Legal document, signed by Henry Clay 1798 September 21
DS, 1 p.; partially printed. #3261.
Lexington District, Fayette County, [Kentucky]. A complaint by John Thomas against Greenberry Riggs for payment of eighty pounds.
Legal document 1799
ADS, 1 p.; docketed. #3261.
Woodford County, [Kentucky]. Complaint by Elijah Pepper against John Harris for the death of a horse, caused by Harris's "two negro slaves."
Henry Clay, Washington, to "Sir" 1811 February 18
ALS, 1 p. #2180.
Clay replies that he is not able to give a more satisfactory account of the judgment against Chambers; owing to a blunder committed by the sheriff, the money has not been collected. Clay will write again and expects the money "to be made in five or six months." He closes by asking for the return of his letter in which Mr. Grine [?] is mentioned as he has no recollection of that name.
Henry Clay, House of Representatives, to "Dear Major" 1812 February 6
ALS, 2 pp.; docketed. #4206.
Clay writes in reference to a suit brought against Major by Mr. West. Clay states that he and Mr. [Martin D.] Hardin and Mr. [Robert] Wickliffe were equal partners in the process. Clay reminds Major that he recommended compromising with Mr. West, but Major chose instead to urge on "the controversy." Clay mentions that the appointment of officers in the new army will keep the House busy for several weeks. He closes by saying that [William T.] Barry and [William] Worseley are in Washington and Worseley is leaving for Philadelphia today.
Henry Clay, House of Representatives, to Scott, Trotter & Co., Philadelphia 1812 February 11
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #2908.
Clay writes that he has paid the bill drawn on him by Mr. [John] Hart; in order to do so Clay has written a draft against Scott, Trotter & Co. and hopes it will be honored. He encloses Mr. Hart's bill [not present].
John Randolph, reply to Henry Clay's letter in the National Intelligencer 1812 July 2
D, 3 pp.; printed. Original in Papers of John Randolph of Roanoke. #1883.
Randolph responds to Clay's letter of June 18, 1812 concerning "a late transaction in the House of Representatives."
Henry Clay, Lexington, to Richard Parrott & Co., Georgetown, D.C. 1813 September 2
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Kentucky, Sept. 6. #2933-g.
Clay states that he has drawn $4000 to pay Mr. John Hart $3661.54 for sugar and barrels; the cost of transporting the sugar to Petersburg will be covered by the difference. The sugar was sent from Lexington to Limestone in care of Mr. Sam. January, who will forward it to Mr. James Adams of Petersburg.
Henry Clay, Washington, to "Sir" 1813 December 11
ALS, 2 pp.; lower right corner (ca. 5 x 3 cm.) torn away; "Amies" watermark. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay writes to [James Madison] urging the appointment of John Fowler as postmaster of Lexington, Kentucky. Clay states that Fowler "appears to me to have claims to the office, in his early migration to Kentucky, in his integrity, in his capacity, and in his invariable adherence to republican principles, what I had supposed would have been at once recognized by Mr. Granger."
Henry Clay, Washington, to "Dr. Genl." 1815 January 2
ALS, 3 pp.; silked. #2933.
Clay writes concerning payment of a debt and mentions Col. Nicholas, Beale, Maj. Morrison and Gilmour. Clay then discusses at length his objections to a "treaty stipulation in favor of the India trade."
Henry Clay, London, to John P. Todd, Paris 1815 March 30
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #2933-a.
Clay scolds Todd for not writing and says he has not had "a line from any one at Paris since I left it." Clay is anxious to know how [James A.?] Bayard is and wishes to return to the United States. He has met Lord Castlereagh, but would be glad if Todd joined him in London. Clay expects a ship from New London to arrive in Portsmouth in sixteen days but does not know what news it will bring. He sees Lord Gambier tomorrow and hopes to visit Windsor.
Henry Clay, Birmingham, [England] to John P. Todd  July 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Birmingham, 1815 July 7; mounted beneath engraving of Clay. #3121.
Clay writes that he left London on Tuesday [July 4, 1815] and arrived in Birmingham on July 6. Mr. [Albert] Gallatin was to leave London the same day but Clay presumes Gallatin "in my rear." He notes "we signed the treaty the day before I departed." Clay is eager to leave for the United States and tells Todd "Be you ready, for like Patrick Coutts, when dying, I wait for no man."
Henry Clay, Woodford, to [Martin D. Hardin] 1815 October 13
ALS, 2 pp.; docketed. #2908.
Clay writes to Hardin, Secretary of State of Kentucky, regarding his right to hold his seat in House of Representatives. "Having signed a Commercial convention with Great Britain on the 3d of July last, under a Commission from the President, it has become questionable whether my seat as a Representative, the right to which commenced on the 4th day of the preceding March, has not thereby become vacated." Clay regrets that he must call the Governor's [Isaac Shelby] attention to the matter and suggests that if an election must be called it should be soon, perhaps "a fortnight's notice might suffice."
Samuel Smith, Baltimore, to Henry Clay 1815 November 4
AL. Photocopy; original in Samuel Smith letterbook, p.26. #1729.
Smith writes that the sale of Clay's "yarns" left $5114.31 to his credit on his bond of $375. If Clay will send Smith "yarns of the quality of those sold by S. S. & B." [Samuel Smith and James A. Buchanan] Smith will either allow Clay twelve cents per pound against the balance due, or will sell them free of commission for Clay's account.
Henry Clay, Washington, to William Thornton 1817 December 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1754-b.
Clay writes that he has purchased 2000 acres of land on the Wabash for two dollars per acre; he believes that "considering the progress of population and improvement" it will soon be worth fifteen or twenty dollars per acre. Clay understands that the Wabash, "which I think the fairest branch of the Ohio, has been exceedingly healthy this fall & summer." Clay mentions that Thornton's friend Martin Birbeck is settled not far from the Wabash. He concludes with a postscript: "I have a cordial dislike to appearing in the news papers & of course do not expect to be put there, in this instance."
Henry Clay, Washington, to [John W. Hunt] 1818 January 22
ALS, 1 p. #9030.
Clay inquires about land values in Lexington, [Kentucky] and says that he must sell some property to meet financial obligations. Clay asks Hunt be his agent in the sale. He concludes by saying "[w]e have been 4 days, and will probably be twice as many more, in discussing Jackson's conduct of the Seminole War."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Charles Tait , Elbert, Georgia 1818 June 25
ALS, 3 pp.; docketed; silked; mounted beneath a blue "Blood's Penny Post" stamp bearing Clay's likeness. #3121.
Clay asks Tait to assist him "if it be practicable, to effect my reimbursement" of $325 advanced to Mrs. Rebecca Willisson. Mrs. Willisson "had a claim to some negroes in this state" and "brought a suit to recover them." Clay, "with more gallantry than prudence" agreed to stand security for the costs. He includes a copy of the receipt (made by John Spears, administrator for Jacob Spears) for the funds he advanced and says he "will be greatly obliged by any exertions you may make to get me the amount." Clay concludes by mentioning he has just heard of the capture of Pensacola. He presumes the action "is without authority; for if it has been, in pursuance of instructions, the Constitutional provision is a dead letter which confides to Congress the power of declaring War."
Samuel Smith, Baltimore, to Henry Clay 1818 June 25
AL. Photocopy; original in Samuel Smith letterbook, p.66. #1729.
Smith writes that he owes Col. [James] Morrison $1000 in taxes and has "taken the liberty to draw on you in his favor for that amount at 60 days sight."
Henry Clay, Lexington, to "Dr. Sir" [Samuel Elliot, Jr.?] 1818 August 1
ALS, 1 p.; docketed on verso; mounted. #3121.
Clay has transmitted to Mr. Dougherty a note for $4000 to be applied to his note at "your bank." He encloses a check for $1000 [not present] to cover reminder of the debt.
Henry Clay, Lexington, to Mr. [John F.] Watson 1818 August 8
ALS, 1 p. #1754-b.
"Being in Frankfort last week" Clay checked on the status of the suit of Edith Ross against David Barbour. He found that it was dismissed "several years ago for the want of security for costs." This was during Clay's absence. He believes that the suit can be renewed and suggests either George M. Bibb or Robert Wickliffe as "suitable counsel" since "I do not myself now practice the law."
Deposition of Henry Clay 1818 October 3
DS, 1 p.; witnessed and signed by Matthew Elder[?], Justice of the Peace, Fayette County. #3417-b.
The deposition concerns the sale of a slave by William Ellis to Elizabeth Gorney [?].
Samuel Smith, Baltimore, to Henry Clay 1819 July 9
AL. Photocopy; original in Samuel Smith letterbook, p.76. #1729.
Smith writes that he is in a "miserable situation" and is "under the necessity of drawing on you to pay Col. [James] Morrison" $500 for taxes. Smith states he has "no other means of payment" and begs Clay "to honour the bill." Smith's firm (Smith and Buchanan) failed following a run on the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States.
Henry Clay, Washington, to [Benjamin] Watkins Leigh 1819 December 7
ALS, 2 pp.; silked. #1395.
Clay asks Leigh for advice on a legal question concerning the validity of the sale of John Clay's (his father) plantation, Euphraim, in Henrico County, Virginia. Clay mentions Richard Chapman, Henry Watkins and Richard Cocke.
Henry Clay, Washington, to [Benjamin Watkins Leigh] 1819 December 18
ALS, 1 p.; silked; "M & K N York" watermark. #1395.
Clay received Leigh's letter and has written to Hanover "to obtain a copy of the act of renunciation" which his mother made regarding provisions in John Clay's will.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mr. [Benjamin Watkins] Leigh 1819 December 26
ALS, 2 pp. #1395.
Clay has received a copy of his "mother's renunciation of the benefit of the provisions for her contained in my father's will" concerning the plantation Euphraim. Clay wishes to proceed with the action to recover the land and has asked Edmund W. Rootes to call on Leigh to "take under your direction the measures necessary for the successful prosecution." Clay then discusses the remaining heirs of John Clay and asks Leigh to advise if it is better to prosecute the case in the name of all three or two only. Clay prefers the case to be carried forward in Federal court.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mr. [Benjamin Watkins] Leigh, Richmond, Va. 1820 January 5
ALS, 2 pp.; with detached address leaf; docketed. #1403.
Clay has received a copy of his "mother's renunciation of the benefit of the provisions for her contained in my father's will" concerning the plantation Euphraim. Clay wishes to proceed with the action to recover the land and has asked Edmund W. Rootes to call on Leigh to "take under your direction the measures necessary for the successful prosecution." Clay then discusses the remaining heirs of John Clay and asks Leigh to advise if it is better to prosecute the case in the name of all three or two only. Clay prefers the case to be carried forward in Federal court.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mr. [Benjamin Watkins] Leigh, Richmond, Va. 1820 March 21
ALS, 1 p.; with detached address leaf; docketed. #1395.
Clay asks if it is necessary "to sue out letters of Administration, upon the Estate of my deceased brother, to maintain the Ejectment for Euphraim?" He repeats his question of January 20, 1820 concerning the possibility of obtaining administration without actually being present in Henrico County.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mr. [Benjamin Watkins] Leigh, Richmond, Va. 1820 April 12
ALS, 1 p.; with detached address leaf; docketed. #1403.
Clay is informed by Col. [James] Morrison that he administered the estate of Clay's brother, George, in Richmond. Clay has requested Col. [Thomas] Tinsley of Hanover to work with Leigh in preparing the suit. He concludes by asking about the schedules of the court.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mr. [Benjamin Watkins] Leigh 1820 May 1
ALS, 1 p.; docketed. #1403.
Clay has sent Leigh's opinion to his brother Porter, who "is more interested than I am in the Ejectment." Clay concludes by asking Leigh to ask [Edmund W.] Rootes to record the deed from John [Clay] to Porter [Clay].
Henry Clay, Chillicothe, to M[aurice] Langhorne 1820 September 13
ALS, 1 p. #3920.
Clay received Langhorne's letter and "immediately addressed a letter to Col. [George?] Gibson" on Langhorne's behalf. Clay had hoped to see Langhorne on his journey back to Kentucky but "an unexpected summons from Mr. [Thomas] Wilson, Cashier of the Bank of the U.S." means Clay must now travel by way of Cincinnati. Clay concludes by stating that "subsequent reflection" has confirmed the opinion he previously gave Langhorne concerning the Bank of Limestone.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mrs. M. Beckley, Lexington 1821 February 16
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #10012.
Clay writes that Capt. Fowler should retain the office of postmaster, but "he is greatly in arrears to Government" and "unless he makes some satisfactory arrangement very soon" he "will be deprived of it."
Henry Clay, Frankfort, to Thomas Dougherty 1821 December 7
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #1109.
Clay encloses a check for $1300 [not present] to pay off the note coming due later in the month. Clay is "very anxious that the amount of Mr. Scott's note should be received and applied to the discharge of mine" and asks Dougherty "not to let him know that I have made an arrangement predicated on his default." Clay comments that the Kentucky legislature is still in session. The legislature is considering "sending me as one of two commissioners to treat with Virginia and to appear before that Ct. about the Occupying Claimant law." Clay concludes by mentioning that the "next Presidency" is being discussed in the papers and Dougherty "may confidently believe in an entire union of the West in favor of some Western candidate."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Langdon Cheves, Philadelphia 1822 January 23
ALS, 1 p. with attached address leaf; docketed. #2933-b.
Clay introduces Sam. Q. Richardson of Cincinnati to Cheves. Richardson wishes to "hold a conversation with you in respect to the revival of the Off. of Dt. & Dt."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Richard Morris, Richmond 1822 February 26
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington City, February 27. #38-79.
