 April 24
Discusses his finances. Left his wife at the Springs [near Warrenton, Virginia, known as Fauquier White Sulphur or Lee's Sulphur Springs] with James who writes that her strength is increasing and they will return to Washington soon. Is concerned about the loss of the Saxon sheep.
Lexington City Council. Note of appreciation for Clay's Lafayette eulogy, 1834 July 28
[Marquis de Lafayette died May 20th] Signed by Charlton Hunt and other members of the council.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., [Washington?], circa 1834 December
Found his colleagues despondent over the state of public affairs. The more immediate issue is President [Jackson's] stance on French affairs [spoliation controversy about U.S. claims against France during the Napoleonic Wars] Caution is needed, if the President is to avoid war with France.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1835 February 19
Received word of the birth of a daughter [Matilda] to Henry, Jr. and Julia. discusses financial matters. Closes admitting that he is truly sick of Congress.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1835 July 7
General family news. Land prices are high and continuing to rise but fears that it will not last. Sold some cattle and made a nice profit. Includes a rate of exchange note. Sent in care of Baring Brothers, London. [Henry Clay, Jr. and his family were traveling in Europe].
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1836-1839
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1836 April 11
Two of the three Poitou asses Henry, Jr. purchased in Europe and shipped home died en route to New York while the fate of the third is uncertain. Perhaps they were neglected. Fears insurance will not cover the losses. Harriet, one of Henry, Jr.'s slaves, lost her child. The hemp crop is good and bringing in nice profits. Congress will not adjourn until June and nothing of consequence has been accomplished.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1836 May 12
John [Morrison Clay] is very ill with high fever and headache. Yesterday he was cupped, bled, blistered, and took calomel. Does not seem to be in any immediate danger but John's illness will prevent Clay from meeting Henry, Jr. and Julia at Baltimore as planned so he will see them when they arrive at Ashland.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1836 December 10
Received the letter and check and disposed of them as requested. Sorry to hear Blossom, a cow, is not with calf. Suggests sending the cows to Ashland and Clay will put them to his bull, Lord Althorp.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1836 December 16
Reassures Henry, Jr. that he was right not to have placed himself under obligation to others by having them endorse a loan. Clay will always do that for his son. Sorry to hear the Shephard cow dropped a dead calf. Wants to know if the Hector cow has recovered from her lameness. The House post office burned down and there are rumors of arson but so far they are not substantiated. Clay feels less interest than ever in public affairs. If he were not restrained by a sense of duty, he would return home for repose and tranquility.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1837 February 6
Regrets that Henry, Jr. has not heard about the mare he sent to New Orleans. They were detained by ice on the river, but made it safely to port. No news about the asses they shipped. Discusses the pros and cons of Manilla hemp versus Rupia hemp. The fall of the price of Kentucky hemp is related to a decline in the price of the items made from hemp. The high price of bagging led manufacturers to find new and cheaper materials and that further reduced the price of hemp.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1837 February 22
Thinks the asses have by now reached New Orleans. Will hurry home as soon as Congress adjourns. Thinks Van Buren will retain Jackson's secretaries. Rumors that War Department has been offered to Poinsett of South Carolina. But these matters are of little interest to Clay. Prays for Julia to have a happy accouchement. [Anne was born].
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Senate Chamber, 1837 September 8
The message [by Van Buren to a special session of Congress] disappointed everyone. Congress is aligned with the president so the country can expect no relief from the conservatives. They will get twelve cents for their bale rope. Going to Princeton with John [Morrison Clay]. [In November of 1837 John entered Princeton as a sophomore].
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1837 December 28
Expects to hear soon from Mr. Beasley indicating the asses shipped from Havre have arrived in New Orleans. The sorrow he has recently felt regarding the country's political situation has worsened since the Expunging Resolution. [Relates to Clay's censure of Jackson for removal of the deposits]. The Jacksonians have perpetuated other acts of degradation to the country as well. The only good news is that there is a schism in the party over the issue of hard money and bank notes.
Julia Prather Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Louisville, circa 1838-1839 January 6
Anxious to receive a letter from him. Children are well and mother is recovering.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Senate Chamber, 1838 March 2
Writing this letter while listening to a very dull Speech on the Subtreasury Bill. Urges his son to consider carefully whether or not he should be a candidate [for the U.S. House of Representative seat of] Mr. [Richard] Hawes if he should retire. It would greatly please Clay to see his son in public office. If he considers such a move, he should develop a good relationship with people and act like a candidate before becoming one. As for whether Clay will run for president, he thinks he might be the Whig's choice. ...if the Election were to come on in Sixty days I should be elected by acclamation. Since the election is so distant, the political climate could change.
Jeremiah Day to Henry Clay, Jr., Yale College, 1838 October 29
Response to Henry Jr.'s inquiry about the governance, especially the organization and the powers of the Board of Trustees as well as funding of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. Also addressed to M. C. Johnson.
W. A. Duer to Henry Clay, Jr., Columbia College, 1838 November 8
Response to Henry, Jr.'s inquiry about the governance, especially the organization and powers of the Board of Trustees as well as the funding of Columbia College in New York.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Wheeling, Virginia, 1838 November 28
Unhappy with the choice of Mr. [Robert N.] Wickliffe as the Senator from Fayette. But if he becomes the candidate, Clay hopes party supporters will rally around him since the election of a Loco Foco would be too great a triumph for the opponents.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1839 January 18
Some Southern States and New York have pledged to him their support for his presidential candidacy. The New England states are trying to discredit him because he is a slaveholder. Mr. Webster wants to run General Harrison. The antimasonic forces pose no threat. Thinks James T. Morehead could be substituted for [Robert N.] Wickliffe as part of Kentucky's delegation to the Whig's national convention. Only divisiveness in the party will prevent a Whig victory in the upcoming election.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1839 December 14
Accepts the decision of the Whig convention delegates [they nominated General Harrison as its presidential candidate]. Hopes Henry, Jr. and other Clay supporters will do the same. To win, the Whigs need a united front. Does not know what the platform will be. The House will elect a speaker soon, probably an administration supporter.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1840-1843
Thomas H. Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1840 February 15
Letter of condolence on the occasion of the death of Julia, Henry, Jr.'s wife. Her sweetness and amiability of temper, endeared her to all who approached her.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1840 February 20
Letter of condolence on the occasion of the death of Julia, Henry, Jr.'s wife. along with sympathy for his great loss, his father reminds him of his responsibility towards his motherless children.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1840 February 22
[Since he ends the letter with Give my love to Julia, this was written earlier in the month before he knew of her death. According to The Papers of Henry Clay, this letter should be dated ca. February 17th.] Glad to hear Henry, Jr.'s eye is better. Concerned about the harsh treatment the Northern bank gave his son. Considering that it does not pay its own debts, it should not be so decided in enforcing payment from others, especially where...they have a perfect security. Asks him to take care of the jacks. Offers to send him Major, an elderly slave. The Harrisburg nomination [of Harrison for President] has been better received than anticipated. Clay is determined to support it.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1841 August 31
Will vote for the new bank bill, but thinks President [John Tyler] will veto it if it passes the Senate.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Washington, 1841 December 26
Has been ill and confined to his quarters because of a swollen lip and nose. Tyler's currency plan, as proposed, does not have a chance of passing since both parties oppose it. The Treasury is empty. Both parties dislike Tyler and his administration.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1842 July 11
Cover letter for a confidential enclosure [not with the letter] and asks Henry, Jr. to check at the bank to see if a deposit has been made in his name.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Frankfort, 1843 July 3
John left Ashland this morning with Henry, Jr.'s horse. He should be in Louisville by this afternoon. Frankfort is quite lively because of the nearby military encampment.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1845
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Lexington, 1845 February 12
The Northern bank agreed to discount the note on the condition that it be subject to calls if it is necessary. The settlement was made with the understanding that the note would be paid in one year.
