Finding aid prepared by Described by Lindsey Apple, arranged by Ida Sell
James Clay family papers
University of Kentucky Special Collections
Collection is arranged by format.
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
2010MS041: [identification of item], James Clay family papers, 1770-2006, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
16.42 Cubic feet
67 boxes, 1 item
The James Brown Clay family papers contain correspondence, letters, clippings, certificates, legal documents, manuscripts, ephemera and photographs of family relations and business. James Brown Clay (181-1864) was a Democratic Party member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky. He and his wife, Susan Marie Jacob, had ten children and lived at the Ashland Estate in Lexington, Kentucky. Their son, Charles Donald Clay was a career soldier and his descendents also served in the United States military.
James Brown Clay Sr., born 1817, was the tenth of Henry and Lucretia Clay’s eleven children. James was a farmer, businessman, lawyer, and politician. He purchased Ashland from his mother, the Lexington, Kentucky home built by Henry Clay. In 1843, James B. Clay married Susan Maria Jacob, sister of a three-time mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, Charles Donald Jacob. The couple eventually had ten children. He was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth United States Congress (March 4, 1857–March 3, 1859). Supporting the Confederacy, he chose exile in Canada but died of tuberculosis before the end of the war in 1864. His wife and descendants lived in central Kentucky.
Members of the James Clay family as well as other relevant people include:
Thomas Prather Jacob (1827-1889), brother-in-law of James Clay. Susan Maria Jacob Clay (1823-1905), wife of James Clay.
Lucy Jacob Clay (1844-1863), daughter of James Clay. James Clay, Jr. (1846-1906), son of James Clay. Harry Independence Clay (1849-1884), son of James Clay. Lucretia Teetee Clay (1851-1923), daughter of James Clay. Thomas Clay (1853-1939), son of James Clay. Charles Donald Clay (1857-1935), son of James Clay. George Clay (1858-1934), son of James Clay.
Mariah Pepper Clay (1861-1939), wife of Charles D. Clay. Susan Clay Sawitzky (1897-1981), daughter of Charles Donald Clay. William Sawitzky (1879-1947), husband of Susan Clay Sawitzky. Charles D. Clay, Jr. (1899-1922), son of Charles D. Clay. Expelled from West Point. Committed suicide or was murdered at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Robert Pepper Clay (1903-1977), son of Charles D. Clay. Maria Martindale Clay (1903-1997), wife of Robert Pepper Clay. Elizabeth Clay Blanford (1904-1999), daughter of Charles D. Clay.
Boyajian family: Lucy Starling Clay, daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Robert P. Clay, married Ned Boyajian in 1963 and they had two sons, Ned and Robert. Elizabeth Prudence Pinnie Pepper, mother of Mariah Clay. Henry Howgate (1834-1901), Arctic expedition leader. Lucy Scott, woman courted by Charles D. Clay. Geoge Nicholas (1754-1799), Henry Clay's law partner.
The James Clay family papers comprise correspondence, letters, clippings, certificates, legal documents, manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs, which document over two centuries of family history (dated 1770-2006; 16.42 cubic feet; 67 boxes, 1 item). The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between family members. The primary topics discussed in the correspondence concern the relations and friends of the James Clay family, the majority of whom lived in Fayette County, Kentucky, during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Of particular interest is the correspondence of Charles D. Clay, Robert P. Clay, and Thomas Jacob Clay, who were all career soldiers and wrote to the family during various military campaigns. They served in the Spanish American War, the Geronimo Campaign, the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War. Included in the correspondence are two letters from Henry Clay to his son, James B. Clay. One item of note is receipt for Porter Clay who trades a debt of $50 to John Clay for his right to a negro girl named Lucy to Henry Clay (Box 26, Folder 29). Also notable is correspondence and notes created by Harry Independence Clay, who was involved in the United States expeditions to the Arctic during the 1880s. A large part of the collection comprises research notes, articles, essays about American art and poetry by Susan Clay Sawitzky and William Sawitzky. Additionally, the collection includes poetry manuscripts written by Susan Clay Sawitzky. Legal papers created by the law office of George Nicholas, a law partner of Henry Clay, are included in the collection. The hundreds of photographs are primarily family portraits and of Sawitzky European vacations. Significant persons represented in the correspondence include Confederate General Basil Duke, journalist Desha Breckinridge, and Artic explorer Henry Howgate. Also in the collection is a photo of the officers who captured Geronimo in 1866, including Lt. Leonoard Wood, Capt. Henry Wars Lawton, and Lt. Thomas J. Clay (Box 22, Folder 1).
The bulk of the General and single letter series consists of newspaper clippings and printed material from the eighteenth through late twentieth centuries. Additionally, the series includes genealogical information, ephemera, drawings, letters, bank notes, and legal documents. For some of the material the provenance is unknown. Some items such as Charles D. Clay, Jr.'s drawing (Box 25, Folder 6) and schoolwork (Box 26, Folder 70) did not constitute enough material for a separate series. Many of the letters are connected in some way to the James B. Clay family, but do not fall into any other series in the papers, such as a letter written to New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace (Box 25, Folder 30) and a letter to J.C.S. Blackburn (Box 25, Folder 31). Finally, the series contains a small amount of Henry Clay material, original and photocopied items, including a financial note (Box 26, Folder 22) and a bill of sale from Porter Clay to Henry Clay concerning interest in a slave girl (Box 26, Folder 29).
Mme. Vacher Letourueur
A pastel drawing of a man.
Two newspaper clippings dealing with the Clay ancestry. One clipping is a fragment of George Clay’s response to a Lexington Herald news column concerning a donation for the war effort.
Notes are in Susan’s handwriting. Culpepper family.
Charley designed a tank, or motorized armored vehicle years before World War I.
Letter allegedly written by Porter Clay about the Clay Family.
Mentions obituary of George Clay, Thomas J. Clay, wedding of Thomas Hart Clay, William Sawitzky
Subjects include wounding of Charles D. Clay in the Philippines; deaths of Lucretia Teetee Clay and Charles Clay; pictures of Ashland and Pepper home in Frankfort, KY; pamphlet on Duncan Tavern, Paris, KY.
Will (copy) of Henry Clay’s maternal grandfather.
Henry Clay sent son Theodore to Missouri to evaluate the lands owned there by Morrison. Notes: land 8 miles north of St. Louis on Mississippi River; land 12 miles east of St Charles on Missouri River; land in counties of St. Charles and Pike. He sold lots at Cape Girardeau per instructions of the executor who was Henry Clay.
Healey was sent by the King of France to take portraits of some American citizens. Healey presented a copy of the one of Clay to Mrs. Clay.
One of Charles’s brothers asks that Harlan intervene with his brother, Justice Harlan, asking him to use influence with the President to gain an appointment as an army second lieutenant for Charles D. Clay. (Handwriting would suggest that the author is George or James Jr.)
Playbill for event at Fort Custer, Montana. Note on back.