Clay writes to communicate the result of an enquiry he was requested to make at the Department of the Treasury by Dr. Morris. Clay was unable to go to the Treasury in person but sent a note to Mr. Pleasanton. Because of Mr. Pinckney's "regretted death" the business of the House of Representatives was suspended and Clay was able to visit the Treasury. He encloses a note for Dr. Morris [not present] and states that he will be happy "to serve him in this affair, if in my power." Clay notes that the Virginia House of Delegates has finally dispatched with "its part of the 'Kentucky Question.'" Clay is glad the House of Delegates "abstained from the expression of any opinion on our laws, as it did not feel itself justified in acceding to either of our propositions." Clay concludes with regards for Mrs. Cock [?] and Mrs. Kempe.
Henry Clay, Washington, to B[enjamin] W[atkins] Leigh, Richmond 1822 March 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington City March 8. #1403.
Clay congratulates Leigh on being appointed a Commissioner to Kentucky and suggests he travel by stage from Richmond, through Washington, to Wheeling and then on to Frankfort. Clay concludes by stating that [Philip Norborne] Nicholas "is at my elbow, desires to be presented to you, and asks the favor of you to take care of him in the Ct. of Appeals until Wednesday, when he will be there." In postscript, Clay notes that Leigh will come through Lexington and asks him to "[c]ome to my house, sans ceremonies otherwise I may not know of your being in town."
Henry Clay, Philadelphia, to Thomas Dougherty 1822 April 3
ALS, 1 p. Negative Photostat; original at Pequot Library Association, Southport, Conn. #2933-e.
Clay has been detained for three days by "indisposition" which "has absolutely confined me to my room." He has written to General [Montfort?] Stokes, requesting Stokes to pay Dougherty $115. Clay asks Dougherty to send him details of the "arrangement you made with Commodore Rogers [sic] [John Rodgers] about the Carriage."
Henry Clay, Ohio River, to Genl. Peter B. Porter 1822 April 14
ALS, 4 pp. #5593.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of p. 1. Clay regrets that he did not see Porter on his return from Virginia in Washington City as Clay wished to consult "with you on a subject of great interest to me personally." Clay believes there is no viable candidate for the presidential election to follow James Monroe's second term from either New York or Pennsylvania. He notes that "in the South, there are springing up several candidates, my juniors in years and in terms of our respective service." Clay writes that his friends see nothing to "restrain them from bringing forward my name" as "[i]t is assumed that the Western States from Ohio to the Gulph [sic] of Mexico will be firmly and ardently united in my support." New York should ally with the western states in the election since "by lending its support, either to New England or to the South, it will not advance its pretensions one inch." Clay asks Porter if he "could not find time to employ your excellent pen in illustrating and enforcing those views of general and State policy which ought to determine the judgment of New York, and which we think obviously indicate the expediency of her looking Westwardly?"
Henry Clay, Washington, to Richard Rush 1822 July 1
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #8991.
Clay asks for Rush's assistance concerning a bill passed in Congress regarding the Messrs. Streshlys[?].
Henry Clay, Cincinnati, to Jacob Burnet 1822 August 27
ALS, 2 pp.; docketed. #5363.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand, following salutation. Clay had hoped to meet Burnet in Cincinnati, but Burnet's absence prevented him from doing so. Clay outlines the "dispute which exists between the States of Kentucky and Virginia" and explains that it will be resolved by "six commissioners, selected from States other than Virginia and Kentucky, which is to meet at the City of Washington on the last Monday of January next." Clay asks if "it would suit your convenience and inclination to attend, if the State of Kentucky should appoint you" as a commissioner?
Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, to Henry Clay 1822 August 28
ALS, 2 pp.; file draft, endorsed by T.J. Photocopy. Original in Thomas Jefferson Papers. Edgehill-Randolph Papers. #1397, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Jefferson asks Clay to represent him in Kentucky in a lawsuit. The "misfortunes of the late Colo. Wilson Carey [sic] Nicholas" will have a negative effect on both Jefferson and his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph as they are "bound to the bank of the US. in Richmd." for $20,000. Thomas Deye Owings of Kentucky was indebted to Nicholas for ten thousand pounds and Jefferson asks Clay "to have suit brought on it immediately in the Federal district court of Kentucky."
Henry Clay, Lexington, to Jacob Burnet 1822 October 5
ALS, 3 pp.; docketed. #5363.
Clay has received Burnet's letter of September 18 and states he is sorry that Burnet is "disinclined to serve as one of the Commissioners." Clay says that Burnet's concern about having formed an opinion on one of the matters to come before the commission should not prevent him from serving. Clay says that Burnet's opinions "are similar to those which have probably been made upon the minds of all the eminent Citizens of our Country. And if they are to be considered a valid objection, who shall we be able to prevail upon to serve?" Burnet's "want of acquaintance with the subjects of controversy" likewise should not prevent him from serving. Since the "Citizens of the States immediately concerned" are prohibited from serving on the commission, citizens of other states must make up the commission. Clay urges Burnet to reconsider and asks for his reply as soon as possible.
Henry Clay, Lexington, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1822 October 29
ALS, 2 pp.; silked. #1395.
Clay has not received any letters from Leigh since he returned to Richmond. Clay encloses a copy of his "report to the Legislature of the two agreements which we have entered into for our two States" [not present]. He comments on the recent Kentucky elections and mentions that "little has been said and nothing will be done" concerning the "attack" made against Judge [James] Clarke. Clay asks Leigh to tell [Thomas] "Ritchie that after having done so much, by the able and ingenious publications in his paper, against the Judiciary, to kindle the spirit which has existed in this quarter, it is a little unkind, on his part, to treat his deluded followers so roughly as he has recently done."
Henry Clay, Frankfort, to Benj.[amin] W.[atkins] Leigh, Richmond 1822 November 18
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1395.
Clay writes that the Kentucky General Assembly has "unconditionally ratified the Conventions." He mentions that Jacob Burnet of Cincinnati and Hugh L. White of Tennessee will probably be appointed as commissioners. Mr. [John] Rowan will probably be appointed Clay's co-counsel. Mr. [George M.] Bibb "declines offering."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Benjamin W.[atkins] Leigh, Richmond 1822 November 21
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1395.
Clay confirms that Jacob Burnet and Hugh L. White were appointed as commissioners. Clay and John Rowan were appointed as agents.
Fr.[ancis] Johnson, Washington City, to Benjamin W.[atkins] Leigh, Richmond 1822 December 10
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1403.
Johnson confirms the appointments of Jacob Burnet, Hugh L. White, Clay, and John Rowan.
Henry Clay, Washington, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1823 February 15
ALS, 2 pp.; silked. #1395.
Clay had "a conversation with the Chief Justice yesterday" and believes that the Supreme Court will not issue its ruling until "it has seen that the Legislature of Virginia will take no step towards an accommodation of the differences with Kentucky." Clay does not thing the "General Assembly of K.[entucky] would consent to strike out the clause of guarranty." He says that "both you and I ought to be now satisfied that popular assemblies are not happily organized for the consideration & just decision of those delicate & difficult matters which form the subject of treaties between State and State."
Henry Clay to Philip N. Nicholas, Richmond 1823 February 26
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1921-a.
Clay encloses "the desired letter for Mr. Ambler" [not present] and states that he "felt at a loss to whom to write at Paris, but concluded that a letter to Mr. [Albert] Gallatin would be of most service."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Nicholas Biddle 1823 February 27
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed by Biddle; mounted; "JW Hatman Turkey Mill 1822" watermark. #3102.
Clay received Biddle's two letters dated February 24 and "immediately caused an enquiry to be made for Mr. [Jesse?] Hunt. Hunt "had taken his departure four or five days ago." If Clay had had the transcripts "a week ago his arrest might have been effected." Clay hopes "no difficulty" will occur with the arrangement made with [John J.] Marshall. Clay will remain in Washington another eight or ten days and plans to make a short visit to Philadelphia.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1823 October 20
ALS, 3 pp.; docketed by Leigh. #1403.
Clay encloses a deposition [not present] "to prove the facts you directed to be established in relation to my deceased brother Geo." Clay mentions Henry W. Watkins, Henry Perrin and Samuel Perrin of Virginia in connection with the lawsuit concerning Clay's father's estate. "A Mr. Chapman of Hanover and Col. N. Wilkinson of Henrico" were his father's executors. Clay asks if the death of Col. Morrison will have any effect on the "Ejectment." Clay is "greatly obliged" by Leigh's enquiries about his health; after seeing Dr. [John] Adams [of Richmond, Va.], Clay has improved and has "strong hopes" to regain his health completely. He mentions that he has received a copy of Ephraim May Cunningham's pamphlet Correspondence between the Hon. John Adams ... and the late Wm. Cunningham. Clay states that it "sheds no new light upon the character of the father or son." It seems likely to Clay that John Quincy Adams will be elected President as the "probabilities appear to me to be greatly in his favor." Clay notes that Genl. [Andrew] Jackson has been elected to the Senate. Clay understands "that the General has altered essentially his course of personal conduct; and has become extremely gentle, affable & conciliatory" and asks what Leigh would "think of receiving from him a sincere and cordial shake of the hand?"
Henry Clay, Washington, to Nicholas Biddle 1823 December 6
ALS, 2 pp.; docketed by Biddle, date received Dec. 8, 1823. #3121.
Clay is indebted to "the Bank [of the United States] at the Lexington office" and has been "struggling to obtain the means to liquidate the whole debt." Clay was owed $10,000 by the Bank of Kentucky, which offered him "my choice of notes out of its bill box in Lexington." Clay selected notes and turned them over to Mr. [James] Harper "to be offered to your Board at Lexington as collateral security only." Harper informed Clay "that the measure adopted by the Bank of K. has produced considerable excitement with the makers of the notes." Clay asks Biddle to "lay the matter before your Board in the hope that it will make the requisite order to receive the notes." Clay includes a list of the notes he wishes to assign to the Bank of the United States [not present].
Henry Clay, Washington, to Robert R. Henry, Albany, New York 1824 January 14
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. Endorsed by Henry. #3472.
Clay has received Henry's letter "in relation to certain alleged malpractices of officers of Government." Clay replies that "if they exist in the degree and extent to which you suppose they ought to be seriously investigated and the proper remedy applied." He "can only present to the House over which I have the honor to preside any petition which shall be respectfully couched, and transmitted to me for presentation."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh, Richmond, Virginia. 1824 July 31
ALS, 3 pp. Endorsed by Leigh. #1395.
Clay thanks Leigh for "communicating the very satisfactory result of the action for Euphraim" and asks Leigh to have Mr. [Garland] Tinsley or Col. [Lawson] Burfoot to arrange "to rent out the property for this year." Clay then discusses the "occupying claimant laws" in some detail and concludes with greetings to Mrs. Leigh and Mrs. [John] Wickham.
Henry Clay, Washington, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh, Richmond, Virginia. 1824 December 14
ALS, 1 p.; docketed by [Leigh?] on blank leaf, now detached. #1395.
Clay replies to Leigh's request "to know the state of Kentucky politics." Clay is "sorry to be obliged to tell you that I derive very little satisfaction from the contemplation of them." Clay briefly discusses the Relief and Anti-Relief parties and the possible abolition of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He encloses a check for $50 for prosecution of his suit regarding Euphraim.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Littleton Dennis Teackle, Annapolis, Maryland 1825 January 24
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #2388.
Clay responds to the "bill" Teackle sent him [not present] and does not think the "project it proposes" will succeed. Clay states that the "emission of paper, founded upon any other basis than that of specie cannot...under any conceivable circumstances, be attended with success." He notes that "[o]ur paper bank in Kentucky [Bank of the Commonwealth] has so far disappointed the hopes of the public that every body is tired of it and desirous to get back, as soon as we can, to a specie circulation."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Strong 1825 March 29
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; printed biography of Clay from unidentified source laid down on address leaf. #2933-b.
Clay tells Strong "in confidence" that since Mr. Clinton has declined to accept the "English Mission," it has been offered to Mr. R.[ufus] King. Clay states that King's "weight of character, the estimate in which he is held both here and in England, his residence, and the place of his nativity, so deeply concerned in fixing our N.E. boundary" will be "sufficient considerations for his appointment." Clay has directed a copy of his [March 26, 1825] address to his constituents to be sent to Strong.
Henry Clay, Washington, to General [Joseph Vance] 1825 April 19
ALS, 1 p.; mounted on board. #4602-a.
Clay thanks Vance for his recent letter and states that the "information which it communicates is very gratifying." Vance's friend Josiah Baldwin "has been provided for as you wished." Clay says that he does "not find my new office a bed of roses. I work from 12 to 14 hours per day."
Legal document, signed by Henry Clay as Secretary of State 1825 April 28
DS, 1 p.; partially printed. #1754-b.
Document asserting that Richard Peters is and was "a Judge of the United States for the District of Pennsylvania" and that R.C. Weightman, a witness for Robert S. Garnett and Olympia Garnett is and was the mayor of Washington, D.C.
Henry Clay, Wheeling, to James Barbour, Washington 1825 May 22
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #38-144.
Clay will, in one hour, "be on a steam boat for Kentucky." He was "received with enthusiasm on this side of the mountains," and "every species of kind and considerate attention have manifested the good feelings which prevail respecting" him. He mentions that Lafayette was "at Lexington on the 16th" and "is expected here in four or five days. The steamboat, on which he ascended the Ohio, sank below Louisville in the night, to the great personal hazard of the passengers, but without any loss of life." Clay asks Barbour to "make my respectful compliments to the President and our Colleagues."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Matthew Carey, Philadelphia 1825 June 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed by Carey; postmarked Lexington Jun. 7. #1754-b.
Clay has received Carey's letter containing "the Copies of your papers containing an examination of the later British doctrines as have been unfolded by Mr. [William] Huskisson, in their new policy." Clay has "put your valuable papers in a course of distribution."
Henry Clay, Washington, to J[ohn] E. Hall 1825 September 29
ALS, 1 p. With engraving of Clay from unidentified source mounted beneath his signature. #5825.