Samuel Sanders, Jr. to Henry Clay, Jr., Ghent, Carroll County, 1845 March 4
Appears to be asking for an endorsement by Clay of the Whig candidates running for office in Carroll County, Kentucky.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 March 17
Reassures Henry, Jr. that the provisions he has made for his children are satisfactory. If Henry, Jr. goes to New Orleans, Clay suggests that the situation concerning real estate and the Dubreuil heirs [i.e. Dubreuil Villars's heirs] should be investigated. Disappointed the appellate court ruled against their exception on the grounds the United States cannot be sued, but hopes that the decision will not be upheld. The Louisiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal this spring. He would be pleased if his son ran for Congress from the Louisville District. His friends are helping with their debt. John is showing signs of mental problems and Martin Duralde [III, a grandson] is seriously ill.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 April 2
Happy to say his friends came to his relief in the amount of $24,750 toward his bank debt. John is growing more deranged and he may have to be hospitalized. All others are well except for Martin Duralde who is still very ill.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 April 5
Relates the circumstances surrounding John's hospitalization.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 April 8
Discusses his debt to the Northern Bank of Kentucky. Afraid John's case is hopeless. Seems more deranged than his brother [Theodore] was when they were compelled to confine him. Sent a servant to the hospital to tend to his two sons. He is very distressed about the situation. Clay is not surprised to hear that Henry, Jr. is unhappy with living at a tavern and being unemployed. Suggests that if Henry, Jr. does not go to Congress, he come to live at Ashland. If he finds some business that suits him, Clay will help him with it.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 April 27
Received the check for Henry, Jr.'s part of the [John J.] Astor debt. Is pleased with his son's letter about the representative from his district printed in the [Louisville?] Journal. John's condition continues to distress him. Not happy to see his grandchildren leave Ashland, but knows they will receive excellent care with their father and Mrs. [Nannette Price] Smith.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 May 6
Mr. Astor agrees to postpone the loan for another two years provided there would be no more extensions. Clay brought John home from the hospital and so far has had no problems. He is renovating parts of the house. The French minister was unable to locate the order for the occupation of Claude Villars's plantation, but found a January 1760, order for the fortification of New Orleans.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 June 11
Received his son's letter with the two discounted notes. Thinks he should make a partial payment to the bank as soon as the note matures. This would reassure the bank officials. He has paid $11 toward the discount and the rest of the account amounted to $1.40. He will advance the discount when due from the other bank. All are well at home except for himself.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 June 21
Received the letter transmitting the discount of the bank notes. His health is not entirely restored and mother is ill, too. Although it is unpleasant, he is sitting daily for his portrait by Mr. [George] Healy who is a talented artist.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 July 2
He has engaged Mr. [Richard] Wilde in the Dubreuil [Villars's] case. The Lousiana Supreme Court decided the issue of jurisdiction in their favor. Asks him to write to Judge [Thomas] Bishop to prepare for the trial. It is important they acquire the right for the [Gilbert de] St. Maxent's heirs but they are poor. Hopes to get the Dubreuil [Villars's] heirs to give them some money. Wishes they could get rid of [attorney Samuel] Judah who has done nothing on the case. The French minister at Washington has written for a copy of the fortification order.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 July 10
Was happy to see in the last letter that his son is in better spirits. Think the contract with Mr. Sutton a good one, if he gets the price stipulated. Hopes the prices will rise in the fall. He will be happy to continue to endorse for him. He will be glad to see his son and grandchildren. If the rest of the family cannot visit, hopes that Henry [Hart/Henry III] may come.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 July 22
Henry [Hart/Henry III] has been with them for one week and is behaving well. Asks if he may stay another week. All are well. The William Claiborne family is staying with them and they would be glad to have their son come and occupy the only spare room left in the house.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Frankfort, 1845 October 14
Discusses financial concerns. Instructs Henry, Jr. to remind Mr. [Thomas] Smith that Clay is sending a barrel of bourbon to forward to Dr. H[enry] S. Levert of Mobile.
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1845 October 17
Clay took care of business at the bank. The guests have left and they would be glad if Henry, Jr. and his children came for a visit. Plans to winter in New Orleans. He can take care of the Dubreuil [Villars's] heirs case while there. All are well at home.
Letters to Henry Clay, Jr., 1846
Henry Clay to Henry Clay, Jr., Ashland, 1846 May 12
Letter of introduction for Mr. [Schureman?], a musician who intends to visit Louisville.
A. S. Mitchell to Henry Clay, Jr., Frankfort, 1846 May 30
Grants a commission of Colonel of the 2d Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.
Letters from Henry Clay, Jr., 1839, 1845
Henry Clay, Jr. to Editor of the Franklin Farmer, Fayette County, 1839 April 5
Offers to write about modes of farming in England. Relates to Scotch beef cattle, particularly, the improved shorthorn Durham. There are two kinds: Argyles and Galloways. They are taken from Scotland to England for grazing. They are usually black, have thick hides, and strong constitutions, which enable them to withstand cold weather. When fattened the Argyles weigh from five to seven hundred pounds, the Galloways a bit more. This makes them highly prized and profitable on the Smithfield market in London. He closes wondering what might result if the Scottish Durham were crossed with the Green River cattle commonly grazed in Kentucky. Signs the letter A Fayette Farmer and adds a postscript that he does not want his name printed, but if the editor is willing, he can publish it.
Henry Clay, Jr. to unknown correspondent, Louisville, 1845 March
Acknowledges receiving a letter and thanks its sender for considering him as a Whig candidate for the Louisville district. Agrees the Whigs are the only party that can rightly govern and the recent defeat in the last election is not good news for the country. While he is both flattered and surprised they would consider him to run for Congress, believes that [James M.] Bullock of Shelby County would be a better choice. If officially nominated he would be duty-bound to accept, but he also thought it wrong to seek the post. He will support the party no matter who is chosen to be the candidate
Financial, legal, and personal papers, 1831-1847
Commission as 2nd Lt. in U.S. Army, 2nd Artillery received upon graduation from West Point, 1831 July 12
Resignations. Washington. Acceptance of resignations of Clay, 2nd Artillery and Charles Mason, Corps of Engineers, 1831 October
Certificate from the Supreme Court of Louisiana licensing Henry, Jr. to practice law there, 1833 March 11
Francis Thornton. Receipt of payment of $45 placed to Clay's credit, 1843 March 3
Indenture between the trustees of James S. Prather and Henry Clay, Jr. in amount of $4,000 for land situated in Louisville on the southeastern corner of Green and Fourth Streets, 1844 September 23
Military commission conferring the rank of Lt. Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of the Infantry of Riflemen of the Kentucky volunteer Army upon Henry Clay, Jr. Signed by Gov. William Owsley, 1846 May 28
Accounts, 1845-46, with the shipping company of Payne and Harrison, 1847 March 10
Speeches, articles, and notes, circa 1830s-1840s
Drafts of possible speech, penned by Henry Clay, Jr., supporting Harrison for President, circa 1836-1840
Draft of possible speech or article in Henry Clay, Jr.'s hand, undated
Discusses four topics: retaliatory measures, discriminating duties, free trade, and moderate protective duties.