Three copies of surveyor’s report on a piece of land about four miles south west of Lexington on the south side of the Versailles Turnpike. It sounds like the farm that Charles and Ria buy later with a part of her inheritance.
Supreme Court of Missouri. Mary W. Anderson was a daughter of Eugene Erwin and a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay. The legal case was over undue influence she may have had on her husband’s last will brought by children from an earlier marriage.
Supreme Court of Missouri. A second suit dealing with the will of William Anderson. Mary Webster Anderson was a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay.
Address is to Newtown Scott County. Ria Clay’s sister married a Clay Hatchell and lived around Newtown. Little boys would be Charley and Bob.
Thanks the recipient (probably Charles or Thomas from contents of letter) for an invitation to come to Lexington. He mentions an invitation from your mother and brother Jim. He cannot come because of a previously planned trip.
A letter of introduction. Clay is thinking about Santa Fe as a home. He is involved in the wool industry at the time. Meriwether introduces him as a grandson of the statesman Henry Clay who is worthy of the name.
R. H. Ogburn; firm holds bag of gold worth $1018.33.
Interesting letter from the mistress of the private school attended by Clay children. Col. Clay wants the boys trained for West Point. The key lesson is in discipline, she says, and Charley has been showing a lack of it in ill-prepared lessons. She has rebuked him and his honor has been challenged.
Hopkins delivered an address at Ashland as a part of a program presented by the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation and the University of Kentucky.
Note about a visit from Henry Clay to Philadelphia.
Adamson is trying to contact Bill Blanford, a cousin to his mother, about family genealogy.
Writing for Bill Blanford, Tressilian explains her role and the present condition of Bill and Elizabeth. Some family genealogy.
Account of the death of an arctic explorer.
Forty shilling Caroll Currency note; Four dollar continental currency; and Carolina currency 6 and 4 dollar notes. Pasted to a backing.
According to the note, she was born 1790, died 1878. She would be an ancestor of Maria Hensley Pepper (Mrs. Charles D.) Clay.
Undated clipping about a visit to Ashland and Balgowan. The article mentions Dr. Tom Bullock (Nettie McDowell’s husband), Tom and George Clay, and Col. Milton Young. The article also talks about libraries and artifacts relating to Henry Clay.
Corrections of stories about Henry Clay, specifically the payment of a $25,000 debt owed by Clay and paid by New Orleans Merchants. Writing style and glorification of Clay is similar to that of Lucretia Hart Teetee Clay, a great-granddaughter.
Labach did a title search after the Lexington Herald called the property the John Clay house. In fact, it was the house constructed by Charles D. Clay in 1903.
Recounts broken love affair of Hart with a young woman in Lexington. If it had been consummated, he would never have gone to Italy and thus become a significant sculptor.
Photocopy. Winn gives an update on his sale of Hart’s land and his attempts to sell other parcels. Noted that he had trouble with the cattle and was willing to reimburse Hart for them.
A brochure about Ashland. It lists the board members and also the artifacts that decorate each room.
This is the article referred to in P roperty search, 3330 Versailles Road. in which the house was said to have belonged to John Clay when it actually belonged to Charles D. Clay.
Inquiry in a column titled as a matter of fact… Note is by Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Signature of Thomas Hart on back.
Portrait is of Clay in old age.
Photo and story of a red-tailed hawk. The Boyajians were dedicated bird watchers.
Contains picture and account of funeral.
Clipping contains picture of Clay in old age and an article titled Clay and Bolivar Linked in Ideas of Venezuelans. Article relates to creation of a sculpture of Clay in Caracas.
Porter Clay trades a debt of $50 to John Clay for his right to a negro girl named Lucy to Henry Clay.
Sales Jacket for Waterman’s (Ideal) Fountain Pen
Note by Elizabeth Blanford says her mother looked like the actress.
Gives details of Charley’s death and declares circumstances under which it occurred unknown. Assumed his death occurred in line of duty and not of his own willful misconduct.
A copy of the letter Zachary Taylor sent to Henry Clay after the death of Henry Clay Jr. at the Battle of Buena Vista.
The note says if she thinks these worthy of a place in your paper please insert them. Claims they were written by a friend in Nashville and appear to be bitter takes on freedom, the Star Spangled Banner, etc, perhaps due to the Civil War.
Bartlett thanks him for calling her attention to Susan Clay’s first book of poetry.
An article about Ibrahima, an African prince enslaved in America. Article saved undoubtedly because Henry Clay involved in effort to return him to Africa.
Article announces the reopening of Ashland after major renovation.
The article celebrates a century of peace with Great Britain.
Two clippings are about the military during the Spanish American War.
Accompanied by small drawing.
Lexington business card, advertising horses of all kinds for sale.
In Susan’s hand there is a note about the old Wycliffe place and an area known as Wycliffe Woods
Dick Redd was a Confederate veteran who feared the youth would forget. Mrs. Blanford said he would ride on to the University campus, rear his horse, and give out a rebel yell just to remind them. He attended a series of Civil War reunions.
Document labeled Plans for ride. It includes names of towns or features of specific counties. Handwriting unidentified.
Egerton traces Ali’s alleged connection to Henry Clay.
The Arizona Republic article is based on Mexican memories of his raids. The second article describes attempt by FBI to seize a Geronimo headdress from a Leighton Deming.
Picture is of a ceremony at New York University honoring eight immortals. Statue of Henry Clay and Susan Clay Sawitzky on stage are identified. The identification of Susan is correct.
Requests a response to an enclosed letter from Col. Hamilton of Norfolk, but the letter is not included. It may be a challenge to a duel.
Birthday card from either Mrs. Charles D. Clay or Mrs. Martindale.
An essay on a military battle and algebra problem.
Magazine containing Susan Clay Sawitzky’s article Another Miniature by Gilbert Stuart.”
Magazine containing William Sawitzky’s article Re-Discovery of a Lost Gilbert Stuart.
National Number 172165.
Announces a trip he is taking and talks about Indian raids that have killed a number of settlers.
Invitation to Wedding of Sunshine Harris and Thruston Ballard Jan 25 , , to Charles D. Clay. See William and Mary Quarterly, Volume 10.
Mentions a Miss Breckinridge.
An invitation to a Kentucky Barbecue on the 29th. It is signed by W.C.P. Breckinridge, C. J. Bronston, Mat Walton, D.L. Price, S.G. Sharp, W. P. Kimball, H.C. Payne, and C. L Albotee(?).
Thank you for a gift. It appears to be Thomas H. Clay’s Lucretia because it is addressed from Mansfield and the gift was received by Harry. Thomas H. Clay had a son named Harry.
The Elizabeth Clay Blanford series comprises correspondence, a written composition, genealogical material, and newspaper clippings generated or collected by Elizabeth Clay Blanford. Correspondence makes up the bulk of the series. Most of the letters relate to genealogy and family stories, reflecting Blanford's interest in documenting the Clay family history. A small portion of the letters, particularly the ones written to her brother, Robert P. Clay, concern her young adulthood and college years at the University of Kentucky. The series also contains a biographical sketch of Lucretia Teetee Clay written by Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
A biographical sketch of Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay.