Clay thanks Hall for his letter informing Clay of Hall's intent to "to continue the life of Lafayette, began [sic] by Mr. Waln." Clay does not wish to make any changes to his address of December 10, 1824, which Hall wishes to include in the book.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1827 May 30
ALS, 3 pp. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay "shall send you in a few days, a long instruction on the subject of our claims" against France. Approximately one-half of the letter consists of instructions to Brown. "On American politics" Clay is confident that Mr. [John Quincy] Adams will be re-elected and "that we shall have a most embittered contest, uncomfortable in all respects; and that the struggle in Kentucky will be hot and sharp." Clay mentions "[o]ur affair at Rio Janiero [sic]" and says it is "not likely to lead to any serious consequences." He mentions that the Clays are more comfortable by their "removal to Decatur's house." He encloses two volumes of his speeches, one for Brown and one to be "neatly bound and presented in my name to Genl. La Fayette." His daughter Anne is unable to spend the summer since she is "in a family way."
Henry Clay, Lexington, to Col. G[eorge] Thompson, Pleasantfield, Mercer [County, Ky.] 1827 July 13;Physical Location: Oversize.
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #7100.
Clay returns Mr. [Claiborne W.?] Gooch's letter [not present] and states that it has "several errors respecting me." Clay states that he did not refuse to serve in "Mr. [James] Monroe's Cabinet, because Mr. [John Quincy] Adams was a member of it."
Henry Clay, Washington, to H[ezekiah] Niles 1827 November 5
ALS, 1 p. #2933-a.
Clay has received Niles' letter with "Copies of the Address in behalf of the Harrisburg Convention" and has no doubt he will "find in it an able exposition of facts and views in support of the American System." Clay mentions Mr. Markeley and Mr. Buchanan.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mrs. S[tephen] Decatur (Susan Wheeler) 1827 November 25
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #1087.
Clay thanks Mrs. Decatur for her letter and urges her to attend a "diplomatic dinner on friday next." She "would promote greatly the happiness" of her friends and herself "by occasionally mixing in our circles."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1828 May 17
ALS, 3 pp. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay expresses concern over the accounts of "Mrs. Brown's health." Clay re-states his opinion that "Mr. Adams will be re-elected"; his opinion "excludes for our calculation Pennsa. Virginia and the other Southern States, which I think cannot be relied on for Mr. Adams, although there are hopes of the two States mentioned and North Carolina." Clay mentions money owed to Brown, the Louisiana treaty with France and treaties with "Prussia and the Hanse towns." Clay states that there "is no present danger of any rupture with G. Britain about our N. Eastern boundary. It is to be arbitrated." He concludes by asking Brown to purchase gloves for Mrs. Clay.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Barbour 1828 May 29
ALS, 1 p. Imperfect; large portions of text wanting; silked.
#38-144.Letter of appointment as ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Barbour 1828 May 29
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; portion of text and address leaf torn away; docketed by Barbour. #38-144.
Clay introduces Mr. Gerard H. Coster of New York, who will be traveling to Europe "for the purpose of amusement and instruction."
Henry Clay, Washington 1828 June 14
DS, 1 p. Printed. #2908.
Printed circular, transmitting 110 copies "of the Laws of the last session of Congress" to the Governor of Mississippi.
Henry Clay, Cuckooville, to Murray Morris 1828 September 27
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf. #38-79.
Clay had intended to visit Morris on his "return from the Springs to Washington," but "had some how confounded your residence and Louisa Courthouse, which I supposed were situated within a short distance of each other." Clay asks Murray to visit him in Washington and asks if he was "serious about purchasing my grey horses."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Madison 1828 October 10
ALS, 1 p.; negative photostat. #2933-e.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand, following salutation. Clay has heard "through a respected channel" that "it would conduce greatly to the comfort of Mrs. Randolph [Martha Jefferson Randolph], the daughter of Mr. Jefferson, if her son in law, Mr. Trist [Nicholas P. Trist] were appointed to some Clerkship in one of the Departments here." Clay can provide a position for Trist if he were assured that "Mr. Trist possesses the requisite qualifications."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1828 October 11
ALS. 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf. #911.
Clay comments on the health of Mrs. Brown and hopes that "her judicious retirement to the delightful gardens of Versailles may restore her health." He comments at length on the presidential election. Elections in Maryland and Delaware have just closed, and the election in Kentucky was close. Still, Clay believes Adams will carry Kentucky and "he should also received 20 votes in N. York." He mentions that "the violence in the South is pretty much limited to So. Carolina & Georgia. It derives no countenance and will obtain no support in Virginia, which is rapidly becoming a Tariff state." Clay authorizes Brown to compensate "Mr. B." [W. Armand Barnet] "who acted as Secretary." He mentions that the "King of the Netherlands has been selected" to arbitrate the border dispute between the United States and Great Britain. He closes by stating that the "country is generally prosperous. Kentucky is becoming quite so. Virginia and some of the Southern States are exceptions."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Dr. J.[ames] M. Morris 1828 October 25
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #38-79.
Morris's "manager arrived this morning and is preparing to start with the horses." Clay describes the horses as a "most serviceable pair." He invites Morris and his wife to visit in Washington and jokingly addresses Morris's concerns that "Mrs. M. may be infected by political heresies."
Nicholas P. Trist, to Henry Clay 1828 [November 29]
ALS, 4 pp.; docketed "Dec. 1828." #1727.
Trist understands that Clay may have an incorrect understanding of his recent connection with the pro-Jackson Charlottesville, Va. Virginia Advocate. In a lengthy statement, Trist attempts to correct the misunderstanding and notes that he had reluctantly accepted a position as editor mainly because of the salary involved.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Barbour 1828 December 29
ALS, 3 pp.; silked. #38-144.
Clay tells Barbour that "General Jackson is elected by a majority of more than two thirds of the Electors. We were beaten in all the doubtful States, without exception... The President has borne his reverse with much philosophic composure and our friends, generally, are less affected than I feared they would be." Clay mentions that there is "vague speculation as to the intentions of the President elect. His own friends even do not appear to know what they are." He says that the current session of Congress has been very quiet and the "Jackson party will probably remain quiet for the present." He mentions the Senate's delay in confirming Mr. Hughs as ambassador to the Netherlands and Mr. [John Jordan] Crittenden to the Supreme Court. Clay closes by saying he will "return to Kentucky upon the close of the present administration, and whether I shall take any part in public affairs hereafter, I shall then decide."
Henry Clay to "My dear friend" 1829 January 2
ALS, 1 p. #3888.
Clay proposes a visit "if I thought you would receive me."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Dr. J.[ames] M. Morris 1829 January 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #39-79.
Clay thanks Morris for the gift of "a dozen bacon hams" and states they "fully sustained the antient and renowned character of Virginia hams." He closes by expressing Mrs. Clay's desire to have the directions used for preparing the hams.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Thomas Law 1829 May 28
ALS, 2 pp. #2801.
Clay discusses a land title case in Kentucky and refers Law to Mr. [George W.] Bibb. Clay then talks about the "picture of public affairs at Washington." He states that the "smoak of the cannon, fired in exultation of the Election of President Jackson, has hardly yet vanished. Mortification and pride prevent many from expressing their regrets and disappointments, on account of their having supported him." Clay states "many have taken the first step towards weaning themselves from their infuriated attachment, and returning to common Sense." He concludes that Law has done well to retire from Washington "to enjoy the tranquil scenes of rural life, in spite of all the wickedness, violence, and hypocrisy which at present disgrace the Metropolis."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1829 November 22
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Dec. 25. #4475.
Clay comments on Conover's idea of starting a new newspaper in Cincinnati. Clay points out that no newspaper can "permanently succeed which does not abstain from any violation of public decorum in its discussions, make truth its guide, and avoid personality" and that no place "in the Western Country is so important for diffusing intelligence to the people as Cincinnati." Clay says he will subscribe to Conover's newspaper but cannot invest in it. He hopes there will be no "competition or collision" between Conover and Charles Hammond.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to E.C. Berry 1829 November 30
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington. #2933-c.
Clay writes to Berry, Auditor of Public Accounts, Vandalia, Illinois, to confirm that his "lands in your State have been placed in a situation free from danger of being sold for taxes." He asks if his arrangement to pay land taxes from a previous overpayment is still in effect.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1830 May 1
ALS, 3 pp. #4475-a.
Clay comments on Conover's newspaper and states that although it "has not been patronized to the extent you expected" in Kentucky, when the paper is more generally known, Conover will not be disappointed. Clay mentions the possibility of a "Northern trip" but has rejected the idea lest his motive be questioned. He states that the "information which reaches me from all quarters but especially from Washington City, as to my future prospects, is in a high degree encouraging." He does not know what "effect will be produced by the recent movements at Harrisburg and Albany" but says that "those movements are mere stratagems of Mr. V. Buren" [Martin Van Buren]. Clay goes on to discuss Van Buren's "notorious embicility and incompetency, as well as his maladministration." Clay mentions Judge John McLean. He concludes by discussing the recent Jefferson Day dinner in Washington, which "indicates the course of attack on the Tariff and Internal Improvements."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1830 May 1
ALS, 3 pp. on 1 l. #4475-a.
Clay thanks Conover for his letter and says that while he has "entertained thoughts of a Northern trip," he is now "disinclined" to make such a trip. He says that the "information which reaches me from all quarters ... as to my future prospects, is in a high degree encouraging." Clay mentions Martin Van Buren's "strategems" against John C. Calhoun. Clay states that he has never wronged Judge John McLean and, along with other friends of John Quincy Adams, regrets the Judge's "course during the late Admin." He discusses the tariff and internal improvements and says "it is fortunate that we now know the plan of the Campaign of our opponents, and we ought now to prepare ours to defeat it." Clay states, possibly in reference to the Maysville veto, that "the sacrifice of our American System is to propitiate G. Britain as well as the South."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to George W. Featherstonhaugh 1830 May 23
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington May 24. #2933-d.
Clay thanks Featherstonhaugh for his letter and mentions that he spent "some very pleasant days" in New Orleans with Stephen Van Rensselaer. He finds "great benefit as well as amusement in my agricultural pursuits" and "shall be ready very soon to renounce for ever the strife and the cares of public life." Clay states that the election of "Genl. Jackson ought to be regarded as an exception from the general good sense with which the American people have conducted their affairs." Clay concludes by sending "warmest regards and my best wishes for his happiness and prosperity" to Baron Paul de Krudener.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John C. Wright 1830 May 31
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Jun.1. #5903.
Clay comments on Wright's plan to run for the House of Representatives from Ohio and says that "it would be very gratifying to friends of our cause." Clay states that the "general results of the present Session of Congress are highly favorable to our cause." He mentions Samuel A. Foot and John Holmes. There is a brief discussion of the tariff and Clay concludes by speculating on whether or not the "President has approved the Maysville [Road] appropriation."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1830 June 13
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington. #4475-a.
Clay suggests that the Constitution be amended to allow "a bare majority of all the Members elected to each house of Congress, instead of two thirds of a quorum...to pass a bill returned by the President." He also discusses "the Indian bill" which he says "threatens to bring a foul and lasting stain upon the good faith, humanity and character of the nation." He concludes by asking Conover to consult with Charles Hammond and Isaiah Thomas.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1830 August 16
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Aug. 18. #4475-a.
Clay has sent to William Greene "a Sketch of my Speech delivered at Cincinnati" and refers Conover to Daniel Drake concerning its possible publication. Clay concludes by saying the "news from Indiana, Illinois and, Missouri...is highly encouraging."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1830 October 31
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf and Clay's seal; postmarked Lexington. #4475-a.
Clay expresses "lively interest" in the success of the Cincinnati American. He says that the Kentucky Convention will be held on December 9th in Frankfort. Clay suggests that Conover prepare a "subscription paper" to be circulated at the Convention. Clay comments on the Ohio and Pennsylvania elections and closes with the question "Who is your Senator?"
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John L. Lawrence 1830 December 13
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington, Dec. 14. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand following salutation. Clay refers to Lawrence's letter of the 2nd and says that he does not disapprove of the measures Lawrence referred to. Rather, he is "perfectly persuaded that without some such defeat awaits us in N. York at least in 1832." He mentions that the Kentucky Convention met and the proceedings "were marked by harmony and vigor." Barton [?] was not put forward as a candidate and the Benton candidate was defeated. The legislature has not elected a Senator because "some half dozen of our friends have persuaded themselves or been persuaded by others that they are pledged, on the particular question of a Senator to work for one of the Jackson party." Clay closes by saying he is leaving for New Orleans on "private affairs exclusively."
Henry Clay, New Orleans, to John L. Lawrence 1831 March 7
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked New Orleans, Mar.7. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand, following salutation. Clay states that he believes "we shall be able to rescue the Government from the dangers which are impending over it." He considers "the election of any particular individual to the Chief Magistracy so perfectly a consideration of secondary and subordinate consequence, compared to the great and patriotic object of preserving all that is valuable in our institutions that I am entirely ready to surrender my pretensions, whatever they may be, to any one who can unite our friends and hold out a more encouraging prospect of success." He closes saying he will leave New Orleans "in the course of the week" and regrets that he feels unable to make a campaign visit to New York.
John L. Lawrence, New York, to Henry Clay 1831 March 29
ALS, 3 pp.; with attached address leaf. #6683.
Lawrence writes in response to Clay's letter of March 7 and says in regard to "your frank declaration of willingness to yield your own pretensions in favor of others, I must be equally frank in Saying, that to your numerous friends, here Such an avowal, publickly made, would not be acceptable." He goes on to say that "our friends look with great anxiety to the next election in your State" and that there are some "expectations of a Jackson triumph in that quarter." Lawrence closes by discussing "an attack" against Robert W. Wickliffe in relation to his affairs with Robert Scott.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James Brown 1831 April 8
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay reports that he arrived in Lexington from New Orleans on April 6 and comments on the weather and the health of family members. He has learned from Mr. Senator [Josiah S.] Johnson that "Mr. Calhoun will be a candidate for the Presidency, and that he will probably obtain the vote of S. Carolina, No. Carolina and Virginia." Clay has "not yet seen evidence sufficient to convince me of its correctness."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Jabez D. Hammond 1831 April 13
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Apr.15. #2529.