Principles of Population, and Their Connections with Human Happiness by Archibald Alison, undated
Miscellaneous notes and reactions to this 1840 work published in Edinburgh. Notes are in Henry Clay, Jr.'s writing.
Our Commercial Relations Unveiled or Glimpses of the Future, draft of a speech or article written by Henry Clay, Jr., circa 1842
Fragment regarding moderate protective tariffs in the hand of Henry Clay, Jr., undated
Letter to the editor of the Louisville Journal challenging the editor's reaction to Clay's recent lecture about Great Britain's ability to colonize effectively. Writing in the hand of Henry Clay, Jr., undated
Notes about the propriety of the County Court's purchase of stock to finance a railroad. Example cited refers to District of Columbia. Writing in the hand of Henry Clay, Jr., undated
Address delivered in Louisville on the occasion of the Free Public Library's second anniversary. Remarks are written in the hand of Henry Clay, Jr. Last page is embossed with Congress U.S., circa 1843
Miscellaneous writings with fragments of writings written by Henry Clay, Jr., circa 1830s-1840s
Henry Clay, Jr.'s notes on classical history, circa 1820s-1830s
Henry Clay, Jr.'s study notes for the Louisiana Bar, circa 1833
Henry Clay, Jr.'s speeches and remarks connected with West Point, circa 1830s
Henry Clay, Jr.'s analysis of a Pennsylvania farm, undated
Funeral oration for General Lafayette delivered by Henry Clay, Jr. at Lexington, Kentucky [General Lafayette died on May 20th, 1834], 1834 July 26
Obituaries and eulogies, circa 1847
Obituaries from unidentified newspapers, circa 1847
Copy of the eulogy of the Rev. Mr. Dods of New York City taken from an unpublished oration on the Life, Character & Battles of General Taylor, undated
Pressed flowers from near Buena Vista, Mexico where Henry Clay Jr. died [February 27, 1847] presented by W. W. Chapman to Miss Pope with a note, circa 1847
Henry Clay, Jr.'s diary, 1830 August 18 - 1842 November
When Clay began this journal, he was still at West Point, graduating, July 1, 1831. Entry for September 3, 1831, includes a graphic description of the death of Lexington's Colonel Allen and Dr. McNair at the hands of Indians. In June of 1832, he was in Washington where he attended sessions of the House and Senate to hear discussions relating to the U.S. Bank, the modifications of the tariff and the public land bill which his father introduced. Includes a July entry from Chester [England] where the family was traveling in 1835. The February 20, 1840, entry is a lament for his wife, Julia, who died several days after the birth of their son Thomas [called Julian]. No entries dated 1834, 1836-1838, and 1841. A few pages appear to be missing.
Henry Clay, Jr.'s European trip diary. Includes numerous sketches, 1835 June 16 - 1835 December
Henry Clay, Jr.'s diary, 1840 November 27 - 1841 January 22
Ashland, November 27, 1840, the first entry begins I was born on April 10th 1811 in the dining room of this house... The entry for November 29, 1840, begins For the past week I have been almost daily in the company of General Harrison, the new President elect. This diary includes very few entries.
Henry Clay, Jr.'s Mexican-American war diary, 1846 July 8 - 1847 February
Passages from the Bible, in hand similar to Henry Clay, Jr.'s, undated
United States Military Academy, West Point, diploma, 1831
Julia Prather Clay papers, 1832-1839
Correspondence, 1832-1839, undated
Letters to Julia Prather Clay , 1832-1839, undated
Henry Clay, Jr. to Julia Prather, Maysville. Love letter. [They married in October 1832], 1832 June 13
Henry Clay, Jr. to Julia Prather, Washington. Love letter, 1832 July 2
Henry Clay to Julia Prather Clay, Ashland, 1833 April 14
Was preparing to respond to Julia's letter when Henry, Jr. arrived and informed them that she was in Louisville. Hopes after visiting her relatives, she will come to Ashland. Henry, Jr. proposes to buy a farm near Ashland and her father-in-law is pleased about their moving in the neighborhood. Had hoped to take her and the Erwins on a summer excursion up east, but has learned that she is not in a traveling condition. Fears Anne might also be expecting and will not be able to go. His health was not good when Congress adjourned, but he has greatly improved since returning home. Asks her to write to Anne at New Orleans to tell her that her sons, who are visiting Ashland, are fine.
Henry Clay to Julia Prather Clay, Ashland, 1833 June 13
Glad Julia left Lexington since a cholera epidemic has broken out. ...the pestilence has no where in the U. States, been more mortal than in our afflicted City, except N. Orleans. The family has been spared, but there have been some suspicious illnesses among the slaves. Anne [Brown Clay Erwin] became frightened and brought her whole family from The Woodlands to Ashland. Word from the city has it that the epidemic is abating. He has not heard from Henry [her husband] since he left Louisville. Wants her to write him as soon as she gets word from him.
Henry Clay to Julia Prather Clay, Ashland, 1833 June 23
She can expect Henry [her husband] soon. No one at Ashland or the Woodlands fell ill with the cholera. It has abated considerably in Lexington but is presently ravaging the towns of Lancaster and Paris. Fears Louisville will not escape. If possible, he wishes that they would come to Ashland. Invites her to bring her mother and any other family members who will come.
Henry Clay to Julia Prather Clay, Washington, 1834 March 10
Pleased to know that they are interested in making improvements at Maplewood since it is one of his favorite places and the changes should make it one of the finest residences around Lexington. Glad to hear that her mother [Matilda Fontaine Prather] is with her. James is unhappy with his mercantile pursuits and wants to return home to complete his education. Sending them some potatoes which he received as a gift from a friend in New Jersey. Mrs. Clay's health is feeble but improving.
Henry Clay to Julia Prather Clay, Washington, 1836 May 9
He and John met Henry [her husband] at the railroad depot. Sorry Julia was not also there. Was saddened by news of her misfortune at sea, but is relieved that she should recover. John wanted to accompany Henry, Jr. to New York to meet her but has fallen ill and will not be able to make the trip.
Kate Prather [sister] to Julia Prather Clay, Louisville, circa 1837-1839 September
Hopes Julia's visit to the doctor has helped. Ep [sister-in-law] had another baby girl and both are doing well; her father was hoping for a boy. Ep is thinking of naming her Emma. Ma sent Julia a basket of peaches and wants to know if she got them. Asks if Henry is selling his stock. Says they should all come down to the races. Asks if Miss Nannie [Anne Clay, daughter of Julia and Henry] misses her aunt Kate. Postscript from Julia's mother says she misses her and wishes to see her as soon as possible.