One poem is titled An Incident. The second is a love poem.
One page statement of connection between the Clay and McDowell families.
Note describes an attached newspaper clipping from the Herald which she dates March 20, 1921. It is the event where Carol Sax of the University Art Department introduced Susan to William Sawitzky.
Talks about an afternoon walking in the area around Frankfort with her cousins Elizabeth and Lyne and her brothers, Bob and Charley. Climbed hills named The Devils Backbone, Fort Hill, and Barrett’s Hill. Saw the Confederate trenches on Fort Hill and could see into Frankfort to the Capital and the church (Presbyterian) across from her Grandmother’s house.
Ty (unknown); handwriting is that of Elizabeth Blanford and the stationery has her initials on it.
newspaper clipping. Copy of a page from the New York times October 16, 1944. Article on support of Times for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Contains an announcement of a wedding Bill and Elizabeth Blanford attended.
Elizabeth sent a newspaper clipping on the publication of Filson Club #14, the Clay Family genealogy. She also sent Lucy Boyajian’s address. Lucy was Elizabeth’s niece.
Thank you note for gift of an Ashland pendant. She mentions the Filson Club publication of Clay genealogy and a Christian Science issue.
A short note containing a draft letter from Susan Clay to William Sawitzky renewing their friendship. She had broken off their relationship as a promise to her mother. The letter sent to Sawitzky is in the collection.
Letter never posted but contains an Adjutant General’s report on Charley’s death and a note to Mr. and Mrs. Williams. [Mrs. Blanford took the death of her much loved brother very hard. On the yearly anniversary she would become extremely depressed, calling or writing close friends and crying about his loss.]
Mrs Blanford periodically sent boxes of papers to Apple who wrote the biography of Susan Clay Sawitzky. The sketches are in the collection. William Anderson was a cousin in the Erwin branch and married Lucy Chenault, a member of an old and distinguished family in Lexington. The trip to New York was Susan’s attempt to publish her poetry. She had far too much fun to suit her mother. Letters in the collection refer to the trip and some of the people she met. The photographs mentioned are in the collection. Woodridge Spears wrote an article for the Filson Club about Susan and her poetry and published a book of poems titled The Circling Thread. The Worcester Art Museum Annual is in the collection.
Newspaper clippings from the Lexington Morning Herald, the Lexington Daily Leader, and the Louisville Courier Journal regarding Charles D. Clay during the Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection.
Elizabeth is visiting Susan in Samford; Mrs. Sammis (Susan’s neighbor); Old Charley (a servant); Mrs Williams (Susan’s landlord); Mr. Cesare (a literary friend of Susan); Lizzie (Mrs. Clay’s sister)
Elizabeth is visiting, probably in Forks of the Elkhorn, just outside Frankfort. Writes of swimming and roasting marshmallows.
Visiting Bob at Fort Sill, Okla.; Lucy is Bob’s daughter. Capt Gaffey was a friend of Bob; An American Tragedy.
Elizabeth writes to tell her mother she is attending a horse show. Bob will play in an indoor polo match.
Elizabeth describes a visit in Georgia. Too much bridge playing for her tastes.
Metzie includes news of home and friends. Col. Clay is arranging a contract with a Mr. Eades to raise tobacco on shares. Rucker Cleveland has a job as a councilor at a camp in Tennessee for the summer. Sissies net baby pictures of Brother. The family thinks Elizabeth’s little Johnnie looks like Charley at that age. (Pepper relatives) She urges him to write.
Elizabeth, or Metzie, tells Bob about Susan’s impending trip to the Confederate Reunion in Memphis. She will be joined by Louisanna (Gipson), Ida (Moore) and Dunster Foster. She still plans to visit him at West Point. News that Fred Shaw had been attacked and inured by another man. (Fred Shaw was Susan’s beau when she was in school)
She describes the activities at a pageant at Harrodsburg. Mentions Billy Breckinridge. Also mentions her proposed trip to West Point.
Elizabeth is confronted with complications about a trip to see Bob. The critical issue is chaperonage.
Elizabeth tells Bob about joining the Chi Omega sorority at the university and the classes she is taking. She wanted to tutor children in her spare time but had no clients. She mentions that Balboa, perhaps a Clay horse, had been scratched in a race due to injury.
She writes about her experiences at the University of Kentucky and the grades she thinks she made first semester. She mentions going to a basketball game against the University of West Virginia with a Mr. Franklin. She also asks if he saw an eclipse and the planets Jupiter, Venus and Mercury.
Elizabeth writes on Bob’s 21st birthday from Frankfort. She mentions her cousin Elizabeth. She claims that Frankfort seems quite taken with Dickens’ plays. Says Bob is now old enough to vote for the Democrats.
Dr. Funkhauser was a well known and highly respected professor at the University of Kentucky. Josephine may be his wife or daughter.
Christmas card. Terrell was associated with the University.
Frank Fowler was at the university when Elizabeth attended. He tried to get a play she wrote published. Star-ling refers to her middle name, Starling, the maiden name of her maternal grandmother.
Chatty news. Mentions Margaret Preston; P.P. Johnson. Bob Clay
Thanks Elizabeth for a hat she sent her. Millie did not read or write. Her daughter Susan usually read the correspondence of Elizabeth or Susan and responded for her mother.
Invitation to dinner with Mrs. Peter, Lyne Williams and Charlotte Curran (daughter of Kitty Hope). Lunch at the Arts Club.
Susan Brown, the daughter of Millie Lawson wrote about Elizabeth Blanford’s plan to purchase a tombstone for Millie’s grave. Elizabeth Blanford later went to Kentucky for a dedication ceremony, and in her speech declared herself one of Millie’s children, a reference to verses in Proverbs. The letter speaks to relations between the Clays and African American servants.
At Elizabeth’s request, Mrs. Kennedy recalled memories of her cousin, Susan Clay Sawitzky. The description is quite revealing and appears accurate in as far as it goes.
A descendant of Henry Clay through the Erwin branch, List served as Chair of the board of the Henry Cay Memorial Foundation. Elizabeth gave many of the artifacts left to her to Ashland.
Ned sent her questions about the family but she misplaced them. She includes a story of Charley Clay and a stray dog.
Delighted that Lucy is moving back to New Jersey. She discovered volumes of Calvin Colton and wants to give them to Lucy’s sons [Robert and Ned]. Tells her about the publication of Clay correspondence by the University of Kentucky. She thinks the collection contains the letters sold to the Library of Congress by Uncle George. She recalls Aunt Teetee sitting by the fire putting them in order.
Tells a Christmas story about her mother, Ned’s grandmother. (Mrs. Blanford was delighted that Ned took some interest in the family history.)
Mrs. Blanford relays stories of the family to her niece’s son. They are about the Civil War.