Clay encloses letters of introduction [not present]. He says that he regrets to learn of the "impracticability of Union among opponents of the Administration in New York. On that union I am well assured depends the vote of the State." He concludes by commenting on Andrew Jackson's declining support and says should "Mr. Calhoun be a Candidate it will prejudice the General."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John L. Lawrence 1831 April 13
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Apr. 15. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay replies to Lawrence's letter of March 29. Clay says that his willingness to retire from the Presidential race "was dictated by a thorough conviction of the evils brought and likely to be brought upon the Nation" by Jackson's "misrule; and an anxious desire to avert them from my Country. It was not dictated by any unwillingness on my part to encounter the perils of a canvass, nor fears as to its successful termination." He also says that his offer to step aside was not "prompted by any belief of my own that another's name could be advantageously substituted to mine." He closes with a postscript, asking Lawrence to share this letter with M.[atthew] L. Davis.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John Agg 1831 May 20
ALS, 2 pp. #1761.
Clay explains that Agg's recent letter was delayed. He comments on the upcoming elections and says that "whether we regard the goodness of the American System, or the present flattering prospects of its final triumph, by the overthrow of the existing feeble corrupt and incompetent Administration, the friends of that system have every motive for renewed and energetic assertion. He is sorry to hear of the financial difficulties of the Washington Daily National newspaper since "it has been decidedly the leading paper in supporting the principles of the Opposition." Clay concludes by stating that there is "every reason to count upon a most signal triumph at out approaching Elections in August."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to H.[ezekiah] Niles 1831 June 3
ALS, 2 pp.; docketed. #3920.
Clay responds to Niles's proposal to move the Niles' Register from Baltimore to New York. He says the move would be favorable and its "means of information and circulation would be greatly multiplied." In closing, Clay mentions the illness of Abraham H. Schenck and sends condolences to his brother Peter H. Schenck.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Richard Smith 1831 June 11
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Jun.31. #10751.
Clay has received Smith's letter in which a check for $121.51 was enclosed [not present]. Clay mentions a claim to dower and says that since he knows nothing of the "doweress" he "cannot judge the terms of a compromise."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Capt. John Meany 1831 June 14
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #1754-b.
Clay is unwilling "to hazard any conjecture" about the approaching elections but "will say that we shall be more than ever mortified if our friends do not return a large majority to the Legislature and to Congress."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1831 August 3
ALS, 3 pp.; with text on attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Aug.5. #4475-a.
Clay writes extensively about the "Antimasonic excitement," which he says "is likely to be troublesome." He has determined "not to mix myself in that controversy" and will not "make some declaration adverse to Masonry" as he has been urged to do. He "cannot admit the propriety of blending either Masonry or Anti Masonry with Federal Politics. What has the General Govt. to do with either? What part of the Constitution authorizes it to discountenance either? It has no more power to put down either than it has to interfere with any of the literary, benevolent or religious associations of the Country." Clay states that he does "not think we ought to be diverted by Anti Masonry" in the attempt to oust the Jackson administration. He closes by mentioning Charles Hammond and discussing the Baltimore Convention.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James Brown 1831 August 24
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay replies to Brown's letter of July 29th, which reached him "during my absence at the Olympian Springs." He comments on Mrs. Clay's health, the health of Brown's niece, and Brown's health. Clay thinks Brown's "advice, in respect to public life is good," and that if he "could devise a proper and honorable mode, of withdrawing my name from public notice, I would instantly do it." Clay reports that the recent elections in Kentucky resulted "in a majority for the Jackson party in Congress, and a majority to the opposition in the Legislature-a drawn battle." Clay mentions that he is planning to place his "son James in some Counting House at Philadelphia" and asks if Brown can assist him with any of his "mercantile acquaintances." He closes by stating that his "crops are fine, especially our great Staple, Corn. I am pleased with the occupation, and the prospect of the profits of farming; but Mrs. Clay's repugnance to the cares of a Country life may induce us, possibly, to go to town."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1831 August 26
ALS, 3 pp.; with separate address leaf; postmarked Lexington Aug.28. #4475-a.
Clay acknowledges that "several of my prominent friends at Cincinnati were extremely discouraged by the issue of our Congressional elections, and were entertaining the project of substituting some other name to mine, as a Candidate for the Presidency." Clay states that he "should most cordially agree to such an arrangement, and even urge it, if such a substitute can be found with the approbation of our friends generally." He discusses the strengths needed by a candidate and says that "I am not an impartial if competent person to make this enquiry." He comments on the suggestion of John Marshall as a candidate and says he would be "delighted" to see Marshall as President instead of Jackson. He concludes that the party would be well served by waiting to see how events develop and says "we should not despair, certainly not of the Republic, if we do of our Candidate."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1831 October 9
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Oct.12. #4475-a.
Clay comments on the "Anti Masonic nomination" of William Wirt which "has excited as much surprise at Lexington and with me as it has done at Cincinnati." Clay quotes from a letter from Josiah S. Johnston about the "Anti Masonic Convention" in Philadelphia, at which Wirt was nominated. Clay states that the National Republican Party should forbear "to attach Anti Masonry or Mr. Wirt" because the convention "may think it is politic to nominate him" and "it is prudent to the leave the door open to his party and him to unite with us."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1831 November 16
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Nov. 18, amended to Nov. 19. #4475-a.
Clay says that he accepted a Senate seat only "from a sense of public duty and in conformity with the almost unanimous wishes of my friends. I go to my post however with not anticipations of pleasure from occupying it." Clay concludes by saying that if William Wirt and "Jackson should be the only Candidates, there will, I believe be concentration, but it will be on Jackson."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1831 December 18
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay expresses regret for Brown's injuries and recommends postponement of his trip to New Orleans. Clay states that John Sergeant's nomination by the National Republican Party for Vice President "is thought here to have been the best that could have been made." Clay has seen John C. Calhoun "several times, but have had no political conversation with him." Clay does not believe Calhoun will be a candidate for the Presidency. If Andrew Jackson approves a bill to recharter the Bank of the United States, Clay says "it has been suggested that [Littleton W.] Tazewell will be brought out as the Southern Candidate for President."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Herring 1832 January 30
ALS, 1 p. #6273.
In response to Herring's inquiry, Clay states that "one of the best portraits of me" was made by the late Matthew Harris Jouett of Kentucky; Clay believes the portrait is "somewhere in the City of N. York" and formerly in the possession of Joseph Delaplaine. Clay has no portrait of himself in Washington which he can send to Herring.
Christian Hager, Woodford County, Versailles, Ky. to Henry Clay 1832 March 17
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf. #8557.
Hager asks Clay to see General [Walter] Jones and make some inquiry of him" concerning a lawsuit to be argued before the Court of Chancery next June. Hager states that "I hope you will be our next President it appears to me that Jacksons friends are many of them geting more Cooler what the[y] have been." Hager asks Clay to write about the status of the lawsuit and concludes with a postscript mentioning the unusually cold weather.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1832 March 28
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Mar.29; with two receipts (each 1 p.) dated 1831 April 8. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay comments on Brown's health and tells him he is wise to abandon his trip to New Orleans. Clay reports that James Erwin was robbed in New Orleans of promissory notes worth $20,000. He concludes by declining an invitation to visit Philadelphia saying "whenever I go from my abode, I become a State prisoner, and I love liberty in name but more in fact."
Henry Clay to Gen. W.[alter] Jones 1832 April 7
ALS, 1 p. with attached address leaf. #8557.
Clay thanks Jones for his note and the "excellent cheese" from Mr. Palmer. Clay encloses a letter from Mr. Hager [see 1832 March 17, above] and asks Jones for any information which Clay will then communicate to Hager.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Brantz Mayer 1832 June 17
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington Jun.17. #4990.
Clay replies to Mayer's request for information to compile a biography of Daniel Boone. Clay "never personally knew Boone. When in 1797 I migrated to Kentucky, he had gone further West." Clay suggests that Mayer obtain the series of articles on the early history of Kentucky by John Bradford published in the Lexington Kentucky Gazette. He also mentions Gilbert Imlay's A topographical description of the western territory of North America and Humphrey Marshall's The history of Kentucky. "Neither of them is well written. The first is rare, and I really do not know where it can be procured. Imlay also wrote a bad novel, the title of which I do not recollect. Marshall's history may be easily obtained in K. possibly in some of the Atlantic book stores." Clay suggests that the "best repository of materials for your work is the family of Boone."
Henry Clay, Washington, to James F. Conover 1832 June 30
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington Jul.3. #4475.
Clay comments on the formation of an "Electoral ticket" by the "Anti Masonic party" in Ohio. He says there is much confidence that Pennsylvania will not support Jackson. He mentions the Tariff Bill and the Land Bill in the Senate and closes by saying he thinks Congress will not adjourn before the 16th.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John L. Lawrence 1832 September 6
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Sep. 6. #5828.
Clay comments on the defeat of Richard A. Buckner which he says "was very mortifying" as it "resulted entirely from religious prejudices." He states that the "other elections terminated very favorably" and the National Republicans have a majority in both houses of the Kentucky legislature. Clay comments on elections in Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and New York.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1832 September 8
ALS, 2 pp.; with separate address leaf; docketed. #4475-a.
Clay extends regrets for Conover's "private affliction" and mentions the death of his mother-in-law, Susannah Gray Hart. He says that the "defeat of our Governor [Richard A. Buckner] was mortifying" but the other results of the election were gratifying. Clay comments on the division between the Anti Masons and National Republicans in Ohio. He continues to believe "that Jackson will be defeated" and regrets the "perseverance" of Judge John McLean in continuing to hope that he would be selected as a Presidential candidate.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Robert S. Rose 1832 September 10
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #1761.
Clay thanks Rose for his letter of recommendation for General Holsteen but regrets he does "not know of any place in this quarter, at present, which would be acceptable to him." Clay mentions that the University of Kentucky "has been laboring under difficulties from the loss by fire of the principal building." Clay mentions that he "had an opportunity of passing a short time in Virginia with Mr. [James] Madison and Govr. [James] Barbour. Mr. Madison is feeble in health but his mind and memory are perfectly sound." Clay concludes by saying he is glad to hear that New York is withdrawing support from Andrew Jackson.
Daniel Webster to Henry Clay 1832 October 22
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #6078-b.
Webster says that the early returns from Pennsylvania were encouraging, but the later returns did not sustain the first impression. Webster says they were "thrown badly back by Ohio." But for that, Webster would "have had strong hopes of Maine & some hopes of N. Hamp." He believes that "the anti-Jackson ticket" will prevail in New York. Webster asks for news of Missouri and closes with regards to Mrs. Clay.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James Brown 1832 October 23
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay comments on a case Brown is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court and promises to "take care of the case there for you." He mentions that his son Henry has married Julia Prather of Louisville. Clay attended the wedding and returned "slightly indisposed with an ordinary complaint." Because cholera has broken out in Louisville, Clay says "you may probably hear that I caught the pestilence, and have been long since dead and buried. You are authorized to contradict, most positively, such a report if you should hear it." Clay mentions the illness of Anne Clay Erwin's youngest child. He mentions the Kentucky elections and hopes that "the State will on friday week choose Anti Jackson Electors." Clay closes by suggesting that Brown abandon his plans for a trip to New Orleans "considering the prevalence of the Yellow fever there, with the prospect of its being followed by the Cholera."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John J. Crittenden 1832 November 28
ALS, 1 p. #3121.
Clay comments that Crittenden's "views, in regard to your wishes on the subject of a service in the Senate, correspond with your character." Clay had planned to depart for Washington around Christmas "but the dread of a winters journey and the present good prospects of weather have induced me to proceed immediately."
Henry Clay, Washington, to John L. Gilliland 1833 January 14
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Jan.16. #4602.
Clay thanks Gilliland for the "box containing the Specimens of your pressed glass ware. He tells Gilliland that the policy of tariff protection is "now in imminent danger," and that "the people alone can now save it." He concludes by saying he does not believe the recent election demonstrated popular opposition to public policy.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Dr. Morris 1833 March 2
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Mar.4. #38-79.
Clay asks [James Maury] Morris if he wishes to sell his lot on Poydras Street in New Orleans and, if so, at what price.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Augustus E. Cohen 1833 March 4
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Mar.7. #1761.
Clay replies to Cohen's letter and discusses the Compromise Tariff bill. He concludes by saying he does "not regard myself as a regular practitioner of the Law" and therefore, would not be able to have Cohen study under him.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to R.[ichard] H.[enry] Wilde 1833 April 27
ALS, 3 pp. #1754-b.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand following salutation. Clay discusses the Compromise Tariff bill and says that a "large section of the Jackson party, headed by Mr. V. Buren, will attempt either to impress the North with the belief that its interest were injuriously affected...or the South with the opinion that its interests were not sufficiently attended to." He then tells Wilde that "the danger you apprehend from a surplus Revenue will not be realized." Clay says that "passage of the Land Bill would have afforded further security, and I think most desirable security, against the extraordinary inconvenience of a superabundant exchequer." Clay will introduce a new land bill in the next session of Congress. Clay states that the "prospects of a renewal of the Charter of the U. States bank have decidedly improved" and he does "not despair of its being accomplished." Clay concludes by discussing the possibility of the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies and says that the "danger is perhaps not sufficiently near or great to justify any interference from us." He says that slavery "lies at the bottom of many of the evils under which the Southern Atlantic States are suffering" and though Wilde has Constitutional grounds to protest "against the slightest interference of the Genl. Government with the institution of Slavery or the condition of its unfortunate subjects, it is perfectly manifest, I think, that you will have soon to alter materially the character of their labor. You will either have to find new products for it, or new markets for its present products."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Dr. Morris 1833 May 19
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington May 21. #2483-a.