Kate Prather and Ep Prather to Julia Prather Clay, Louisville, undated
First part is Kate's reply to Julia's letter. Miss Williams promised to have Julia's black silk dress ready by next Wednesday. As soon as it is done she will send it along with some velvet. She thinks Judge Wilkinson is not to blame for the dreadful affray at the Galt House. Ep continues the letter. Mr. Prather leaves on Monday and is anxious for her to follow him, but she fears the weather will be too bad for traveling. Julia's mother is sending a jar of mincemeat to her and a barrel of corned beef to Mr. Clay. Mr. Erwin stopped by on his way South and told them Julia and Henry were comfortably situated at Frankfort. Kate is so occupied with pleasure she has little time to write.
A[nne] B[rown Clay] Erwin to Julia Prather Clay, The Woodlands, undated
Apologizes for not writing sooner. She has had so much company lately there was no time for letter writing. Relates news of the Lexington social scene. Several prominent members of the community died. James loves the Missouri country and Clay is thinking of buying him some land near St. Louis. She hears that Kate [Prather] is marrying Alex Bullitt. Having problems with the hired help. Papa [Henry Clay] has just returned from a spa and is looking and feeling well, but Mama is not so well.
Letters from Julia Prather Clay , circa 1835-1838
Julia Prather Clay to Matilda Prather, New York, circa 1835 June 15
The family [husband, Henry, Jr., and their two children, Henry Hart and Matilda] are sailing tomorrow for Liverpool. The trip to New York was agreeable and she hopes the voyage on board the Columbus will be as pleasant. The children will feel better when they have some fresh air which they cannot get in the city. After writing to her mother, Julia adds a postscript to her sister Kate. They have a packet of letters of introduction, including one from Miss [Harriet] Martineau, who is visiting at Ashland, to some of the most prominent literary writers in England. They also have letters from Washington Irving. Enjoyed visit to Grant Thorburn's nursery. [Thorburn was a Scottish born seed cultivator.] Will write to William [Prather, her brother] when they arrive in Liverpool.
Julia Prather Clay to Matilda Prather, Bordeaux, circa 1835 September 29
Daughter Matilda died on September 22, 1835, after suffering for several days. Matilda had a heavenly disposition and remarkable intelligence, but she loved her in particular because she resembled her grandmother Prather. The people where they are staying have been very kind to them. Little Henry is well. She wants letters from her family. They expect to leave Bordeaux either for Italy or another part of France as soon as the stone is placed over their daughter's grave.
Julia Prather Clay to Kate Prather, Lexington, circa 1838 July 20
Apologizes for not writing sooner but has been very busy tending to her baby [Anne]. They just returned from the funeral of John Hart who was struck by lightning as he returned from town. Mr. Clay has returned from Washington and is looking well. Looks forward to their visit.
Julia Prather Clay's European journal kept for her sister Kate, 1835-1836
Henry Hart Clay papers, 1845-1862
Letters to Henry Hart Clay, 1845-1846
Anne Clay, T[homas] Julian Clay, and Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1845 December 17
Anne apologizes for not having written sooner but she did not have a good pen. She is taking music lessons and learning French. Father does not want to go to New Orleans. He ate too many oysters the other night and got sick. She wants to know about Nannette Marshall and says she misses her grandma. Everyone has a bad cold. Love to all at Ashland. Thomas [note probably written by his father] writes that he misses his brother and hopes that his grandparents will visit soon so he can read to them and Anne can play music for them. Hopes he will be out of the first reader soon. Henry, Jr. closes the letter noting his anticipation at seeing his son at Christmas.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, New Orleans, 1846 February 7
Arrived safely in New Orleans. Grandpa [Clay] is there with him and is well, but has almost given up trying to get to Cuba since no steamer is running there. He does not know when he will be able to return home. Asks his children to write to him and to behave themselves in his absence.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, New Orleans, 1846 March 9
Acknowledges receiving his son's letter, but admonishes him for not writing more often. Writing as a good habit to develop. Has been detained longer than he wished but hopes to return to Kentucky soon. The variable Louisiana weather may have contributed to Grandpa [Clay's] cold. He received a letter from Anne and she and Tommy are doing well in Louisville. Hopes everything is fine at Ashland.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1846 April 12
He has returned home to Louisville. Nannie [Anne] and Tommy were looking fine. He received a report from Mr. Lynch regarding Henry's lessons and conduct. It is not as good as he hoped, but indicates he can do better. Has some pressing business to attend to in Louisville and will get to Ashland as soon as he can. The Smiths [probably Thomas and Nannette Price] will leave in the morning to reside at Mr. Worsley's. Anne and Thomas will go with them. Tell John his slave Pat has not succeeded at any of the places to which he has been hired. Probably best to sell him since, according to Mrs. Smith, he seems to be dangerous property. offers to bring Pat to Lexington when he comes. Heard from grandpa [Clay] that he is in St. Louis and will be returning home within the week. In a postscript to Aunt Price says he saw her little namesake in Vicksburg and she and her mother are doing well.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1846 May 12
Anne and Thomas should be in Lexington by the time he gets this letter. Spent last evening with grandma [Prather] who misses the little ones very much. Hopes to visit his children soon.
Anne Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1846 June 8
She has been wishing for August to arrive so she could see him. Uncle Smith thinks she is a good housekeeper and bought her a pair of birds, but one died and the other got away. Tommy got a pair of squirrels and one died. Grandma Prather was not feeling well the last time she saw her. Grandma wants him to write her.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1846 June 18
He has been busy with the regimental affairs. Asks his son to write before he leaves [to fight in the Mexican War]. His outfit will compose part of the central column of the army. Wants his Monarch horse. He will take John with him. He will write again before he leaves.
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Camp Oakland, 1846 June 29
Prepares to leave for Texas. He will go to Matamoros [Mexico] where his regiment will be under the command of General Taylor. Letters should be directed to [Port] Isabel. H. H. is to live with his uncle James in Lexington.
Henry Clay, Jr. to My Dear Children, Head Quarters, Army of O. Camp near Monterey [Mexico], 1846 October 30
He is an aide to General Taylor whom he likes and is billetted next to him. Describes landscape and climate. It is difficult to write as he has not regained the full use of his right arm. He can ride but cannot use a sword. Tell James that if he reads his remarks on the battle in the newspapers he has slightly changed his opinion. The army erred, but the bad reconnaissance could not be avoided. Offers his views of the Mexican people. He is anxious for the next battle. The Mexican army has good soldiers but lacks good officers. As for the U.S. army, there is a lack of loyalty to superiors; underlings should obey their superiors. General Marshall [possibly Col. Humphrey Marshall who commanded the 1st Kentucky Cavalry] is a political partisan who doesn't like him, but duty requires him to obey the General's orders unless they are morally wrong.
Letters to Henry Hart Clay, 1847-1848
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Camp near Monterey [Mexico], circa 1847 January 1
The lack of mail must be due to poor mail service, not lack of writing letters. The malicious things being said about him in the Kentucky newspapers are slanders being perpetrated by his political enemies. When he returned to his regiment, Col. [William R.] McKee was ill and he took command. The troops are on their way to Saltillo where they expect to confront the Mexican army. Their Christmas presents will have to wait until he returns, but he does send a Mexican coin for Tommy. John is still safe, but several of his black companions have been killed. Includes Jan. 14th postscript: No opportunity to mail letter, but friend will be going to Brazos and will mail his letter. Remarks, I now feel no hope of getting into battle...