The Charles D. Clay series comprises correspondence, military orders, receipts, financial papers, newspaper clippings, and ephemera which document Charles D. Clay's family and military life as well as his business concerns and interests. The bulk of the series consists of letters written to his wife, Mariah Pepper Clay, while serving in the military, primarily while serving in the Spanish American War and during the Philippine Invasion. The series also includes letters to his children; his mother, Susan M. Clay; his ex-fiancee, Lucy Scott; and his business associates such as Basil Duke and Samuel H. Jones. Notable items include two letters sent to him by Charles Jacob, his brother-in-law and mayor of Louisville (Box 32, Folders 66 and 69). The letters discuss his military service, family affairs, his experiences in the wool buying industry, and the breeding of thoroughbred horses. The series also contains military orders from Charles' time in the military as well as receipts and financial materials.
Handwriting appears to be that of Charles D. Clay.
Miss Virginia Tyler tutored the older children of Charles and Mariah Clay.
A pamphlet sent to Colonel Charles D. Clay at the time of Charley’s death at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
Taxes on lots in Clay subdivision Louisville
The document is an accounting of sales, taxes, and fees for sale of town lots in Louisville.
Clay was seriously involved with a young woman named Lucy Scott in the 1870s. Subjects: Harshness of West; efforts of a young man to make a living; marriage; Gentlemanly manners; sense of duty. Essentially breaking engagement.
Charles Clay is authorized to solicit consignments from any party not already shipping to them. He is paid two hundred dollars for every 100,000 pounds
Charles Clay is authorized to purchase wool for the company.
Charles writes to tell him he is in Lexington. The wool business has been a failure so he is back in Lexington living with brother Jim and Eliza and studying for the exam and hopes to seek an appointment from President Garfield. He mentions that Tom and George are waiting for him to go to Jim’s so the only brother left is Harry who is in the Arctic. He also mentions a long diary that Teetee kept and sent to him. That diary is in Harry Clay’s papers.
Charles Clay asks for use of Harlan’s influence with President Garfield to secure for him an appointment in the army. He notes that he is grandson of Henry Clay and son of James B. Clay but mentions service of grandfather and Uncle Henry Clay Jr to the nation. His mother has written to David Davis. They think Secretary of War Robert Lincoln is misinterpreting the Statute of 1878. Letter indicates a sense of entitlement.
List of participants includes Charles D.Clay
Charles D. Clay appointed First Lieutenant of Infantry by the President.
The handwriting appears to be that of Charles. He is answering a letter to James B. Clay (Jr.) The letter is about property in Missouri that had been owned by Henry Clay and he list several tracts of 160 acres each totaling 1440 acres that Clay paid taxes on as late as 1831. He tells Heryford he cannot tell him what they are willing to do on the matter until he has conferred with the heirs of his uncle Thomas H. Clay.
Charles was ordered to go from Fort Apache, Arizona to Holbrook then report on the condition of the road. He could then take leave of absence.
Charles D. Clay and Mariah Hensley Pepper were married on September 8, 1896.
Payees: Norton & Company, Effie Thornton, Deposit Bank of Frankfort, Ky; T.L. Smith; Third National Bank Lexington, Ky; W.H. Averill; Biscoe Hindman; T.J. Clay; Parisian Cloak Co; Arthur Johnson; Columbus Transfer Company; C.F. Humphrey; W.D. Davis; Hatfield and Sons; T.S. Menough.
Grants leave of absence to Charles D. Clay after his battle wound to return to the U.S.
copy. Recommending recognition for Charles D. Clay for gallantry and good conduct. Notes that he was wounded.
The first and last parts of the letter are missing. Charles recounts a military trek in the vicinity of Bordeaux, Wyoming.
Charles returned after wounded in Philippines. He will go to New York for medic al evaluation.
Charles writes to thank Smith and his father for securing an appointment for him He describes in detail his wound and his love of his family. He asks Smith to pay some bills for him. Tom Smith’s wife is Ria Clay’s sister. A note on the back says Elizabeth Smith, Tom’s daughter, sent the letter to Bob Clay.
A note expressing thanks for an up-date on health of Susan M. Clay. Charles included a letter from the man who cared for him when he was wounded in the Philippines. (that letter is in the collection.)
Pinnie writes a long letter about her impending return to the Philippines to rejoin her husband. She had accompanied Charles back to the mainland after his wound.
Charles at Clemson. This is a receipt for one gallon of ice cream.
Green Miller was an African American who worked for him; paying advance on wages.
Letter of recommendation for Desha Breckinridge. Clay introduces himself as the grandson of Henry Clay and son of James B. Clay.
Letter explaining how much money could be borrowed on their life insurance policy. Copy of letter asking for the loan and enclosing the paperwork. Not the first loan he had taken on the policy.
Copy of letter from a close friend though unnamed regarding a discrepancy of pay that Clay is trying to clear up.
Clay contacts Duncan after spending three days in Washington talking to General Davis. He recounts the circumstances surrounding Charley’s death insisting that Charley would not have committed suicide. The second page of the letter is missing. Additionally the letter was in an envelope addressed to Colonel Charles D. Clay from the Department of Justice in Minnesota and containing also a letter from the investigator M. J. Johannis.
copy of telegram. Clay writes to protest the findings of the Board of Officers at Fort Snelling on the cause of death of Charles D. Clay Jr.
Informs Clay that the Secretary of War has ordered the Board of Officers to reconvene and further investigate Charley’s death.
Telegram requesting permission to be represented by counsel before the Board of Officers investigating Charley’s death.
Charles refers to loss of one child. Charles Jr died in 1923. Letter probably dates from early 1930s. People mentioned: Mary (Mrs. Thomas H.) Clay, Thomas H. Clay Jr (Mrs. Blanford has erased part of the name to protect his reputation); George Clay (brother). Subjects: Family loyalty; importance of ancestry, “blood.”
Expresses desire to visit Washington in order to confer directly with Davis (about investigation of Charley Jr.’s death). He asks Davis to tell him exactly the finding of the Board at the second hearing.
Clay was notified by the adjutant general that he had been cited for action in Cuba July 1, 1898 and in the Philippines March 5, 1899.
Announces ale to Arthur E. Bendelari.
Charles asks to privilege to call on her.
Charles apologizes for his persistence in trying to convince her to say something that you felt you could not.
May I call to see you tomorrow Wednesday evening?
Charles writes that he has not heard about his request for an extension of his leave but hopes to know something before Tuesday when he sees her. He writes obtusely about saying what needs to be said, apparently a reference to his proposal of marriage.
His train arrived too late in Frankfort for him to call. Notes her adversity to seeing guest during the day but asks her not to punish him because the train was late.
Charles informs Ria that he leaves Lexington on Dec 7.
Letter begins romantically then shifts to the business difficulties of his brother. He agrees with her view that a trip to North Carolina would be good. Recalls a visit in 1893 to the A&M College of Virginia at Blacksburg. He says he was so impressed he has talked to his brothers about going there to live.
Charles writes that Mr. and Mrs. Collins are taking a month at the Hotel Coronado on the coast of California. Marion Lindsay spent some time there with Miss McCook so she could tell Ria about it. He suggests that they might spend some time there net winter. Colonel and Mrs. De Rossy also leaving. Notes that Mrs. De Rossy was impressed with his housekeeping. He expresses delight in photographs of her.
