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Henry Clay papers, 1801-1843

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Henry Clay papers




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Henry Clay papers, 1801-1843, 1M46M95, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


74 pieces.


Congressman, politician, senator. Born in Virginia, Clay studied law there and moved to Lexington, Ky. in 1797, where he became a prominent spokesman for the West. He was a member (1803-1806) and Speaker (1807-1810) of the Kentucky legislature and represented Kentucky as a United States Senator (1806-1807, 1810-1811, 1831-1842, and 1849-1852) and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1811-1814, 1815-1821, and 1823-1824). During all but one of his years of service in the House of Representatives, he served as Speaker. Clay also became John Quincy Adams' Secretary of State (1825-1829) after an unsuccessful campaign for the Presidency (1824) as the Whig Party candidate. His efforts to avoid dissolution of the Union over the slavery issue included the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850.

Scope and Content

This collection consists mainly of letters from Henry Clay to Francis Taliaferro Brooke, a prominent political figure and Virginia Supreme Court judge from Fredericksburg, Va. With the exception of a court decree and report and an 1838 print of a Clay portrait, the majority of the collection is comprised of the correspondence with Brooke dealing mainly with political affairs.


  • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.
  • Brooke, Francis Taliaferro, 1763-1851.
  • Political letter writing.
  • Politicians.
  • United States--Politics and government.
  • Kentucky--History.
  • Correspondence.
  • Photoprints.
  • Legislators.