Henry Clay, Jr. to Henry Hart Clay, Agua Nueva 20 miles in front of Saltillo [Mexico], 1847 February 8
He has not responded to letters from family and friends because he has not yet received any letters. Glad his son spent Christmas in Louisville. Instructs Henry to find happiness in the discharge of duties and in proper restraint. Things were hectic around the camp until General Taylor arrived. Santa Anna withdrew his troops from the area. The U.S. force at Saltillo is about 5,000 men. Taylor is unhappy with the army's movement, with the government and General Scott. John and he are both well. He had to sell his injured Monarch horse and is riding a Mexican horse he likes very much. Saltillo is allegedly the site of a bloody Mexican Revolution battle. Maj. [John P.] Gaines and Capt. [William J.] Heady along with their men were captured. Received Uncle James's letter and leaves the matter discussed therein to be settled by him and William Prather. Wants out of the affair without any more loss. Wants Uncle James to breed his mares. He does not wish to have his colts raced unless they have a good chance of winning. He has not received word from Uncle Thomas.
Anne Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1847 April 4
They have lost their dear father and are now orphans. Uncle Smith wrote Uncle James asking to let him, H. H., come to Louisville because she wants to see him. Hopes she never has to leave Cousin Nannette and Uncle Smith. glad to hear that Grandma and Grandpa are doing well. She has not seen Grandma Prather since learning of their father's death, but Aunt Mary and Aunt Eppy have been by.
Ep Prather to Henry Clay, Jr. [Henry Hart Clay], Louisville, circa 1847 May 1
Grandmother Prather sends him a watch that belonged to his mother. He should remember that though he has lost his parents he still has a great many friends and relatives who love him and will try to see to his happiness. Sends her love to Nannie and Tommy. Their father made a wise choice in making Cousin Nannette his children's guardian. She hopes their grandfather will let them come often to visit.
Kate Prather and M. Nicholas [cousins] to Henry Clay, Jr. [Henry Hart Clay], Louisville, 1847 May 15
Made and sent a bookmark. Mother and Grandmother send their love. Nannie and Tommy are well. She is going to school at Miss Williams' and is learning very fast. Julia is going to make him a bookmark. The flowers are beautiful and it is very hot. Postscript from cousin M. Nicholas says that Grandma [Prather] has something for him that belonged to his father and she will give it to him when he comes to visit. Hopes his Grandpa [Clay] will let him spend his vacation with them this summer.
Worden and Priss [Nicholas, cousins] to Henry Clay, Jr. [Henry Hart Clay], Canewood, Louisville, 1847 September 3
Apologizes for writing short letters, but thinks he might as well try to jump over the moon as to write a long letter. He cannot do it but will attempt to reach the bottom of the page. Grandma [Prather] returned from the Springs and is better. Only news is the Governor's [William Owsley] call for two more regiments of infantry. Flags are flying all over the city. The doctor is in Springfield tending to his sick sister. Bill [a slave] sends his respects. Priss adds a postscript. She is amazed that Worden wrote a letter of two pages. It has been a long time since she has seen Henry but thinks of him and his siblings often. She is spending a few days with Aunt Mary. It is the first visit she has had since returning from Baltimore. Worden went with them to the Springs. He complained of the amount of money he spent on girls while there. Hopes to visit Louisville soon.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1847 November 22
Received Henry's letter telling of his desire to learn music at the Franklin Institute [a military academy near Frankfort]. Pleased to grant his grandson's request and will obtain a master to teach him whatever instrument he wishes to learn.
J[ohn] M[orrison] Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1848 January 25
Received both letters and apologizes for not writing before. All at Ashland are unwell with bad colds. His colts have been sick with distemper but none have died. Went hunting one day and had a concert at Ashland one evening. Aunt Susan has recovered from her accouchement. Her brother Dick [Jacob] married Thomas Benton's daughter in Washington. There is no interesting news from Mexico. Congress is preoccupied with the war. Grandpa presided over a Colonization Society meeting and according to the papers the hall was overflowing. Although a student named Bates has died at school [apparently of typhoid], he did not think that one death out of a hundred boys would cause the school to be closed. Hello to Eugene and Edward [Erwin].
Moses B. Morrison and C.A.M. to Henry Hart Clay, Lexington, 1848 January 28
Moses wanted to see Henry when he came home for the holiday but had to accompany his sister to Woodford. Tried several times to get back to Lexington to see him but every attempt was thwarted. By the time he returned Henry had left. There have been three affairs [of honor], but only recounts the one in which Mr. Burns killed Mr. Parks. He is near the top in his class and is especially good in math. A postscript by C.A.M. states that he is glad to hear that Henry is pleased at his school. Asks Henry to write a postscript to him in his next letter to Buck as he would like to hear from his friend. Hopes Buck continues to learn French. disappointed Henry did not call to see them when he was in Lexington. Sends him a bookmark for his Bible.
Letters to Henry Hart Clay, 1850-1851
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, circa 1850 February - May
Wants to see his grandson about an appointment at West Point which has just become available. If they decide he should attend, he could not enter until June or July. In the meantime, he should continue his studies at Georgetown [Washington, D.C.].
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1850 June 26
General [Winfield] Scott and Major Glover written favorable reports of him. Tells him that he would find a cadet's life hard at first but would eventually get used to it. Clay would leave it up to his grandson whether or not he enters the army upon graduating from the academy. Will be sending a check for $75 for expenses. Accounts from home indicate that all there are well. His Uncle John won at least two races at Lexington. Uncle James and his family are doing well and will return home by November. [James was charge d'affaires in Lisbon].
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1850 June 27
Sends the promised $75 check and asks him to take $25 for personal expenses, depositing the remaining $50 for credit at the school. If he is unsure of the procedure, he should consult Major Glover.