Clay will tell his friends of Morris' determination to sell his New Orleans lots at auction. In the lengthy postscript, Clay says that if "others have found pleasure in contemplating the political condition of our Country, for the last few years, it is more than you and I have."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James Brown 1833 July 7
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Jul.8. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay mentions that a "few stragling cases of Cholera" continue in Lexington and that several families have lost slaves to the disease. Clay's son and daughter-in-law are expecting a child this month. The possibility of the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies "will exert a moral influence on that institution in the U. States; but I do not apprehend any immediate effects from it" and does not believe emancipation will happen in the United States "in our time." Clay predicts that Southern slave owners will be "more sensitive to the slightest disturbance of the question." Northerners are "probably interested in the continuance of Southern slavery."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James Brown 1833 September 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay has heard from Dr. Nathaniel Chapman of Brown's "severe attack" but hopes his health is better now. He and Mrs. Clay will leave Lexington and "proceed directly to you in Philadelphia" as soon as Anne Clay Erwin "is confined, which is expected in eight or ten days."
Henry Clay, Baltimore, to James Brown 1833 October 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Oct. 8. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay will be joined in Baltimore by Mrs. Clay, John Morrison Clay and Henry C. Duralde "the day after tomorrow." Clay is glad to hear that Brown's health is "almost entirely re-established." Clay concludes by announcing that his daughter "was delivered of a Son on the morning of the 2d. inst."
Henry Clay, Washington, to S.[amuel] Fleet 1833 December 4
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Dec.5. #2933-a.
Clay thanks Fleet for sending him "specimens of Sisal Hemp" and adds "they look well, but I am not sufficiently acquainted with its properties, culture or produce to determine whether it could be advantageously introduced into our agriculture." Clay compliments Fleet on his editorship of the New York Farmer, regrets that he is too busy to write for Fleet and asks how he can pay for a subscription.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Brown 1833 December 10
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Dec.11. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay is anxious to hear from Brown. The Clays have "taken a small furnished house in the rear of Gadsby's." Clay says there is an apparent majority in the House of Representatives for and in the Senate against the Jackson administration.
Henry Clay, Washington, to James Barbour 1833 December 15
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #38-114.
Clay "met with Judge Bullard" of Louisiana and "had a conversation with him about your Florida slaves." Bullard "says that unless there is an unusual proportion of very young and old among them, they are worth $500 each; that the blacksmith if a tolerably good one and not old, is worth $1500-the rough carpenter $1200, women $500 each. Bullard will offer $20,000 for the slaves. Clay says Bullard would be glad to reach an arrangement with Barbour, "putting in 1250 acres of first rate Red River land at valuation (he has been offered $10 per acre) and the slaves at valuation, and working the whole together." Bullard says such an arrangement would produce 300 bales of cotton per year. Clay says that though cotton "has fallen to thirteen cents" he believes Barbour can count on $500 apiece for the slaves.
Henry Clay, Washington, to George Watterson 1834 May 2
ALS, 1 p. #3417-b.
Clay acknowledges Watterson's election as an honorary member of the Columbian Horticultural Society of the District of Columbia.
Henry Clay, Washington, to John S. Wellford, John Coalter, John Tayloe Lomax 1834 May 30
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #3121.
Clay declines an invitation to attend the "Whig Celebration" in Fredericksburg, Va. Considerations of public duty have compelled him also to decline an invitation to a similar function in Alexandria, Va.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[ellamy] Storer 1834 August 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Aug.26. #2148.
Clay is eager to hear the election results from Ohio. He says "the Jackson party has been annihilated" in Kentucky. He concludes with a discussion of the charter of the Bank of the United States.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1834 August 24
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Aug.26. #1395.
Clay asks Leigh to "investigate thoroughly at Richmond the subject of Scrip-warrants and come back to the Senate with such information as will enable us...to secure the Government against frauds." Clay says that the result of "our recent Elections " in Kentucky "put us at ease" and says that Whigs in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri also did well. Clay then asks if "any thing can be more stupid than the course of Duff Green?" Clay says he is convinced Green's true purpose is "to affect the election of Mr. V. Buren." Clay closes with a comment on the precarious nature of his wife's health.
Henry Clay, to Hamilton Smith 1834 September 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington [Sep.?] 9; docketed; Barrow. #5421.
Clay replies to Smith's query "regarding my opinion whether the manufacturing business, and especially that of cottn may be expected to revive." Clay say that much depends on "certain great elections at hand in Penna [Pennsylvania] and elsewhere." If these elections are favorable to the current administration, Clay says "we may expect for some time to come a continuance of the derangement of the currency, exchange, etc. with all train of consequences."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1834 October 22
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #1403.
Clay asks for the address of Mr. Johnson for a neighbor who wishes to write to him. Clay states that "Ohio has acquitted herself nobly. [James] Findlay is supposed to be elected by several thousand, and four or five Jackson members of the H. of R. have been made to yield their places to Whigs."
Henry Clay, Senate Chamber, to H.[enry] Shaw 1835 February 4
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; with ALS, H.W. Shaw, New York, to Dear Baldwin, 1875 June 15. #1754-b.
Clay expresses confidence in Shaw's "continued friendship." He adds that he regrets "extremely to hear of the distractions which you describe as prevailing among the Whigs in Massachusetts & sincerely hope that they may be finally brought to harmonize together." The letter from Shaw (written below Clay's letter) to Baldwin transmits the letter as a gift for his "extensive and valuable collection of autograph letters."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Mrs. Mayard C. Meade 1835 December 18
ALS, 1 p. #1769.
Clay has received Mrs. Meade's letter with the papers she sent for Judge Parker. He has given the papers to Parker who will review them after which "he will present them to the Senate, and move their reference to a Committee. We have talked of that on Foreign Relations."
[Henry Clay] to John Wickham 1836 January 23
AN, 1 p.; signature excised. #15753.
Clay introduces Mr. Bainbridge of Kentucky.
Henry Clay, Washington, to John Harvie 1836 February 11
ALS, 1 p. #2196.
Clay introduces Richard D. Cutts, "the son of a particular friend of mine, and the nephew of Mrs. Madison and Mrs. Todd."
Henry Clay, Senate Chamber, to A.[lfred] Beckley 1836 May 10
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington May 10. #10012.
Clay says that he will "be happy to furnish you with any Durham Cattle, or other stock in my possession which you may want." He suggests Beckley come to Ashland and select the stock himself. Clay closes by saying that he has "been a long time in public life, and think I may shortly retire without being liable to any reproach for leaving it."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Dr. Conway D. Whittle 1836 August 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Aug.8. #7973.
Clay acknowledges Whittle's letter of July 13th and says he would have answered it sooner if he "could have communicated the information you wish to possess." Clay wrote to "Col. Edm. H. Taylor" who is "well informed in regard to lands and persons situated where your land lies." Col. Taylor's enclosed response [not present] indicates he is not familiar with Whittle's land and Clay suggests that Whittle "open a correspondence" with Taylor.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A.[lexander] W. Stow 1837 April 26
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay comments on Stow's health and sends wishes for "a speedy and effectual recovery." Clay then discusses the institution of slavery and says it "is an institution of which our Country would be most happily rid of, if it were practicable." "In spite of the delusions of those who are directly interested in its preservation, and of the rash and impolitic interference of those who have no direct interest and no right to interfere about it, undoubtedly it is fraught with great mischiefs to both races, to say nothing of the injustice which it inflicts upon one of them." Separation of the races, "by first Colonizing the free blacks and afterwards with the consent of the Slave States, the class of slaves," is the only practical solution. Clay then comments on the country's "Commercial embarrassment" and mentions a reduction in the price of cotton. "The measures of Government have beyond all doubt contributed largely to produce the present calamitous state of affairs."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Alexander Hamilton 1837 May 26
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #2583.
Clay thanks Hamilton for the "Caricature" that he sent. Clay will make a statement in Congress about the "present unhappy state of our Country." Mr. [Daniel] Webster and his family left Lexington yesterday after a week-long visit. Clay concludes with a postscript stating that he has "heard that suspension of Specie payments by the Banks in the West is general, without a single exception."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to R.[obert] P.[erkins] Letcher 1837 August 5
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Aug.7, overwritten as 8. #5039.
Clay declines Letcher's invitation "to take the excursion to Lancaster" since he is leaving for Washington shortly. He would like to see Letcher at Ashland to let him know "what has been done, and is doing, about bringing me out as a Candidate." Clay has "given no consent for the use of my name; and shall hesitate much before I do."
Henry Clay, S.[enate] Chamber, to W.[illiam] O. Niles 1837 September 27
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #3758.
Clay replies to Niles' note and tells him "that not one step is yet taken towards the preparation of the Speech, which I pronounced on Monday."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to M.[atthew] L. Davis 1837 October 30
ALS, 1 p. #4925.
Clay thanks Davis for his letter "communicating the arrangements which have been made, in the City of New York, for the approaching Election to the Legislature." Clay would like to know the results. He states that the "opposition in the West is firm, increasing and unconquerable" and that "Ohio has fulfilled our hopes."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Saml. I. Peters 1838 January 9
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #1754-b.
Clay states that "it is not my general habit to acknowledge Pamphlets" that are sent to him but he cannot "deny myself the pleasure of expressing my thanks" for the pamphlet by the Chamber of Commerce of New Orleans sent by Peters.
Henry Clay, Washington, to John Agg 1838 May 4
LS, 1 p.; in an unidentified hand, signed by Clay; ghost of another ALS on verso. #1754-b.
Clay thanks Agg for his note and says that he has "nothing whatever to do" with the "new paper" Agg mentions. Clay says that "our political friends" have long contemplated establishing another paper in Washington. Clay understands that "Mr. [William D.] Merrick" and "Mr. [Rice] Garland are two of the Committee charged with attending to that business."
Henry Clay, Washington, to F.[ortescue] Whittle 1838 May 15
ALS, 1 p. #7973.
Clay thanks Whittle for his friendly letters. He says that those who "like you and I, have been for a long time deploring the infatuation and delusion which have sustained, so unfortunately, Genl. Jackson in his reckless course have much reason to rejoice in the prospects of better and brighter times which are opening upon us." Clay hopes to see "our Government once more confided to honest and faithful hands" but whether he will "be called to the station or not...is a subordinate concern."
Henry Clay, Washington, to J.[ohn] M.[iddleton] Clayton 1838 June 15
ALS, 1 p.; silked. #4948.
Clay thanks Clayton for his letter and says he has "been always proud of the attachment and confidence of your noble State." Clay says that Delaware has exhibited "an encouraging moral spectacle...throughout all these times of trouble" and that the courage and constancy of Delaware is "worthy of the best days of Greece and Rome." Clay thinks that, "in regard to the next Presidency...[d]ivision is weakness, as Union is strength." He closes with a comment on the sub-treasury bill, which he hopes will be defeated.
Henry Clay, Washington, to M.E. Pointois 1838 July 2
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #3121.
Clay introduces Felix Huston, "Commander of the Texan Armies."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N.[athan] Sargent 1838 August 11
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay acknowledges Sargent's letter and says he shares the "feelings excited by the bright and encouraging prospects which have opened on our public affairs." Clay says that they "have not yet overcome all difficulties; the adversary is in possession of the field." If the elections in New York and Pennsylvania result in Whig success, Clay foresees an end "to the whole controversy." Clay is pleased with Whig successes in the Kentucky elections but is anxious about the results in Illinois and Missouri.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to C.C. Baldwin 1838 August 28
ALS, 3 pp.; negative photostat; location of original unknown. #3417-a.
Clay tells Baldwin that in regards to slavery, the tariff and internal improvement, he expressed himself "as fully and as explicitly as language can admit of during the last Session of the Senate of the U.S." Clay says that the slave states "have exclusive power" over the institution; that "Congress has no power touching the institution" and further has "no power to prevent the removal of slaves from one Slave State to another;" and, finally, that Congress cannot abolish slavery "in the D. of Columbia or in the territories, without a violation of good faith." Clay states that he supports a "bill to distribute among the States the proceeds of the public lands" for internal improvements. He supports the Bank of the United States "for the benefits of the institution," but is unconcerned about its location. Clay tells Baldwin that he cannot consent to the publication of this letter. He mentions that the voters of Kentucky have voted down a proposed convention, which was supported "principally by Van Buren men." He tells Baldwin that he is not "a friend to Slavery" and that it is "an evil." However, Clay believes "it better that Slaves should remain Slaves than be set loose as free men among us." Such Clay says was the belief of "our Revolutionary ancestors." The current defense that "Slavery is a blessing" is "espoused by the new school in South Carolina." Clay says that if this is true "the more of it the better; and it is immaterial upon that hypothesis, whether the slaves be black or white." Clay concludes that he is not a candidate for the Presidency and that to speak on the use of the veto by the President would be improper.
Henry Clay and Mackenzie Beverly, [Fredericksburg?], to John Minor 1838 November 20
L, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Fredericksburg Nov. 20. #3750.
In Beverly's hand? Beverly and Clay ask Minor to collect the "bond for my smith...take out for fees & forward the amount through the bank." Minor is then asked to provide a pass for Richard "a few days before xmas" to "come over and see if you can hire him in the next year & have his hire paid quarterly if practical." Richard might require $2.00 "to bring himself home" and Minor is asked to get the amount from Richard's employer and "see if he is well shod and clothed."
Henry Clay, Washington, to G.[eorge] W. Featherstonhaugh 1839 February 10
ALS 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf and separate address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington Feb. 11.; with typed transcription. #6004.