Charles notes death of Robert P. Pepper Jr, Ria’s brother. Note in margin is in hand of Elizabeth Blanford. Charles was remarkably sensitive having lost father and brothers to a variety of causes.
Charles writes with left hand because he had sprained the right one. He writes quite sentimentally. (this may be because of the death of her brother).
Charles’ company has been assigned to Phoenix and he is delighted because of the good weather there compared to Whipple Barracks. He thinks in a year he can obtain the position of military instructor at either Richmond or Georgetown.
fragment. Charles speaks of George’s financial woes and says he plans to tell Ria all about his financial situation because he intends to be completely honest with her and hide nothing (It will not be true.) He then explains some of the problems. He had let his own debts go in order to help his brother. Susan M. Clay owned a life interest in her father’s trust. Before Charles left home they agreed to let George sell a portion of the estate to pay off his debts. Letter stops there.
Charles writes to explain two previous letters. He has told her of his debts because he plans to keep nothing from her. (Given later events that is almost comical) He then speaks of his brother’s debts and is concerns about his family. Tells Ria that a Lieut Johnson appears willing to accept a transfer that will allow Charles to return to the 17th Infantry now stationed at Columbus. He mentions the possibility of going to Georgetown in two years.
He writes of a bad experience on a trip involving a wagon and some mules. He describes fording a river with mules, sand storms. He then writes about a liberty he took with her, blamed it upon leaving civilization and asked for her forgiveness. He has purchased for her some beautiful Navajo blankets, baskets and pre-historic pottery. He mentions Christine (Reynolds).
Short letter referring to difficulties in Charles’s family. His brother Tom had written him bad news. (George Clay, another brother, suffered serious economic difficulties during this period. In other letters Charles even contemplated postponing his marriage to help his brother.)
Charles writes from Fort Apache. He alludes to troubling news he has received from home which could keep them apart for a time. He also notes how homesick he is to see her. He presses a small flower in the letter.
Charles begins the letter romantically promising to devote himself to making her forever happy. He then mentions his mother as the least formidable of any woman you have ever known. He notes how dear she is to him and wants Ria to love her. He is grateful that Ria has taken Mrs. Clay and Teetee to meet her mother. He writes romantically for most of the letter. Mentions two ladies from the post who are going on a camping trip of 4 to 5 days with an Indian guide.
Letter about their wedding. Note at end of letter is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Charles expresses concern that he has not heard from her. He encourages her to make arrangements for the wedding to suit herself. He knows little about such things. Then suggests that Ria’s minister use the Episcopal service, although he will yield to her slightest objection.
Charles describes a fire in one of the stables and the role of the men in extinguishing it. He suggests the 8th or 9th of September for the wedding.
Charles writes from Fort Apache, Arizona. Charles thinks her choice of Sept 9 for their marriage is a good one (they married on Sept 8). Letter is very romantic and Charles is trying to be very sensitive. Everything will be done to her wishes. She will really be his— or rather that we really belong to each other. He asks if she remembers one occasion when she had difficulty making him behave himself. Some banter about her expecting him to help with the housework.
Charles writes a romantic letter saying he hopes to make her the happiest of the happy women and knows she will make him happy. He then speaks briefly of the weather.
Fatigued by work on a ditch that brings water to the base. Ria has asked him if he will always be as sweet to her as he is now and he assures her he will.
Charles, at Whipple Barracks, is concerned because he has not had a letter since July 30. Brother Tom has agreed to be his best man. He mentions the Navajo blankets he has purchased for her and an attempt to steal them, but a fellow officer, Irwin, will take care of them. He mentions seeing a dead rattlesnake and the use of skin to make belts. Notes that he has telegrapher her that his leave has been granted then ends letter on a romantic note.
Charles consoles Ria concerning illness of her grandmother. Charles praises the wedding gown Ria described in an earlier letter and wants to know about her trousseau. He has ordered a full dress uniform from New York. Will try his best to look pretty. His back up uniform is one given him by the cadets of the State College. (Charles had earlier commanded the cadet corps at Kentucky University). Charles assures Ria that his family will love her and that her reserve will disappear when she meets them. He mentions that no one can be around George and feel any reserve.
Charles sends condolences for the death of Maria’s Mammy. Note on envelope says Mammy was Ria’s Grandmother Starling. He also writes briefly of the wedding and his return to Kentucky from Arizona at the end of the month.
Charles writes his last letter from Fort Apache. He mentions the farewells he has made, and the fact that he is bring several gifts for her.
Charles is distraught over Ria’s accident. The accident is described in the hand of Elizabeth Blanford at the end of the letter. Charles twice urges Ria to be more careful for her own wellbeing and for his. He still hopes she can come to Columbus the next Tueday.
Charles writes from Columbus Barracks. He mentions the Poland family and Dr. Loving (possibly a relative of Ria’s). Mrs. Poland wants to entertain Ria when she arrives and Charles wants her to arrive soon. The letter was dated a little over two months after their marriage.
Charles is preparing for Ria to join him at Columbus. The letter contains information on African American servants.
Charles writes of Ria’s impending arrival. Offers to come all the way to Frankfort if she needs him. He mentions the possible hiring of a woman to cook who will also bring her daughter.
On Thanksgiving Day Charles is thankful God gave him his darling wife. He talks about the preparations he is making for her arrival.
Charles expresses concern that Ria’s plans for a cook have fallen through. All else is in readiness for her arrival. He has met a number of people in Columbus, a Mr. Deshler. Dr. Loving, Ria’s relative, is apparently well thought of.
Postcard. Charles in Washington and very tired after a splendid parade. Teetee had been there too. Card addressed to Columbus Barracks, Ohio
Charles writes to Ria at Frankfort. He misses her. He hopes his unit’s target practice will be at Fort Thomas so he can visit her on Sundays. Mentions Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Lyon. Notes that a visit home had been a sad one but does not say why. He noted that he had read that Lexington Court House had burned. Tells Ria that Tom Smith has left on a week’s leave and wonders if he will stop by Frankfort. (Family was trying, successfully, to match Tom and Pinnie ).
Charles writes that he attended evening services at Trinity (Episcopal), but understood little of Mr. Atwood’s sermon. A friend, Chubb, agreed. Nora, a former servant, brought a woman that Charles hired at $10 per month. He also mentions a servant named Agnes. He also tells her he is putting away blankets and other winter items and hoping to keep the moths out. He notes a shared homesickness and mentions something he calls the “woman’s friend”. He asked about Louise’s health. A note in the hand of Elizabeth Blanford identifies her as Ria’s maternal aunt.
Charles urges Ria to think positively. He thinks she is depressed. He gives her a pep talk He says he was shocked to read of Preston Thornton’s terrible act. He does not say what the act was but believes Thornton must have been temporarily insane. Mentions that a Mrs. Harris and the Dowdys asked about her.
Note telling her he has arrived safely in Columbus; encourages her to be brave and not to worry.