[Eugene?] Erwin [cousin] to Henry Hart Clay, Lexington, 1850 September 4
Visiting in Lexington. Business is slow so he is vacationing before returning to Louisville. Lexington is livelier than it has been in years because of the weddings. Mrs. Smith is in town with Nannie and Tommy. They are all well. Susan and Uncle James are expected home soon. Uncle John is as crazy as ever about racehorses.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1850 September 10
Presumes Henry is now in his barracks and is more comfortably situated than when he was camping. Hopes he will apply himself diligently to his studies. All are well in Kentucky. James is expected soon [from Portugal] Already has sent home Aaron Dupuy, house servant. Congress will adjourn at the end of the month. Write back immediately.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Senate Chamber, 1850 September 24
Sorry to hear Henry does not like West Point. Admonishes him that he will never distinguish himself or become worthy of his heritage if he does not study and make sacrifices. Tries to assure him that the longer he stays there the more he will like it. That was his father's experience. Disappointed to see so many demerits and hopes he will decrease the number next time. Leaves for home shortly. I hope my dear Grandson that you will resolutely meet all your studies and all your duties, and do not bring any reproach on me or discredit on yourself.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1850 October 22
Received an official report from West Point and is pleased to see the number of demerits has decreased and urges him to continue until none are reported. Nannie and Tommy stopped by to visit. She is well, and he has recently recovered from a fever. George R. Harrison has been appointed a midshipman and is at Annapolis. Grandma and Uncle John send their love.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1850 November 22
Tommy is at Judge [Thomas A.] Marshall's and has had a severe and protracted illness. Thought they might lose him, but he is now recovering. Has received no letter from Henry but the official report indicates he has been given a lot of demerits. Afraid the boy does not appreciate the advantages of having a position at the academy. It would disgrace the family if he were compelled to leave the school for incompetency or negligence. Eugene Erwin would rejoice to be in Henry's situation. Asks him to redouble his efforts and make himself worthy of his father's name. How shameful to dishonor his family in such a fashion. Cousin George R. Harrison is delighted to be at Annapolis. Clay expects to be in Washington in December.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1850 December 23
Still has not heard from him, but is glad to see that the number of demerits has diminished. How happy he would be if there were none. Economizing of one's time is how one gets everything done. Wants to know if Henry likes the school better now that he has been there awhile. James and Susan have returned home. Eugene Erwin is in Washington with Clay for the purpose of placing him with a firm to learn the mercantile business. Tommy is now well, but Grandmother Prather has died.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1851 January 18
Glad to hear he has a respectable standing in his class but thought it should be better, but hopes he will improve by the next examination. Sorry he does not like being at West Point and asks him what he would do if he were not there, since he must be employed. He will be glad when he completes his course at the school and would be embarrassed if he ruins his chances at the academy. No need to speak of Eugene Erwin's freedom; he is in a counting house where he must rise early, sweep the floor, and perform menial tasks so he would be glad to change places.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1851 May 19
Since he will soon complete his first year at the academy, his grandfather wants to know about his class standing. Admonishes Henry for not writing more often. Glad to see from the last report the number of demerits had significantly decreased. Hopes the boy had not earned so many this month as to get him dismissed from the school. Dismissal would humiliate the family. Asks if this is the year when he can return home to visit family and friends.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1851 June 27
Relieved to receive letter from him. Wants to know about his demerits and hopes he has not disgraced himself by getting enough to be dismissed from the school. Regrets that he cannot come to visit this summer, but is glad to hear he is feeling fine and doing well. Nannie and Tommy are visiting at Ashland. All at home are well. Cousin George R. Harrison could not stand the midshipman's examination at Annapolis and has returned home much to his and his father's mortification. Tommy and Nannie join their grandfather in complaining of Henry's not writing to them. Perhaps if he rose a little earlier he could find time to write.
Nannie [Anne] Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1851 July 8
She has returned to Louisville after a two week visit to Lexington where she had a good time. Going to Drennon [Spring, Henry County] which should improve Tommy's health. The hot weather makes Grandpa sick so he was ill when they left. Grandma is well but is getting hard of hearing. Received his letter and wishes it had been longer.
Nannie [Anne] Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, circa 1851
Hopes her last letter did not offend him, as he has not written recently. Saw two of his former classmates, Harry McNeill and Robert L. Upshaw at Drennon who attend Wester Military Institute. Tommy is recovered and at Mr. Chapman's school. If possible, would like him to send their mother's journal to her.
U.S. War Department. Engineer Department, Washington, 1851 October 15
Class and conduct reports of the military academy [West Point] Grade report for September. Of 65 class members, Henry stands 34th in mathematics, 11th in French, and 59th in drawing. He has 45 demerits for the month and a total of 88 for the year.
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Ashland, 1851 October 26
Received his letter and is glad to hear Henry is happier at West Point this year, but is alarmed at the number of demerits. If he keeps going at this rate he will be dismissed shortly. Needs to learn to take pride in being a man and a soldier. Believes ...you cannot be aware of the marks against you. All are well at home except for himself.
Letters to Henry Hart Clay, 1852-1862
Nannie [Anne Clay] to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville. She received a pair of earrings, a finger ring, and a prayer book for Christmas. Has not heard from Grandpa [Clay] for awhile except for what is in the newspapers. Uncle [Smith] fell down and hurt himself. Most in Louisville are well except for some very bad colds. She is going to school at Mrs. Saunders' because Uncle William [Prather] thinks Mr. Butler's school is too expensive. Because she did not respond to his last letter, she fears he will not write her, 1852 January 12
Henry Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 January 25
Has not written sooner because of illness. Good to see the number of demerits has decreased, but is not pleased that Henry's class standing has dropped.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 May 7
Telegram informing him that his grandfather may not live much longer.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, 1852 May 7
His grandfather wants to know when he will be visiting Kentucky and what funds are to come home. Uncle Thomas tells him that his grandfather is gradually sinking. Family and friends from home all complain that Henry never writes to them. Anne and Tommy are doing fine.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 May 7
Encloses an application for a leave of absence from West Point. His grandfather is a little better but is still very weak. All in Kentucky are doing well as of the last report.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 June 14
Admonishes Henry for not letting him know how much money he needs for his trip to Washington. Grandfather's health has changed little since the last correspondence.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 June 19
Received Henry's letter this morning. Grandfather is doing worse and may not hold out much longer, but he will pay the tailor's bill and send him fare for his trip to Washington. Sorry Henry is detained at West Point.
Thomas Hart Clay to Henry Hart Clay, Washington, 1852 June 26
Sends a check for $50 which he asks Henry to acknowldge. I am afraid that unless you can reach him in a few days you will not be enabled to find your grandfather alive. [Henry Clay died June 29].
Nannie [Anne Clay] to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1852 December 13
Says Tommy refuses to write unless Henry promises to answer the letter. She had a delightful visit at Lexington. Grandma did not look well but said she felt fine. Dick Harrison has gone to live in New Orleans and George is going to Texas to farm. George has been steadier since he joined the temperance society. No one from Thomas's [Clay] family came to visit, that did not bother her too much as she was not anxious to see them. She spent a very pleasant evening with some cousins, one of whom had a dance. Uncle John [Clay] stopped by on his way to New Orleans and she sang for him but he did not seem charmed by it. She thinks he likes Lucretia [Clay, daughter of James and Susan] better. She was distressed to hear that her music teacher was going to Harrodsburg but relieved to learn he would only be gone a month. Mother [Nannette Price Smith] has been sick with the flu.
Tommy [Thomas Julian Clay] to Henry Hart Clay, Lexington, 1855 September 11
Eugene Erwin is visiting from Missouri and it may be Henry's last chance to visit with his cousin. Grandma [Clay] wishes to see him and fears he has forgotten her.
Nannie [Anne Clay McDowell] to Henry Hart Clay, Louisville, 1860 May 8
Thinks he might be seasick after three days at sea. Her sadness at his leaving is tempered by the pleasure the journey will offer him. She hopes he will write regularly until his return in the fall. She opened a letter addressed to him from William Warfield and was shocked to learn that Lucretia Clay [daughter of Thomas and Mary] had died. Lucretia had recently given birth to a son who survives her. Asks if Mrs. Conradd is aboard his ship. Anne is not concerned about his losing his heart to Mrs. Conradd for though he might admire her beauty, her character is another matter. Mr. McDowell [Henry Clay McDowell, her husband] has built a wine cellar. He will write Henry very soon with some good news. She will write again in about two weeks and hopes to receive a letter from him in the meantime.
U.S. Adjutant General's Office to Henry [Hart] Clay, Washington, 1862 March 21
Commission of Captain Henry [Hart] Clay as Assistant Adjutant General of the Volunteer Army, Nashville, Tennessee.