Clay assures Featherstonhaugh that he has not said anything to "Mr. [Louis Joseph] Papineau" about British-Canadian relations that he has not said to British officials. Clay said that the United States "would not interfere, on Canadian account, and never but as a collateral affair, when they might happen to be engaged, on their own proper account, in a contest with G. Britain." Clay says that he is eager "to cultivate & preserve the most friendly relations" with Great Britain and not to interfere in "the contest between the parent Country & the Colony."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Horace Greeley 1839 February 11
ALS, 1 p. #10751.
Clay believes that Greeley's proposed pamphlet on the public lands "will be attended with excellent effect." Clay is unable to supply the documents Greeley requested and tells him they have been published in Niles' Register.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to J.[oseph] R. Ingersoll 1839 June 24
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #3920.
Clay thanks Ingersoll for his letter and tells him it "brought me the first authentic intelligence of the Chambersburg Convention." Clay thinks that "Anti-Masonry, however right its votaries may be, can never become the basis of the politics of this whole Union." Clay expects to leave "next week on an excursion to the Lakes, the Falls of Niagara and Canada, neither of which I have yet seen." He dreads the possibility of "parade or demonstrations on my account." Clay mentions "Judge Wooley" [Aaron K. Woolley], Horace Binney, John Sergeant, and Josiah Randall.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin] W.[atkins] Leigh 1839 September 25
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #1403.
Clay thanks Leigh for his letter and encloses "two letters from Genl. Harrison" [not present]. Clay says Harrison "counts confidently upon receiving the nomination." Clay then comments extensively on election prospects in New York, Maryland, Tennessee, and Indiana. Clay says that several of the "new States have rushed prematurely and unwisely" into expensive programs of internal improvements, for which they have had to borrow funds. The Jackson party, which initially supported the programs "turns round & opposes them, and endeavors to the lay the blame at the door of the Whigs!" Clay closes by asking if any political party ever existed "which equals it in inconsistency?"
Henry Clay, Ashland, to William Tompkins 1839 October 12
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #9521.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of p. 1. Clay tells Tompkins that he received a letter from "Genl. Harrison" in response to the letter he sent "on my passage through Ohio." Harrison's letter was "written in the most friendly spirit" and stated that he "had never desired to be thrown into a competition with me, whose election he had desired." Harrison's letter "does not say, in terms, that he will abide by the nomination of the Convention, but that is to be inferred from the fervor of the letter." Clay comments on elections in New York and questions how the "Administration party" has been able to make gains. He says that "the Administration has put its hands, in its desperation, into the public treasury, and taken out hundreds of thousands of dollars to use in purposes of corruption." Clay says that he fears his prediction that "Jackson ruled by intimidation and V. Buren would by corruption" has come true. Clay comments on the "Staunton Convention" and hopes it will arouse the people of Virginia "to a due sense of the dangers which encompass them." Clay closes with comments on the elections in Tennessee and voter fraud in Alabama.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N.[athan] Sargent 1839 October 25
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Oct.26. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Sargent for "communicating the results of the Election in the City and County of Philadelphia. He comments on the elections in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts and says he is "grieved to witness the divisions among the Whigs." Clay says he would consent to have his name withheld at the "Harrisburg Convention" if doing so would increase the Whig Party's chances of success.
Henry Clay, S.[enate] Chamber, to John L. Carey 1840 January 7
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Jan.7. #3920.
Clay thanks Carey for sending a copy of the second edition of his pamphlet Some thoughts on domestic slavery. Clay is pleased that Carey also sent copies to "Mr. [Franck] Taylor," a Washington bookseller.
Henry Clay and J.J. Crittenden, Washington, to The Honble Secy of War 1840 March 25
ALS, 1 p. #2290, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay and Crittenden transmit to Joel Roberts Poinsett a letter from the Governor of Kentucky "containing evidence of the application of a quantity of arms belonging to that State to the use of the United States." Clay and Crittenden ask if the arms can be replaced "in a course of administration, without a special act of Congress."
Henry Clay, Washington, to William Coffin 1840 March 28
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Washington Mar. 28. #1754-b.
Clay thanks Coffin for sending "to Copies of my engraved likeness."
Henry Clay to Mr. Onderdonk 1840 April 29
ANS, 1 p. #1754-b.
Clay sends Onderdonk a copy of one of the speeches he requested. Clay notes that the "others are to be found in the periodicals of the day."
Henry Clay, Washington, to J.[ohn] M. Clayton [1840 May 8]
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked May 8. #2933.
Clay is "grieved" to hear of Clayton's accident and says he considers himself "the cause, although the innocent cause of it." If Clay had been well enough to visit Clayton in New Castle it "would not have happened." Clay hopes to be well enough "to make tomorrow my excursion to Philad." and will visit Clayton while there or on his return to Washington.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Danl. [Daniel] Gardner 1840 July 7
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Washington Jul.7. #2291, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay apologizes that he lacks the time to respond fully to Gardner's letter. Clay's thoughts "may be found in the Panama instructions" which were published in Niles' Register and the "State Papers of Congress."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Messrs. McNairy, Hall, Marcy?, Huston, Manlove & Norvell 1840 July 10
ALS, 1 p. #1761.
Clay thanks the men for their invitation to visit Nashville on August 17, but says that he is "worn down by the fatigues of an exhausting Session of Congress" and cannot come so soon. He suggests a later visit in either September or October.
Henry Clay, S.[enate] Chamber, to S. Lawrence 1840 July 11
ALS, 1 p. #1754-b.
Clay introduces G.W. Brown of Charleston, S.C. "who is desirous of viewing the Northern manufactories."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Charles F. Mayer 1840 December 8
ALS, 1 p. #3121.
Clay tells Mayer that he is well acquainted with "our friend D.[avid] Hoffman" but since Clay has "no expectation of being otherwise connected with the new administration than as a member of the Senate," he is unable to aid Hoffman.
Henry Clay, Washington, to J. Trotter 1841 February 8
ALS, 1 p. with attached address leaf. #2908.
Clay encloses a draft for $2575 [not present] "for collection and to be put to my account in Bank." Clay tells Trotter that before the "recent suspension, and whilst your Bank was paying Specie" he drew a check for $2000 and sent it to Kentucky. Clay hopes there will be no problem paying the check "in Greens, or lawful currency."
Henry Clay, Washington, to [unidentified recipient] 1841 March 15
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; name of recipient clipped out. #3920.
Clay thanks the recipient for the "box containing the Shirts and Stocks" and sends his thanks to "Mrs. P[ ]er?" as well. Clay will deliver the recipient's message to General Harrison when he next sees him and "would send him one of the shirts but that I know it will not fit him."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James F. Conover 1841 April 9
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf and separate address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington. #4475.
Clay says that "the distressing intelligence of the death of Genl. Harrison" has reached him and that it is "greatly to be deplored, although it does not surprize me much, from what I observed of his habits and excitement." Clay declines a suggestion to deliver a eulogy for Harrison on the grounds of the "yet feeble state of my strength." Clay is sorry that Conover was unable to obtain an appointment in Washington and says that he has "no power, not the bestowal of a single office." Clay concludes by stating that "V.P. Tyler will, I presume, not confine the patronage of the Govt. exclusively to any particular class of Whigs."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Jno. [John] L. Lawrence 1841 April 13
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Apr.15; silked. #5828-a.
Clay shares Conover's "surprize and regret" about William Henry Harrison's death. He states that he has known Vice President Tyler "long and intimately" and that he "has ability quite equal to his predecessor, is amiable, and I think honest and patriotic. His defect is want of moral firmness." Clay says that he believes the member of the Cabinet should have resigned on Harrison's death.
John Tyler, Washington, to Henry Clay 1841 April 30
ALS, 4 pp.; docketed; silked. #2362.
Tyler apologizes for not answering Clay's letter earlier. Tyler says that no one should expect him to bring before Congress "matured plans of public policy connected with deeply interesting and intricate subjects." Some issues, such as the "repeal of the subtreasury" and "the state of our military defences" require immediate attention. "It will however be for Congress to decide whether other measures shall claim its attention." Tyler says that his opinions "on the subject of a distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands" were made known three years previous in a report to the Virginia House of Delegates. He says that the "annual appropriation to harbours and rivers" is "wholly indefensible in any view in which I can regard it." In regards to "a Bank...I would not have it urgd [sic] prematurely-The public mind is still in a state of great disquietude in regard to it." He tells Clay that "Jackson tore the charter of the old Bank into tatters-and his followers will go forth as agitators and the result of thier [sic] agitations may prove dissastrous [sic]." Tyler urges Clay to attempt "to frame a Bank as to avoid all constitutional objections" and repeats that he has "no intention to submit any thing to Congress on this subject to be acted on." Tyler closes by saying his "attention is turned to the removals from office after the manner that you suggest."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to the Rev. H.[enry] R. Bascom 1841 May 10
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington May 10. #6004.
Clay says that he will "take pleasure in mentioning to some of the faculty and trustees of Transylvania Dr. [John James] Reese favorably." Clay thanks Bascom for notifying him of "the complaints which have reached you against me of neglect in my correspondence. Clay says that if a day "had 48 instead of 24 hours" it would still be too short to answer the hundreds of letters he received in Washington. He generally did not reply to letters seeking office but hopes that he did not treat any personal letters "with disrespect." Clay closes by telling Bascom of the letter he received from John Tyler; Clay hopes for Tyler's cooperation and support.
Henry Clay, S.[enate] Chamber, to O.T. Keeler 1841 July 19
ALS, 1 p. #2375.
Clay received Keeler's letter containing "a Memorial in behalf of the passage of a general bankrupt law" and has presented it to the Senate.
Henry Clay, Washington, to John R. Thompson 1841 August 14
ANS, 1 p. #5718-c.
Clay writes to Thompson, a University of Virginia student: "In answer to your enquiry about the word 'locate,' I have to say that whether it be an English word or not, I think it a very good American one."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Charles Parrow 1841 August 15
ALS, 1 p. #7661.
Clay writes concerning legislation in the current session of the United States Congress and predicts failure for the bill to establish the Bank of the United States "which is in the hands of the President, and which is believed he will veto."
Henry Clay to Col. [James Watson] Webb [1842, ca. January 26]
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #5694.
Clay writes, possibly in reply to Webb's letter of January 21, 1842, and thanks him for his suggestions. Clay says it "has not been found practicable to delay acting on the repeal of the Bankrupt law." If the repeal is defeated, it will most likely be because of a tie vote.
Henry Clay, Washington, to Col. [James Watson] Webb 1842 January 30
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #5694.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of page. Clay asks Webb or Charles King "to render me an act of justice." Henry Wise has dragged Clay's name "in the unfortunate affair of poor [Jonathan] Cilley" and has "totally misrepresented any agency of mine in it." Clay says that on the day of the duel, Charles King consulted him "as to the practicability of arresting it." Clay says that he suggested notifying the police and recommended that King go to Charles F. Mercer and Francis Scott Key for that purpose. Unfortunately, the police "mistook the road, on which the parties left the City." This is the fact that Clay wishes "to be brought out by one or both of you; and in such suitable manner as may be deemed most proper."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Col. J[ames]. W[atson]. Webb 1842 February 12
ALS, 3 pp. docketed. #5694.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of p. 1. Clay has received Webb's letter and forwarded the enclosures to the editor of the Washington Daily National Intelligencer. Clay distributed Webb's prospectuses for the New York Courier to a member of the House of Representatives who will canvas for names. Clay says that he has "not made up my mind to consent to the use of my name" as a candidate for the Presidency. The only reason that would make him consent would be "a clear manifestation that my services were desired by a majority of my Country men." Clay says there is not a single Senator "in the Whig ranks, who is not well disposed towards the Whig party, and who is not exempt from all tincture of Tylerism."
Papers regarding Henry Clay's connection with the Jonathan Cilley-William J. Graves duel of 1838. 1842
6 items. #2540.
Statement of Charles King, New York, 1842 Feb. 4 (ADS, 4 pp.)
Statement of Reverdy Johnson, Baltimore, 1842 Feb. 7 (ADS, 4 pp.; with modern transcription in unidentified hand.)
William Jordan Graves to Henry Clay, 1842 Feb. 16 (ALS, 5 pp.)
Paper wrapper with note "Original papers published in Natl. Intell. Feb 25, 1842"
"Henry Clay on dueling," (printed; reproduces text of Samuel Wood to Henry Clay, 1838 Mar. 8 and Henry Clay to Samuel Wood, 1838 Mar. 23, both re the duel.)
Printed biography of Jonathan Cilley removed from unidentified source
Henry Clay, Washington, to Jon. A. Tenney 1842 March 28
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #2180.
Clay tells Tenney that although he generally declines requests for autographs, he is making an exception because of the "friendly sentiments towards me, conveyed in you letter."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to [unidentified recipient] 1842 May 26
ALS, 1 p. #1113.
Clay responds to a request to inform the recipient when he left the United States on the mission to conclude the Treaty of Ghent.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N.[athan] Sargent 1842 May 31
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington, Jun.1. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Sargent for the "Copy of my Valedictory so handsomely printed on Satin." He asks about President Tyler and whether the relationship between him and the Whigs is improved. Clay mentions the "affair" between Edward Stanly and Henry A. Wise. He concludes by mentioning that "Mr. Van Buren" left a few days ago and Clay found him "interesting often & some times amusing." Clay mentions the reception in Lexington given to "the little magician" [i.e. Van Buren] and says he doubts "whether he has had one so imposing any where since he left home."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N.[athan. Sargent 1842 July 31
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Jul. 31. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Sargent for his recent letter and mentions John D. Langhorne. Clay says he is "glad the N.E. question is settled, altho' the terms are curious enough." He wonders what President Tyler "will do with the Tariff, and, if he veto it, what Congress will then do." Clay says Kentucky is blessed with abundant crops and he is "making extensive preparations to Water rot hemp."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Thomas W. Duffield, Jr. 1842 September 6
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Sep. 6. #6306.