Written from Columbus Barracks Charles mentions meeting Mr. Hatchitt and Mr. Macklin in Georgetown. He is interested in a position in the military department at Georgetown College. He talked with the president and a number of professors who seemed favorably disposed. He also notes seeing Dr. Loving who lived in Columbus. Elizabeth Clay Blanford’s note suggest that his sympathies may have related to death of Louise, but Louise was probably Ria’s aunt. Charles writes encouraging lines to Ria in light of her pregnancy.
Short letter expressing pleasure that she is feeling well. He mentions a Miss Desher, Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Carter from Columbus and implies that she knows them. He mentions a reception for the Army Surgeons and writes warmly of their home.
Charles writes that he received a letter to her from Lena that was misdirected. It is not enclosed as letter indicates. He had visited Col. and Mrs. Poland and she had asked about ria. He gives his weight at 157 and ¼ pounds.
He is bored. He mentions the servants who clean. Mentions Capt and Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Gill, Mrs. Carter. He is anxious for birth of baby.
Charles writes of a quiet Sunday. He took a long walk, attended church. Mentioned Mr. Atwood, the minister and a lecture by an unnamed person on the origin of the Episcopal Church. He plans to practice surveying with Tom Smith. He asks Ria to change the spelling of a man’s name, a Mr. Pigeon, that he had misspelled in his last letter.
The letter discusses the gender of the child Ria is carrying. They call it Harry but Charles assures her he is most concerned that the child be born strong in mind and body, and that Ria remains healthy as well. He has been asked by Mr. Martin of the University to judge a competitive drill by his boys. Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Cordray will also judge. Charles sends a check to pay Ria’s mother money he had borrowed but cannot repay Pin until the end of the month. He sends Ria $5 and urges her to borrow from her mother if she needs more. Mrs. Lyon, Dr. and Mrs Waters, and Mrs. Poland are Columbus people he mentions to her.
He had received a letter from Tom Clay saying Teetee had fainted and cut her head. He thinks she overtaxes herself. He mentions local friends, but letter is very general.
Charles tells Ria that he will visit Minerva Park that evening with Mr. (Tom) Smith to listen to music. He also recounts visiting a cemetery with Capt Rogers where 2260 Confederate soldiers were buried. He laments that they died far from home. He notes that a Mr. Krauss, who had been in the Federal army, originated the custom of decorating the graves. He reveals aspects of the Lost Cause mentality. He gives Ria news of their friends on the post, and implies a relationship between sister-in-law Pin, or Pinnie, and Tom Smith.
Charles writes a general letter. He had visited Col and Mrs. Poland. He tells Ria to mention to Pin the attentiveness of Mr. Michie to Miss Longstreet. Says Pin better hurry back or someone else (Tom Smith) might fall in love.
Discusses the gender of their child Ria thinks it will be a girl. Charles says he will love and cherish a daughter as much as he would a son. He has spent the day relaxing, reading Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Thinks it contains the most beautiful thoughts in the English language. He and Tom Smith also spent time at a local park. Wants address of Mrs. Morse of Mrs. Rogers.
Charles has spent the day sleeping and loafing. He took some colomel and so lacks energy. A letter from sister Teetee informed him that the financial affairs of his family have not improved. He calls his uncle, Charles D. Jacob an exceedingly cold blooded and selfish man because he has not helped them.
Charles had led his unit on a 7.5 mile march with Hardaway acting as Lieut. and mapmaker. Having a headache he tried Ria’s remedy bromo-seltzer.
Charles writes of the heat and the difficulty of sleeping. He has written to Pin about developing pictures. He describes a march his men will make. Mr. Hardaway will map the country they pass through.
Charles notes a change in the weather then tells Ria that several people asked about her. Notes the engagement of Nettie Belle Smith (Daughter of Milton Smith CEO of L&N Railroad? Apparently there was a touch of scandal involving an alleged promise to Preston Thornton. He encourages Ria and Pin to try developing pictures. Mentions death of Judge Harlan and laments the nature of it.
Charles complains of the boredom. He notes that his unit will march to Fort Thomas in August. He mentions people she would know. Mrs. Lyon asked about her. He had not seen Mrs. Bradford. Michie, a fellow officer, was pursuing a Miss Longstreet. Mrs. Blanford’s note is accurate. He mentions Dick and Lieut. Whipple of the State-Guard.
He mentions commanding a battalion in field exercises. Plans to return home Friday (June 25). Many ladies are leaving the post for the summer----Burns, Dickinson, and others.
Charles had just returned from Lexington. He mentioned an introduction by Hull Davidson to a Mr. Russell and his daughter and a Miss Hancock of Virgina. Mentions the Confederate Veteran reunion in Nashville. In Lexington h e had visited with his mother and felt good about her health. Wrote of the impending birth. It appears that there was some anxiety on Ria’s part.
Charles mentions that a friend has read John Fox’s new story in Harper’s and is delighted with it. He also relays compliments about Ria and her family from people at Columbus.
Charles writes an affectionate letter. They have hired a nurse to be with her and expect Dr. Hume to give the proper directions. He mentions the family’s delight that they will name the child Susan if it is a girl. They seem overly concerned about family’s acceptance of Ria as a member of the family.
Charles complains of the intense heat. He apologizes for not getting a lotion that he was supposed to get for Lizzie. He mentions the engagement of Hardaway to Ethel Atkinson. He also mentions a Mrs. Bradford and a Mrs. Mann.
Charles writes about getting Ria’s coat, napkins, cloths, etc., cleaned and properly stored. He mentions that Michie, tom Smith and Hardaway had been out to Minerva Park. He describes the park, a new casino and a theatre that will seat ten thousand, a restaurant, soda fountain. Etc. Charles is glad that Ria likes the nurse and speaks of the unborn child as Harry.
Letter is little more than keeping in touch. Notes a visit of his mother and Teetee to Frankfort.
Charles mentions that he may be sent to Chicago for a few days but urges her not to worry. (The baby is due soon.)
Ria is in Frankfort awaiting the birth of Susan. His letter discusses the weather, his activities, and a party for an old gentleman, Mr. Waters, who is leaving. Charles clearly is hoping the baby will be a boy.
Charles attempts to relieve Ria’s concern and her depression. He assures her he will come when she requests it. Col. Poland has agreed. He knows nothing more about the Chicago trip his unit is scheduled to make. He received an invitation to Miss Lacey’s wedding.
Ria is in Frankfort preparing for the birth of Susan. Charles notes a trip to Chicago but assures her he will come as soon as she calls. Mentions several other men whose wives are away—a Mr. Frier and Mr. Grumley.
Charles is planning a trip to Chicago. Will camp in Washington Park. Wants Ria to telegraph him each day to let him know how she is doing.
Charles is quite emotional about Ria and their new baby. He implies that it was Ria’s choice to name the baby after his mother, Susan M. Clay. Charles also talks about an issue with a servant revealing his attitudes about servants, African Americans, etc. Mentions a Captain Roberts.
