Interim Content

Clay, Henry


12 Apr. 1777–29 June 1852. Lawyer, public speaker, professor, statesman, politician. Born in Hanover Co., Virginia. Son of John Clay and Elizabeth Hudson. Episcopalian. Admitted to Virginia bar, Nov. 1797. Moved to Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky, Nov. 1797. Married Lucretia Hart, 11 Apr. 1799, in Lexington. Elected Kentucky state representative, 1803–1809. Served as professor of law at Transylvania University in Lexington, beginning 1805, and appointed trustee of university, 1818. Served as U.S. representative from Kentucky, 1811–1821, 1823–1825; as U.S. senator, 1806–1807, 1810–1811, 1832–1842; and as U.S. Secretary of State, 1825–1829. Ran for U.S. president, 1824, 1832, and 1844. Died in Washington DC.


Photograph by Matthew B. Brady. (Courtesy Library of Congress.)

Henry Clay Photograph by Matthew B. Brady. (Courtesy Library of Congress.)