Clay thanks Duffield for a copy of an address he had delivered to the literary club of Oxford, Pa. Clay suggests that the club members might usefully debate such topics as the presidential veto, free trade vs. tariff protections or the establishment of a Bank of the United States. Clay says that such debates "might be made highly instrumental in propagating truth & dispelling error."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A. M. January 1842 September 17
ALS, 1 p. #11159.
Clay will travel to Cincinnati by the Maysville route and will write January "next week informing you, if I can, who will accompany me."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Benjamin Watkins Leigh 1843 March 17
ALS, 3 pp.; postmarked Lexington Mar. 18. #1463.
Clay describes his "Southern jaunt," from which he has just returned. If he should be selected as the candidate of the Whigs for the presidency he believes the vote of Kentucky "is no more certain than that of Louisiana." Clay believes that both Mississippi and Alabama will vote Whig, though "a bitter schism exists on the bank question in Alabama, and on repudiation in Mississippi...and in both on the Presidency." Clay tells Leigh that he "heartily concurs" with the address of the Whig convention in Virginia to the people. He states that the "brief notice with which Mr. Tyler is treated in the address was wise." Clay says there is an omission in the address that he regrets; that is, "Executive power & the veto." He closes with regard to Chapman Johnson, Francis T. Brooke, Robert Stanard and Julia Wickam Leigh.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B[enjamin]. W.[atkins] Leigh 1843 June 20
ALS, 1 p.; with attached partial address leaf. #1463.
Clay states that he wrote Leigh several weeks ago in reply to Leigh's letter asking "into the origin of Mr. Wise's alienation and his present enmity" towards Clay. Since Clay has had no reply he wonders if his letter miscarried. Clay says he is "surprized and gratified" by the Virginia election results and is confident of success in Tennessee and Indiana. Clay closes with a postscript in which he states that he is "informed from N. York that some of the Intriguers of 1839 are again engaged in active machinations."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N[athan]. Sargent 1843 September 2
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Sep. 3. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Sargent for his letter and tells him to ask Mr. [Josiah] Randall to show him Clay's letter that suggests "a plan of organization." Clay is pleased with Sargent's account of prospects in Pennsylvania and says if the "Whigs and Anti Masons can carry the Legislature at the ensuing election, the whole Nation will resound with joy."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to N[athan]. Sargent 1843 September 19
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Sep. 20. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Sargent for his letter and says that he has been indisposed with "the Tyler Grippe." He is pleased with Sargent's report of Pennsylvania's prospects. Clay says that "[w]e shall think about a Com[mitt]ee" though he will be away from home from December until May.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Jno.[John] L. Lawrence 1843 October 5
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached blank leaf; with envelope, postmarked Lexington, Sep. 11. #5828.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of p. 1. Clay thanks Lawrence for his letter. He says that he cannot speak in favor of Daniel Webster as candidate for Vice President. Clay says that before Webster "could be properly even considered, he ought to give some public and unequivocal testimony of adherence to the Whig cause." Clay says that "under no circumstances, in my opinion, ought Mr. Webster's name to be used as a Candidate for the V.P." Clay concludes by stating that the "treachery of Mr. Tyler ought to inspire the greatest caution with the Whig party."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Thomas H. Baird 1843 November 1
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached partial blank leaf. #6236.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand at top of p. 1. Clay says that if he did not know of Baird's "fidelity and attachment" he would have been "mortified" at Baird's recent letter. Clay is surprised that "any doubt should be entertained of my devotion to the policy of cherishing our manufactures, or that any impression should be made upon a friend by a perversion of my meaning, by an enemy...." Clay then presents a lengthy explanation of his stand on revenue, tariff and the government's debt. He concludes by saying that he would have to "pile letter upon letter until they reached a Mountain height, if I were to write to correct every perversion of my meaning and misrepresentation of me that are made."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A[aron]. B[alderston]. Quimby 1843 November 8
ALS, 1 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Nov. 9. #2338.
Clay thanks Quimby for his letter and the copy of his letter to Mr. Clayton [not present]. Clay does not think it wise to attack the "two gentlemen mentioned in your letter" since it is not necessary to the success of the Whig cause.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to "Gentlemen" 1843 December 12
ALS, 1 pp.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Dec. 13. #3920.
Clay is honored by the invitation to visit Wilmington, N.C. He hopes he will be able to visit en route to Raleigh, N.C. but "[d]istance of time and place prevents a positive decision at present." A list of twelve names (Alex. Anderson, Edwd. B. Dudley, Thomas F. Davis, Alex. Macrae, W.C. Lord, John Potts Brown, A.J. De Rosset, James F. McKee, P.K. Dickinson, James S. Green, John McKae and Wm. A Wright) in an unidentified hand follows Clay's signature.
Legal brief in the case of Joseph Ray 
AD, 7 pp. on 2 sheets, in Clay's hand. #2467, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay's brief for the suit of Joseph Ray, consul at Pernambuco, Brazil, 1816-1817, against the Brazilian government, mentions John C. Calhoun and Henry A. Wise.
Henry Clay, Macon, [Ga.], to "Gentlemen" 1844 March 17
ALS, 3 pp.; with attached address leaf. #1649, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay replies to members of the National Clay Club. He states that it "is to be inferred from your letter" that there are "differences among my Philadelphia friends" and urges them to "unite in a spirit of mutual concession and conciliation, as a band of brothers in the great struggle which is before us."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Henry White 1844 June 15
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington Jun.15. #5718-e.
Clay thanks White for his letter and says he is "rejoiced to hear that the merchants of Phila. are animated by such liberal and patriotic zeal. Clay says that regardless of what "we may think of the nominations of our opponents, it is always wisest, in politics as well as War, Never to despise an enemy but to go to work as if Napoleon or Wellington were in the field. If we act in that way, and according to that maxim, we shall drive our opponent out of the Union to find refuge in Texas." Clay closes by saying he will be happy to serve White "with the Planter of Louisiana."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B.[enjamin]. W[atkins]. Leigh 1844 July 3
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; docketed. #1403.
"Private" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay encloses copies [not present] of his "famous letters to Mr. [Francis P.] Blair" and says that he does not object to Leigh's "shewing them to any person you please." Clay does not want them published without his consent. He says that he is "a little ashamed of ever having been on terms of such intimacy with so great a scoundrel as I now believe Blair to be." Clay closes by saying he is "now considering whether I shall not attack the Jackson party."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Dr. Conway D. Whittle 1844 July 8
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #7973.
Clay says "military land in Missouri is liable to forfeiture for the non payment of taxes." Clay suggests that White's "immediate attention to the subject is advisable if you have any military lands in Missouri."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to B[enjamin]. W[atkins]. Leigh 1844 July 20
ALS, 2 pp.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #1403.
Clay is "vexed with applications, chiefly from Virginia" to allow the publication of his Francis P. Blair letters. Clay has no objection "to any gentleman of either party reading the letters" but has not yet decided to publish the letters. He has two objections, "one of which is the violation of the confidence due to private correspondence, and the other is the allusion to an infirmity of Mr. [John Quincy] Adams." Clay has not "received all the proof I expect to establish 'bargain intrigue & corruption,' upon [Andrew] Jackson and his friends. He closes with comments on the political situation in Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Geo[rge]. M. Davis 1844 August 31
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Sep. 2. #2802, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
"Private" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay is somewhat disappointed in the election results in Illinois. He declines to make a public statement "on the subjects of the Naturalization Laws and the Native American party." He sends Davis an issue of the Lexington Reporter [not present] "which comprehends abundant matter defending me against the charge of liberality to foreigners."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Henry White 1844 September 19
ALS, 1 p.; with address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington Sep. 20. #1649.
Clay thanks White for his letter and hopes that the success of the "Commercial Committee" will "correspond with its good intentions." Clay says "our intelligence concerning" the 1844 gubernatorial election in Pennsylvania "is somewhat conflicting." He mentions the Whig committee in Washington organized by Garrett Davis and Willis Green. Clay closes by saying he will be happy to serve White's "house with the sugar planters in Louisiana" if he is able.
A. Webster, Secretary of the Clay Club of Plainfield, to the President of the Clay and Frelinghuysen Club of New Brunswick 1844 September 23
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l.; docketed; postmarked Sep. 24 Plainfield N.J; on blue paper illustrated with portraits of Clay and Frelinghuysen, with the caption "Huzza! Huzza! the Country's risin.'" #3417-b.
Webster writes concerning the organization of a mammoth mass meeting to be held on September 26 in support of Clay's candidacy.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Benjamin Watkins Leigh 1844 September 30
LS, 3 pp. on 1 l.; docketed; Barrow. #1403.
Clay has been "much urged by Mr. [John] Pleasants and other friends in Virginia, to allow the publication of my [Francis P.] Blair letters." Clay says his "opinion from the first has been, that their publication, so far from injury would benefit me in respect to the charge of bargain." If Leigh and others in Virginia think publication will help, Clay has no objections. He asks that if the letters are published "it would perhaps be best to say, that it was done by friends of Mr. Clay upon their own responsibility...Credit should be claimed for me, which I think I deserve for abstaining from the publication on account of the private playful and familiar character of the letters, although the evidence which they contain in regard to the public charge, is really beneficial to me." Clay discusses the public accessibility of the letters over the years and states that the contents do not differ substantially from his letter to his constituents in March 1824. Clay closes by stating that this letter "has been written by an amanuensis upon my dictation, although I am happy to tell you, that my health is now excellent and never was better."
Campaign ribbon for the Clay-Frelinghuysen campaign [ca. 1844]
ca. 23 x 7 cm. #3417-b.
Silk[?] ribbon, with portrait of Clay and text: Henry Clay / The people's choice / The pride of America / Freylinghuysen
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Joseph Story 1845 February 9
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; docketed. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay states that he is not surprised that Story is considering stepping down from the Supreme Court. Clay says that Story's "friends would rejoice if you could reconcile it to your feelings to continue; but most certainly, after what you have said to me, the question should be left to your exclusive judgment."
Henry Clay, Ashland to Peter Cromwell, Fishkill Landing, N.Y. 1845 February 17
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Feb. 16. #3121.
"Private" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay thanks Cromwell for his letter and the "friendly sentiments" it contained about the "late Presidential election." Clay says he entertains "many serious apprehensions" about the future and hopes that the American people "will perceive impending dangers and guard against them."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Mr. [Henry L.] Ellsworth 1845 March 24
ALS, 1 p. #3417-b.
Clay encloses a letter [not present] from "two of the most enterprising and reputable citizens of Louisville" concerning an experiment to produce "an efficient Hempbrake."
Henry Clay, Ashland to John L. Lawrence, New York 1845 April 30
LS, 3 pp. on 1 l.; with cover. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
"Private" above salutation. Clay thanks Lawrence for his recent letter and mentions that he has received a Baltimore newspaper "containing what occurred in the British House of Commons on the Oregon subject." Clay has long believed that difficulties "would arise out of the headlong course of our Government in respect to Oregon, at the very moment when a negotiation is in progress with Great Britain." Clay believes it "premature" to settle the Pacific coast and maintain defences "at a time when we have quite enough to defend the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulph of Mexico." Clay says that he is apprehensive "that we are shortly to have war with both England and Mexico. The party in power has not the moral courage to do right." Clay fears that Great Britain will, because of the annexation of Texas, see "dangers to all her American possessions ahead" and possibly craft an alliance with Mexico. Such an alliance would be "capable of inflicting much mischief, especially on the Pacific." Clay believes "that there is a strong possibility of war." He asks Lawrence to send him a full report of Lord Russell's speech if possible. Clay closes with a postscript stating, "I have dictated the above to an amanuensis."
Henry Clay and James B. Clay to Thomas Grubbs 1845 August 1
ADS, 1 p. #4925.
Promissory note for $350 at 6% interest.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to [Henry] C. [Westervelt] 1845 September 20
ALS, 1 p.; with address cut from leaf or cover; docketed; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Sep. 21. #3193.
Clay thanks Westervelt for his letter "communicating the desire of Mr. [William] Fischerman to make and present me a pair of boots, and for that purpose, to obtain from me an old boot or some other adequate measure of the leg and foot which he kindly desires to cover." Clay fears that the old boot, "if I were to send one, might never reach its destination. It would be an inconvenient customer to the P.[ost] Office department...and if sent through any other, it might, by mistake, get upon some other leg & foot, and lead its strange companion a dance." Clay encloses [not present] a "paper measure of my leg and foot, taken by a plain but worthy boot and shoemaker in Lexn." who is, like Mr./ Fischerman "a foreigner" and "a good whig." A note below Clay's signature in an unidentified hand states "The boots were made in an elegent [sic] & comfortable manner under my superintedance [sic], with the hair (undressed inside) and were as a beautiful a specimen of the Mechanic art as I remember to have seen. Mr. Clay recd them & expressed his kind acknowledgements to Mr. Fisherman [sic] personally."
Henry Clay to Benjamin Belch 1845 November 20
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Nov. 21. #2180.
Clay received Balch's letter "transmitting a plan of the National Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts." He appreciates the offer to be appointed president, but cannot "reconcile it to my sense of propriety to accept the appointment."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Messrs. David S. Brown, Henry White, A.I. Lewis, William Reynolds, Ch. Gibbons, Charles W. Churchman, and John E. Kean 1845 December 16
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l.; with attached blank leaf; Barrow. #1649, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks the subscribers for the presentation by White of a letter and book "entitled, 'A testimonial of gratitude and affection to Henry Clay.'" He says that it is impossible "to find language of sufficient force and strength to express to you the emotions of gratitude and thankfulness excited in my breast by this precious and affecting testimonial." He is "also charged by Mrs. Clay" to present her thanks "to the Ladies and Gentlemen who have had the goodness to send her a Casket of rich jewels." He closes with warm thanks and acknowledgement to White for "performing a long journey, at a most inclement season, to fulfill the commission entrusted to him."
Certificate of Membership in the American Colonization Society 1846 March 16
DS, 1 p.; signed by Henry Clay. #5718.