Legal, financial, and personal papers, 1849-1860
Legal/financial papers, 1856-1860, undated
Bank book and cancelled checks drawn from A. D. Hunt & Co. plus cancelled checks and receipts, 1856-1860
Lease agreement between Henry [Hart] Clay and George H. Duger, 1859 November 1
Provides that the wall built between Clay's property [probably in Louisville. The 1865-1866 Williamson's Annual City Directory for Louisville lists a J. H. Duker operating a silk and fancy steam dye house at 114 W. Jefferson] and J. D. Osborne's will not be removed, except with six months prior notice, so long as Duker rents the land from Clay
Miscellaneous envelopes, undated
Passport issued in the name of Henry Clay, Jr., 1849 December 24
Allows him passage from Lisbon to the United States. Signed by James B. Clay who was Charge d'Affaires at Lisbon, 1849-1850. [Henry was living wish James and his family at the time].
Appointment as Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers, 1862 March
Henry Hart Clay's Diary from West Point, 1850-1853
Note January 1, 1853: Left West Point and very glad of it. Resigned having 230 or more demerits. Remained in New York a week or 10 days with others in about the same position as myself. What to do now is the question and a difficult one to answer. Very few entries.
Unidentified volume, apparently belonging to the Clays, including Henry Hart, Thomas Julian, and Anne Clay, 1855, 1859
There is a Louisville entry of October 6, 1855, and a July 5, 1859, statement laid in from F. A. Bartle, a Louisville store, bearing H. Clay's name.
Bookmark embroidered with Henry H. Clay, undated
Thomas Julian Clay papers, 1861, 1864
Deed and obituaries, 1859-1863
Original deed, November 22, 1859, between Bland Ballard and Thomas Julian Clay, 1861 July 20
Clay conveyed a lot located near Walnut and Floyd Street in Louisville to Bland Ballard while he was a minor. Now that Clay is of age, he reaffirms the conveyance in this deed.
Obituaries, 1863 October
Clay died in Atlanta on October 12, 1863, of congestive fever while serving as a Confederate soldier. Also included are two undated obituaries written at the time his body was disinterred from the Atlanta cemetery and shipped back to Kentucky. He was incorrectly identified as Major Thomas H. Clay in two of the obituaries and his death was also incorrectly noted as 1864
Thomas Julian Clay's journal, undated
Few entries, mostly practicing math equations. Also used to press flowers.
Thomas Hart Clay papers, 1836-1850
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1836 March 13
Clay is satisfied with the sale of hemp. Sent Delaware [imported jackass] to Kentucky and he should arrive in a couple of weeks. If Don Manuel [an ass] is sold, Major [Thomas] Smith may keep Delaware. If he is not sold, he may keep Don for himself and Delaware should remain at Ashland. Thomas can sell Delaware if he can get $1,500 for him. Six donkeys should be arriving from New Orleans about the time he receives this letter. Clay directs Thomas on what he wants done with them.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1836 May 19
John is ill with a fever. The doctors do not think he is in immediate danger but it has developed into typhoid. Many individuals sat up with him all night including his brother, Henry, Jr. His father thinks Thomas does not have a problem having more grass than stock to graze it; if necessary, he will supply him with some steers. He has sent two mares who are in foal to Kentucky and would like Thomas to make sure they were not injured on the journey. They should not be let out to pasture where there is a lot of clover. In addition to the mares, there are eight or ten asses belonging to Mr. White. They will stay at Ashland until he retrieves them. Wants to know how his English cows are faring and how many are in calf. Tells Thomas that none of the heifers who have not had calves should be put to the bull before he returns.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1837 October 8
Clay is pleased with Thomas's work at Ashland. He heard that James's overseer was ill and fears he has died. Clay himself has not been well, but he is feeling better. Congress will adjourn soon and he will be home shortly thereafter. He does not think the subtreasury bill will pass Congress this session. He presumes Thomas will be married by the time he receives this letter and wishes him happiness and a long life. Offers his blessing to Mary [Marie Mentelle; Thomas and Mary were married October 5th].
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1838 January 18
He has no objection to purchasing mules instead of cattle provided he can get them at a fair price. Clay will give security for them. The hogs may be bought with cash. Sends a check for $500 and tells Thomas not to present it to the bank until Maj. Pindell has paid him for the cow and calf. He will write to Downing [Richard W., Josiah, and Samuel Downing were horse traders] about the jacks. Nothing new to report from Washington. The subtreasury bill was reintroduced to the Senate in a more objectionable form than before.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1838 June 2
Asks Thomas to send him some papers concerning the Bonneau land claim in Missouri. He thought that he had brought them with him to Washington, but apparently left them on his office table. Clay wrote to his wife and told her what he wants done with the bale rope and forwarded a letter from Dr. [Stephen?] Duncan as to how the ropes should be delivered.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1838 June 14
Clay acknowledges receiving a letter informing him of the status of the bale rope production. Asks about the foaling of his jennets and gives Thomas instructions about the breeding schedule.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1840 May 18
Received the enclosure [not identified] Thomas sent him and instructs his son to waste no time in giving directions for the shipment. Also forwards a letter to Dr. [Stephen?] Duncan with orders about the rope and twine. He fears some of it has been lost in the hurricane that struck Natchez. Henry, [Jr.] left Washington this morning. Clay is so ill that he is confined to his room for the day.
M[artin] Duralde, [III] to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1841 June 2
The Navy granted him leave so he could visit his grandfather [Clay]. His ship, the Brandywine, returned recently from its Mediterranean station due to rumors of war. He is now in Washington and is observing the present Congressional session. Duralde describes the Senate as a dignified body but says the House reminds him of a parcel of school boys. He is amused at how they conduct their business. It certainly is the most disorderly body I ever came across. Says he hopes the House soon will be restricted to a few members from each state instead of according to population. If not, New York will soon occupy the whole house chambers.
J[ohn] M[orrison] Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1841 July 20
Their father's bank bill passed the Senate after he added an amendment making the bill's phraseology more palatal. He thinks the House and the President will concur in the measure. Clay is exhausted from his efforts at getting the bill passed. His correspondence remains on his table, some unread, nearly all of it unanswered. In reference to the reputed dispute between [possibly Kentucky's Thomas F.] Marshall and [Henry A.] Wise, they had words but are friends. Recently, he saw them walking arm in arm leaving the Capitol. John has seen several of Thomas's friends and they spoke highly of him. He wishes Thomas well in his latest investment. They have not heard from Henry, Jr. since his arrival at the Springs [White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, later West Virginia] where John will be going soon.
H[enry] C[lay] Duralde to Thomas Hart Clay, New Orleans, 1846 February 23
He has written several letters since his return to New Orleans, but fears that since he has had no reply, they must have been lost in the mail. He would have written more often but has been disheartened by his disappointments in money matters and his inability to get into business. Thomas can understand how disappointment affects the mind as he has experienced failure. Looks forward to the future in the hope that things will improve. He has stopped dissipation and will begin a business as soon as he gets his money. He intends to go to Missouri where he will propose to a woman he met there [H. C. Duralde died unmarried, September 1850]. Since he cannot expect to begin business in New Orleans this late in the season, he would like to spend the summer at Ashland. He tells Thomas to pledge to grandmother that he will be on his best behavior and help Thomas. Martin [Duralde, his brother] wrote from Havana saying that the sojourn rather than benefitting his health has made it worse. Martin fears he has only a year or two more to live. [Martin Duralde died, September 1846.] Grandpa is in New Orleans, has caught a cold, but will return to Ashland soon. The people of New Orleans are irreligious because they celebrated Washington's birthday this past Sunday with both the Whigs and Loco Focos holding political rallies. While he is no moralist, the Sabbath should be respected.