Charles complains about the weather. He urges Ria to be careful about her health and praises Pinnie for writing to him. He mentions Mrs. Perry and Mrs. Roberts.
Charles cautions Ria to take care of herself. While she is bedridden Pinnie writes to Charles.
Charles tells Ria how much she means to him and speaks of their daughter Susan. He had received letters from Pin, Ria’s sister Pinnie. He expresses how much he misses her. He mentions the separation and hopes it will not occur again. His hopes were not realized. He then describes a wedding in some detail.
Charles writes of his love. Col. Poland left on leave. He mentions that Dr. Loving spoke highly of Ria’s grandfather Starling (Elizabeth Pepper’s father). Charles wants Lizzie to take some photographs of the portraits of Ria’s ancestors for Dr. Loving to see.
Charles asks questions about baby Susan. He then turns to issue of getting servants. Nora is not coming back. He notes some discontent but does not describe it. He asks Ria if he should speak to Dr. Loving’s cook about getting a girl or attempt to bring colored women from Frankfort. Letter contains information on African American servant issues.
Charles writes about a flower bed he is planning for violets. He will visit Frankfort soon and is bringing Tom Smith with him. Mentions George (brother) and Mr. Macklin (farm manager).
Short letter because he has been officer of the day. He is anxious to have Ria and Susan with him. He is going to build the hot bed himself.
Charles leaves for field exercises on August 20 but plans to arrive in Lexington Saturday noon. George is to meet him and go to Frankfort with him and Mr. Smith. Praises Susan.
Charles is in camp near Visalia, Ky. He visited his mother and everyone expressed excitement about the new born Susan. Brother Jim and Eliza plan to visit Margaret Johnson in order to see her. Charles encourages her to have her mother invite Jim and Eliza to stay there. Says Eliza is very sensitive. He went shooting with Mr. (tom) Smith and George (his brother). Charles hopes May (Ria’s sister) not offended at George’s impudence He has always been a privileged character, and thinks my new sisters are also his. Adds a note on the 25th
Charles was visited by his brother Tom, a professional soldier. Comments in blue ink are those of Mrs. Blanford and are accurate.
Charles had telegraphed Ria because he felt uneasy about her. He is in rifle camp and will not be able to see her before going back to Columbus. He went to Visalia (KY) with Durfee and Smith. Mention the birth of a son to Mr. and Mrs. Davis.
Charles is with his unit at rifle practice but will return to Columbus soon. He mentions Tom Smith and another man whose name is illegible.
Charles writes about desire to be with Ria and Susan. He mentions his guest and the arrival of the 6th Infantry together. Mrs. Atkinson and Mrs Minor may be two of the guest. Mentions Captain and Mrs. Rogers.
Charles writes a very sensitive note on the first anniversary of their marriage.
Charles expresses his frustration with his superiors for having a street parade in the hottest part of a hot day. Many men fell out, including Rogers and Grimsley. Rogers became unconscious and Charles’ description of the cure says something about home remedies or medical practice.
Charles notes he is feeling better after the September 9 parade in the heat. Captain Rogers is better too. He saw Dr. Loving who will help find a cook. He writes about planting violets at their house. Charles has had house guests but says little about them.
He is concerned because her letters have appeared sad. He describes the work he has been doing on their house. He hopes his request for leave has been approved so he can see her soon.
Charles tells Ria about work on their home and the arrival of some furnishings. He assures her they will have a wonderful home. He asks her to find a gift for the marriage of Anna Worley. Mrs. Harvey W. Worley had been a very good friend and he felt badly about forgetting about the wedding.
Charles explains why he has not written. He was tied up with duties of officer of the day and with housecleaning. He plans to see Dr. (Starling) Loving who has promised to find them a cook.
see date on envelope. A twelve page diary letter of events aboard the General Grant as they head for the Philippines. Describes ship, a converted cattle boat. Mostly talks about how much he misses her and plans for reunion. Letter ends at the anchor in harbor at Gibraltar.
Charles in Lexington. General news about his mother and Eliza Clay, James B. Clay Jr.’s wife.
Charles is in Frankfort and Ria is in Columbus. He sends news of home. He plans to go with Mr. Chinn and Mr. Macklin to Lexington on business but does not say what. It probably concerned Ria’s farm. Macklin was an overseer of the farms for the Pepper women and Chinn was something of a financial adviser. Mentions Lena and Mr. Hatchett.
Announces arrival in Tampa; describes the weather and his camp. Suggests that any invasion of Cuba will await training of the volunteers that will reinforce the regular army. Again warns Ria not to pay heed to the newspaper accounts.
Charles writes of his chances for promotion. A new army bill has decreed one major instead of two be added to each regiment. He is angry at that rascal Bailey of Texas and the Democrats who oppose all army bills. He says he’ll never vote Democratic. Charles is trying to get permission from Governor Bradley to raise a regiment. He urges Ria to encourage a friend (Dick Dencer) to write an article for Lexington, Louisville, and Frankfort papers saying he has offered his services to the state. He plans to raise men who served under him at the University of Kentucky.
Spanish American War—notes health, his brother Tom’s trip to Washington to seek war appointment. Says tell Pinnie that Tom (Smith) is well and making sketches of the camp for her. Tom Smith sent interesting sketches from many of the posts at which he served.
Charles is happy Ria and Susan have reached Frankfort. Notes receipt of letters from Mrs. Pepper and his mother. Urges Ria to sing Susie her daddy’s song. Fears she will forget him before he returns. Concerned that his insurance policy covers him even when at war. Suggest she seek help of Mr. (Frank) Chinn if necessary.
Notes letters from home and his pleasure that she is in Frankfort. Urges her not to pay much heed to newspaper accounts of the war.
Obligatory note containing information on military news. Expresses concern that Captain Rogers may have to retire.
Notes a flurry of telegrams concerning illness of daughter Susan. He then turns to war news. Capt Poland, a friend, will become a Brig. Gen’l of Volunteers. He is quite hostile to the volunteers. Hopes they won’t be needed. Believes victory at Manila may send a message to Spain. Notes that Dr. Pope has brought his wife to Tampa.
Spanish American War. Contained two film copies of photographs of Charles D. Clay. Expresses concern about Susan and urges her not to worry about him.
Spanish American War, meets old friends, misses family. Mentions Mrs. Pope, wife of Dr. Pope and Capt Rogers, Mr. Michie, Dr. Ten Eyck, Capt and Mrs. Guilfoyle, Col. Lane.
Spanish American War. Romantic letter about his homesickness and desire that war will be over quickly.
Describes Cuban army in training in Tampa. Plans to go to a dance at the Tampa Bay Hotel given by the ladies of Tampa.
Spanish American War. Attended Episcopal Church, minister Mr. De Hart. Dined with a Mrs. Allen. Met General Wheeler, formerly of the Confederate army. He knew his cousin Harry Boyle Clay had been on Wheeler’s staff in Civil War. Felt Wheeler’s appointment would do much to unite North and South.