Printed certificate, for Mrs. Emmeline Rockwell.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Nathan Sargent, 1846 April 28
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l.; with detached address leaf; docketed; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Apr. 28. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay has returned to Ashland after an absence of four months and found Sargent's letter of March 13. He comments on the divisions in Congress and says that if Congress should "finally disagree, and leave the Oregon question where it has been so many years, I for one shall not regard it as National misfortune." Clay says he has not been "and am not now, without fears for the peace of the Country." He closes by stating that "it would be altogether premature, and highly indiscreet and impolitic for the Whig party to make any movement whatever, in favor of any body, in respect to the next Presidential election."
Henry Clay to Mr. and Mrs. Maury 1846 May
ANS, 1 p.; photocopy, location of original unknown. #931.
"With the best wishes for Mrs. Maury and the warmest regards for Mr. W. Maury"
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John Wood, Jr., Hardins Tavern, Albemarle County, Va. 1846 September 10Physical Location: Oversize.
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Sep. 10. #10433.
Clay writes that he received Wood's friendly letter and assures him that he "never supposed that the act of wantonness, to which I called your attention, was performed by any respectable person of your community." Because of his high regard for the community, Clay "thought it due to it to transmit to you the means of discovering and exposing the guilty individual." Clay closes with warm thanks for Wood's friendship.
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Dr. Geo[rge] McClellan 1846 September 24
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l. #1754-b.
Clay has received McClellan's letter "communicating the death of my Grandson Martin Duralde." Clay thanks McClellan for his attentions and asks him to have his grandson's body buried "in a private and decent manner, marking the spot of the interment, so that it may be known." He asks for Duralde's "cloathes, watch, papers and other effects" to be packed and shipped to him. Clay closes saying "ruthless death, has deprived me of Six affectionate daughters, all that I ever had, and has now commenced his work of destruction, with my descendents, in the second generation."
Henry Clay to Arthur Wells 1846 November 17
LS, 1 p. #5718-c.
In unidentified hand. Clay sends "congratulations on the recent triumph of the Whigs and it adds to my pleasure that their success has been achieved on great and vital principles of policy." He hopes that if "the Whigs are hereafter wise...there is much reason to hope that the administration of our General Government may be again brought back to a just comprehension and a faithful support of sound principles of National policy."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Geo[rge] Stone 1847 May 15
ALS, 1 p. #2575.
Clay thanks Stone for his "friendly letter of condolence, on the occasion of the death of my beloved son, at the battle of Buena Vista." He hopes that God will help him "ultimately to bear, with becoming resignation, the infliction which His providence has permitted."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to W.R. Prince 1847 May 28
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #1665.
Clay thanks Prince for his offer to "send me next fall any tree or plant which I might select from you rich and ample collection." Clay has "as many rare shrubs plants and trees as I care about" but would be grateful if Prince would send "a half dozen choice Firs."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Richard Henry Wilde 1847 June 21
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l. #2290, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay discusses financial matters and a case to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Henry Clay to J.D.G. Quirk 1847 July 16
ALS, 1 p.; photocopy; location of original unknown.
Clay thanks Quirk for sending the "locket and breastpin" containing locks of Clay's son's hair. Clay says these items will be "more highly prized by us 'than rubies and diamonds.'" Clay also thanks Quirk for procuring the "splendid Coffin."
Henry Clay, W. Sulphur S., to P.[hilip] R. Fendall, 1847 July 30
ALS, 1 p. #2180.
Clay regrets he was unable to see Fendall "after you were so kind as to proceed to Balto. to meet me." He asks Fendall to thank Joseph Gales for his invitation, but will be unable to accept since it is "not a part of my arrangements to pass by the metropolis."
Henry Clay, White S. Springs 1847 July 30
ANS, 1 p. #38-115.
Clay responds to the request for an autograph from the unidentified daughter of "an admirer."
Henry Clay, Cape May, to Messrs. Carter, Hargrave, Cochran, Magruder, Watson, Southall and Timberlake 1847 August 17
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf and separate letter cover postmarked Philadelphia, Aug. 19. #5711.
Clay thanks the representatives of the "Commte. of Citizens of Albemarle" for their invitation to visit Charlottesville. Clay regrets that he could not attend but his travel arrangements were already fixed. The object of the "journey, moreover, was to escape from daily scenes, which constantly reminded me of a heavy domestic affliction." He closes with warm regards and thanks for their "generous sympathy."
Henry Clay, Cape May, to John L. Lawrence 1847 August 21
ALS, 1 p. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Lawrence for "tendering the hospitality of your roof, of which I should have been very happy to avail myself, if I had visited N.Y."
Henry Clay, Cape Island, to Messrs. Henry White and A.I. Lewis 1847 August 21
ALS, 1 p. #1649, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks White and Lewis for their invitation "to partake of a public dinner" in Philadelphia on his journey to the east coast. He declines the invitation since "it would be entirely incompatible with the state of my feelings."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to R.P. Letcher 1847 December 22
ALS, 1 p. #2933-a.
Clay asks if Letcher will be going to Washington as Clay is "called there by business."
Henry Clay to Harriette McIlhaney 1848 February 22
AN, 1 p.; with portion of cover laid down. #5806.
Clay sends [a lock of his hair?] [not present] and thanks Miss McIhaney for the gift for Mrs. Clay.
Henry Clay to William F. Wickham 1848 February 22
Clay declines an invitation to visit.
Henry Clay to W.[illiam] E.[rigena] Robinson 1848 March 4
ALS, 1 p.; with attached address leaf. #1754-b.
Clay encloses the autographs he promised [not present]. He has not seen the issue of Philadelphia Daily News mentioned by Robinson. Clay will leave for New York "Tuesday next" and shudders "in contemplation at the scenes which I shall have to pass."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A.D. Haslett 1848 April 14
ALS, 1 p. #6004.
Clay sends the requested lock of hair [not present] and regrets that "it is not something more worthy of your acceptance."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to John L. Lawrence 1848 June 16
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l.; with envelope; postmarked Lexington, Ky. Jun 17. #5828, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
"Private" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay states that the "action of the Whig Convention did not take me altogether by surprize, although I was greatly surprized at some of the incidents attending it." He mentions his astonishment "at the course of the Ohio delegation." He says it is his "inclination, and perhaps my duty, quietly to submit to the decision of the Convention, so far as I am personally concerned . Beyond that I feel under no obligation to go." Clay says that Zachary Taylor would not have withdrawn his name were Clay nominated. Clay says "Genl. Taylor professes to be a Whig in name, but disclaims all obligations to carry our Whig principles and measures. In that respect his case differs entirely from that of Genl [William Henry] Harrison." Clay has no advice to offer his friends. He desires "all the information I can get about the Convention, its secret movements and springs." Clay closes with warm regards and mentions Abraham R. Lawrence and Charles S. Morehead.
George Benskin Poindexter to the Proprietors of the Richmond Whig 1848 June 25
ADLS, 2 pp. on 1 l. with attached address leaf. #2784-h.
Poindexter submits an article praising Henry Clay for publication in the Whig.
Henry Clay, New Orleans, to A. [Pierse] 1849 February 16
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf; Barrow; large section torn from upper center, affecting first five lines of text. #991, Tracy W. McGregor Library.
Clay thanks Pierse for his recent letters and sympathizes with the illness that kept Pierse from attending the Whig convention in Philadelphia. Clay says that the "President elect will not find himself at Washington on a bed of roses." The most important issue is the "Free soil question" which, if it should "remain unadjusted during his administration, I fear it will widen the existing breach between the South and North." Clay says that he is not surprised that Pierse wishes to go to California. "To those whose age and condition in life admit of their going there, the Country offers great inducements and attractions." Clay does not know if a governor will be appointed for California and is "unwilling to make any recommendation for that office."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to Thomas B. Stevenson 1849 June 30
ALS, 2 pp.; photocopy, location of original unknown. #2222.
Clay thanks Stevenson for his letters and sends condolences on the death of Dr. Ennis Combs. He says that as far as he remembers, Thomas Hart Benton "was pleased with and approved all that was done to admit Missouri into the Union. And if he ever reproached me with my agency in the matter, I have forgotten it." Clay says he would "deplore the event of the Administration being thrown into the minority in the H. of R. It would be bad for them, bad for the Whig party and bad for the Country." He is apprehensive that Kentucky will not elect additional Whigs in the next election. Clay comments on the political situation in Ohio and says that Pierse's "conjectures are correct in regard to the President's feelings towards me." Clay closes by saying the cholera "still lingers with us" but he has "lost no one."
Henry Clay, Newport, to James V. Earle 1849 August 21
ALS, 1 p. #1754-b.
Clay replies to Earle and says he has "no expectation of being in Boston prior to my return home."
Henry Clay to Miss Jewell 1849 December 22
ALS, 1 p. #5601.
Clay replies to a request for an autograph.
Henry Clay, Washington to Conway D. Whittle, Union Level Post Office, Va 1850 January 31
ALS, 1 p.; with enclosure AD, 1 p., n.d.; with envelope, postmarked Washington, D.C. Feb. 1. #7973.
Clay encloses a draft of petition requested by Whittle. He apologizes that his "engagements will not allow" him "to attend to it ought to be" and suggests "any of the Virginia members in either house will do so with pleasure." The pension concerns a pension owed to [Whittle's father?].
Henry Clay, Washington, to J. Morrison Harris 1850 May 18
ALS, 1 p. #1754-b.
Clay thanks Harris for his letter informing Clay of his unanimous appointment as an honorary member of the Maryland Historical Society.
Henry Clay to, Washington, [Francis T.] Brooke 1850 June 11
ALS, 1 p. #6273.
Clay thanks Brooke for his invitation to visit St. Julien (near Fredericksburg, Va.) but "cannot now abandon my post, we are in the midst of the Slavery contest, and I can get no discharge until is has terminated."
Henry Clay, Newport, to Mr. [Daniel] Webster 1850 August 22
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l.; docketed. #2933.
Clay has received a letter from Millard Fillmore "in which he kindly expressed his willingness, that my son James [Brown Clay] might give the finishing stroke to the negotiation which he had conducted at Lisbon, by concluding a suitable convention, and that you had concurred in that arrangement." Clay says that his son left Lisbon on July 18 and encloses a letter from him dated July 17 [not present] that gives his itinerary. Clay says he does not know if his son "would like to return to Lisbon, which would be somewhat awkward, as under his instructions, he has closed his mission there, and new Credentials might be necessary." Clay says that he will "be entirely content with any decision you make." He closes by saying he has enclosed a letter from his son [not present] to show "what serious consequences sometimes result from the free conversations between Members of Congress, and foreign members."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A.[lexander] H.H. Stuart 1850 November 7
ALS, 2 pp. on 1 l. #345.
"Confidential" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay thanks Stuart for his recent letter. He says the information he had received that Attorney General John J. Crittenden had "prevented the appointment" of William H. Russell "to an Indian Agency" was from Dr. William M. Gwin. Clay says if there are "well founded objections to Col. Russells appointment" he does not wish it to be made. Clay is pleased with the appointment of [James S.?] Crutchfield. Clay suggests that Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Corwin "make full enquiries" about William L. Hodge in New Orleans and Philadelphia before appointing him as Assistant. Clay says Hodge is "in bad odor" in both cities "and his appointment will prejudice the Administration in both those Cities."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to A.[lexander] H.H. Stuart 1850 November 18
ALS, 1 p.; with attached blank leaf. #345.
"Private" in Clay's hand above salutation. Clay sends a letter from Senator George W. Jones of Iowa [not present] concerning the appointment of a post master and says "[a]lthough he is a democrat, I have a great respect and regard for him and entertain great confidence in him." Clay is sorry the William Gilliam "was not appointed to the land office in Iowa City owing, as I understood, to the interference of Mr. [Fitz Henry] Warren."
Henry Clay to A.H.H. Stuart [1850 November 19?]
ALS, 1 p.; with envelope; postmarked Lexington, Ky., Nov. 19. #345.
Clay recommends William Gilliam "for the office of the Register of the Land Office at Iowa City."
Henry Clay, Washington, to Editors of the New Yorker 1850 December 17
ALS, 1 p. #1754-b.
Clay thanks the editors for the newspapers he has received from them, but regrets he cannot subscribe, his "object being, rather to lessen than increase the number of papers that I now take."
Henry Clay, Ashland, to James S. Whitney 1851 April 23
ALS, 1 p. #3920.
Clay thanks Whitney for his election as an honorary member of the Jefferson Literary and Historical Society of Philadelphia.
Henry Clay, Washington, to [John M. Clay] 1852 April 30
AL (copy), 1 p.; transcription by M.W. Anderson; location of original unknown. #3417-b.
Clay sends a bill of sale [not present] for a slave, Bill Burton. He tells his son he is entitled to half the $1500 held by Wright & Price.
Invitation of the Clayonian Literary Society of Newark, New Jersey, for the 89th anniversary of the birth of Clay 1866 April 12
D, 1 p., addressed to W.M. Force, Esq. #3417-b.
M.W. Anderson, Lexington, Kentucky, to W.S. Hunt 1934 September 24
ALS, 1 p. #3417-b.
Concerning the purchase of a letter by Henry Clay, 1852 April 30; see transcription above.
Fragment of a Pro-Whig drama concerning the election of 1836 n.d.
AMs,  pp.; pp. 7-22, 35-50, 61-61 present. #3417-b.
Henry Clay to William C. Johnson Monday morning
ALS, 1 p. with address leaf; docketed. #5718-c.
Clay says that he kept the letter requested by Johnson "several weeks in my pocket" intending to return it. He is now unable to find the letter and fears he might have "unintentionally destroyed it."
"Lines on hearing a speech from Henry Clay," by Ann Sophia Stephens n.d.
AMsS, 1 p.; photocopy; original in Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature. #8532-b.
ANS, 1 p. #8641-d.
"I am with great respect, your obt. Serv."