Henry Clay to Thomas Hart Clay, Washington, 1850 July 1
Sends Thomas a full account of the circular saw and Mr. Calvert's letter [enclosures not found]. Thinks Thomas should consult with H[enry] Watkins about it. If he has never seen one in operation, check Mr. Calvert's. He is anxious about his son, John. [John Morrison Clay had several bouts with mental problems during his life.] Clay had just received a short letter from John and wrote a long reply. Asks Thomas to telegraph him immediately as to John's health. He advised him about training his horses and other matters. Clay says he is still struggling for the Compromise. Its fate will be decided next week. He remains hopeful about its passage.
Brass engraving plate for calling cards, undated
Mary Russell Clay letters, 1888-1890
Charles Dudley Warner to Mary Russell Clay, Hartford, 1888 August 5
He has been thinking about her and decided to write. Thanks her for the novel she sent. Sends regards to Miss [Nettie] McDowell.
Charles Dudley Warner to Mary Russell Clay, Hartford, 1889 June 27
He has not been neglectful or forgetful but simply too busy to write. He was disappointed not to have found Miss Nettie [McDowell] at Judge Bristow's. He has a longing to visit the Bluegrass.
Charles Dudley Warner to Mary Russell Clay, Hartford, 1890 January 16
Thanks her for the letter and the notice from The New York Times; however, he had not read them because the doctor has forbidden him to use his eyes for several weeks. Thanks her for the kind words and says he misses his Lexington friends.
James Brown Clay papers, 1846-1864
Letters to and from James Brown Clay, 1846-1864, undated
Henry Clay, Jr. to James Brown Clay, [Louisville], 1846
Asks James to consult with William Prather and Dr. Way. The doctor owes him fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars. Curran Pope has the deed to the property in question and William Prather can tell him its value. Doctor has paid some of the interest owed. His regiment leaves for Port Isabel tomorrow afternoon. Agrees that Henry [III] should live with James and Susan. William Prather will pay his board. Tell father and mother [the Clays] that he deems this essential to the welfare of his child. Asks James to write to him at New Orleans and Port Isabel.
Benjamin O. Tyler to James Brown Clay, Bellevue Hospital, New York [City], 1849 August 25
Tyler, a patient at Bellevue Hospital, attended a festival celebrating Henry Clay's birthday and is making a copy of the speeches, proceedings, toasts, and resolutions made at the festival. He assumed that James would be leaving from a New York port on his way to Portugal where he will be Charge d'Affaires and asks James to stop by the hospital to pick up a copy even though it probably will not be finished. He will send a copy to Clay upon completion of the project.
Benjamin O. Tyler to James Brown Clay, Bellevue Hospital, New York [City], 1849 August 25
He has been in Bellevue Hospital for so long that he is now destitute. Asks Clay for a few dollars to buy some vegetables and other items to make his stay at the hospital more comfortable.
Doggie Woggie [Susan Clay?] to James Brown Clay, circa 1861-1862
Misses her father and is getting spoiled in her father's absence so he had better hurry home to take her in hand. Charley goes to school every day. Major Jimmy and Colonel Harry and the rest of the children send their love. On verso, a list of things to accomplish.
Pass issued to James B. Clay from the Confederate government, 1862 February 2
For travel to Charleston, South Carolina. On verso is an oath of allegiance
James B. Clay to Major Alexander, Ashland, 1855 July 18
Marked confidential. James has a problem with the editor [George D.] Prentice of the Louisville Journal in consequence of having declined to give a speech in opposition to the Know Nothing Party. According to the printed article which is enclosed with the letter, Prentice accused Clay of selling parts of Ashland for profit. [James B. tore down Ashland and rebuilt it on the same foundation]. He sent him a letter asking if Prentice were personally responsible for attacks on a private individual. If Prentice responds affirmatively, James will challenge him to a duel. If it becomes necessary, James wants the Major to be with him and support him in this affair of honor.
James B. Clay to Richard Pindell, [Montreal], 1864
Letter written in another hand and signed by Clay. First part of the letter is missing. James states he will never see his Kentucky friends again as he is ill and not expected to recover from [consumption]. His physician told him that if he had reparations to make he had better make them right away. He is thankful that so far he has not been in a lot of pain and he is feeling cheerful and resigned to his fate. If he is still alive tomorrow [James B. Clay died January 26], he will receive communion from the Dean of Montreal. His greatest regret is having to leave his wife and children in such a time of adversity.
James B. Clay to Mr. Lee, undated
Requests two cans fresh peaches, $1.00 worth of cakes, and two loaves of bread to be charged to his account.
Obituaries and eulogies, 1864
My husband's prayer by Susan M. Jacob Clay, 1864
Eulogy for James B. Clay, taken from the True Presbyterian, Louisville, Kentucky, 1864 February 4
[Probably written by Stuart Robinson who was the owner and editor of the True Presbyterian. He moved to Toronto, Canada during the Civil War to avoid a third arrest by the military].
Susan M. Jacob Clay papers, 1855-1864, 1905
Letters to and from Susan M. Jacob Clay with miscellaneous materials by Mrs. Clay, 1855-1864
James B[rown] Clay to Susan M. Clay, Ashland, 1855 August 29
Acknowledges receiving her letter from Montreal. Glad to hear that she arrived there safely. Tells her to stay at the spa for as long as she needs as he considers her health too important for her to leave before she is well. The children are all well. he told Tom [not identified] if she ran out of money to telegraph him and he would send her some. The only news from home is that Dick Harrison is to marry Mary Hunt early next month and that cousin Betsy Hart will be visiting Lexington in a few days to attend two weddings. He will await word from her with anxious concern hoping that the salt baths help her.
Susan M. Clay, Ashland poem, 1862 May 17
Written in memory of her son Nathaniel Hart Clay [b. April 10, 1861] who died May 17, 1862. Includes pressed flower and stem of leaves.
Susan M. Clay. Eulogy and recollections about Nathaniel Hart Clay's brief life, circa 1862 June 17
[Susan M. Clay] to Mr. Virtues, Ashland, 1862 June 21
Returns his book and thanks him for his kind words during her time of grief [the death of her son, Nat]. Kate, her sister, commented once that Nat was too beautiful a child to be of this earth. Although she disregarded the remark at the time, she thinks his unearthly beauty and intelligence may have portended an early death. He was the first of her ten children to die. Remainder of letter missing. Appears to be a draft.
Charles D. Jacob [Mrs. Clay's brother] to Susan M. Clay, Louisville, 1864 January 28
Condolences sent after the death of her husband, James. Relieved to hear James turned to God before he died.
Thomas P. Jacob [Mrs. Clay's brother] to Susan M. Clay, Louisville, 1864 February 1
Condolences sent after the death of her husband, James. He planned to go to Lexington for the funeral, but missed his connections and now is sick with a cold. Mary and Lucy will be there. Glad that Jimmy is there with her and believes that her eldest child understands the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon him now that his father has died. He understands from a letter she wrote to Lucy that Susan plans to stay in Canada but to move from Montreal to Toronto. Thomas cautions her to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages before deciding.
Lucy J[acob] Johnston [Mrs. Clay's sister] to Susan M. Clay, Louisville, 1864 February 6