Affection letter between husband and wife. Separation is undoubtedly taking a toll on them.
newspaper clipping. Spanish American War. Advises Ria on how to handle the wheat crop. Tom Clay is also advising her but Charles suggests that she listen to Mr. Macklin as well. Macklin was the farm manager of several Pepper farms. The farm in question belongs to Ria. Charles also talks about political appointments during the war. Appalled that the Governor has named Bill Owens a major. Says presidential appointments are just as bad---young Alger and Logan for example. He will do his duty anyway.
He and Tom Smith had visited the port at Tampa and talked to naval officers. Notes that he left his family one month ago but it seems like two months.
Announces appointment as Regimental Adjutant. Means he will be mounted. Believes the position enhances his chance of advancement.
The navy has the Spanish fleet penned up in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. Believes the war will be over shortly after surrender of the fleet. Gives some news of individuals moving from one unit to another.
Charles’s duties as Adjutant getting in way of his letter writing. Says he was appointed by Col Haskell. Clay is now Chief of Staff. Says he will explain duties later. Met a General Lee. He also notes that Dr. Loving, one of Ria’s doctors, was apparently working on Clay’s behalf. The Clay family was quick to use any influence they could muster.
Short note. He is tired but in good health.
Charles writes to Ria about the formation of a new regiment by the Governor of Kentucky. Charles had asked Ria, his uncle Charley Jacob, and a Dr. Loving to use their influence in support of his appointment as a Colonel of a volunteer regiment. However, this regiment is composed of Negro troops and he wants nothing to do with it. He says only the Negro troops in the regular army had caused any trouble although he does not mention what the trouble was. His letter is rather racist. He thinks he can get along with his Colonel, Haskell, but he does not altogether admire him. As adjutant his expenses will increase. He explains the new costs.
Spanish American War. General letter; notes they have orders to be prepared to go to the transports at a moment’s notice.
Page 3 of a letter during Spanish American War. Notes injury to Col. Haskell and deaths of Dickinson and Michie
Spanish American War Note to say he is well but knows nothing of troop movement.
General letter. Mr. Macklin had agreed to select a horse for him but Charles says quartermaster Department has provided one. Talks about his daughter
Announces to her that they are about to move. He does not know whether he will go to Puerto Rico or Santiago de Cuba. Letter then speaks of his love. His letter suggests that he is a little anxious. Adds a footnote that she might follow Tom Clay’s suggestion concerning Pat Henry working her farm on shares.
Spanish American War. Charles is on the transport. Describes officers’ quarters as comfortable. He has taken Tom Smith into his quarters. The men, however, are most uncomfortable. Blames the government for inadequate preparation. Mentions transport ships Cherokee and Iroquois and the 17th Infantry.
Spanish American War—troop ships had moved to the entrance of the bay then been ordered back to Port Tampa. Most of letter is about finances. He does not cash her $100 check and assures her that he will be able to send her money.
Letter expressing love for wife and daughter. Encourages wife to keep his mother informed because he has time to write only one letter. Urges her to pay no attention to newspapers and other rumors. Mentions two people Ria may have known.
Spanish American War. Another letter telling her the convoy is moving.
Spanish American War. Describes harshness of battle and loss of 17th infantry officers Haskell, Dickinson, and Michie. Mentions General Nelson Miles. Says the expedition was not prepared properly and the President and his advisors have much to answer for.
Charles writes that the Spanish have asked to surrender. A cease fire exists while instructions are requested from Washington.
Spanish America War War news—17th is on west side of Santiago as part of an encirclement of the city. He is well. Urges her to share his letters with his mother.
Spanish American War. Notes how busy he is but hopes to be started home in 10 days.
Spanish American War Note saying he had arrived at Camp Wikoff, Montauk Point Long Island.
Charles preparing house at Columbus Barracks with servant Effie. He wants Ria to visit. Elizabeth Clay Blanford’s note on envelope denotes conception of Charley Jr. and importance to father.
Homesick for Ria. Asks her to leave Susan in Frankfort and take train to Cincinnati where he will meet her. Tom Smith wants her to bring Pinnie too.
Charles is blue because wife and daughter are in Frankfort. Daughter Susan is ill.
Charles preparing their home in Columbus. Hopes to be with her in a week.
Note saying he hopes to start for Frankfort in two days.
Charles is preparing to leave for the Philippines. Mrs. Pepper has been with him helping pack. Charles found some letters from a Miss Bronson, a former girlfriend with whom he talked about marriage. He had broken it off when he went into military service. He burned them and told Ria they meant nothing to him. There are, however, other letters from her in the collection.
Charles announcing his travel to Frankfort from Columbus
Charles informs Ria he is leaving Columbus, Ohio for New York and eventually the Philippines.
Phillipine Insurrection. Sentimental letter about what she means to him. Mentions sense of duty as a military officer. Elizabeth Pepper had helped him close up the house in Columbus. He describes a parade through Columbus with many friends, businessmen and even the governor saying nice things to him.
He writes a short note because they will soon leave Gibraltar but he promises to write more shortly. He mentions the weather, her cablegram, and his robust health.
Philippine Insurrection. Charles aboard U.S. Transport Grant near Port Said. Long letter describing Gibraltar, British-Spanish relations. Met the American consul, a Mr. Sprague who had known James B. Clay when minister to Portugal. Describes a dinner given the American officers by the British. Voyage from Gibraltar along coast of Africa. Expresses homesickness for her and Susan.
Philippine Insurrection. Charles describes the voyage that took him virtually around the world. The Grant sailed through Gilbraltar and the Red Sea. Noted the boredom with nothing to see but water. Expresses his feelings for her and daughter Susan.
Philippine Insurrection. Charles writes from the U..S. Grant on his way to the Philippines. He describes the city of Colombo to her. Encourages Ria to be brave.
fragment. She describes a pretty day and a walk with Susan, their daughter.
Philippine Insurrection. Clay notes arrival in Manila; expected protracted fighting. Mentions photographs for Ria and Susan.
Charles writes to say he has been appointed Adjutant General of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the 8th Army Corps. He lists units in the brigade. General Robert H. Hall appointed him. He was honored and felt it a stepping stone. Suggested that Tom Clay could explain to her.
Philippine Insurrection. Charles writes almost with a premonition of his fate. He expects a decisive battle the next day and becomes quite religious. Mentions doing his duty several times in the letter. Asks ria to look after his mother.
Charles sends a typed letter explaining how he was wounded. He admits to having mislead her in his initial cablegram, but now gives her details of the battle, his wound, and the prognosis for the future. Mentions General Hall and Lieutenant Gregg.
Philippine Insurrection. Fifteen days after his wound Charles writes to assure Ria he had done his duty faithfully. Recounts the death of Lieut. Gregg. Calls Gregg the finest specimen of physical manhood. Charles criticizes the war saying right is not on our side. Says surgeon will take him to the British war ship Powerful to x-ray his shoulder. After X ray a Dr. Fitzgerald will decide whether to extract the bullet or send him to U.S. Charles claims he is doing well. Expresses thanks to the women of the Red Cross, particularly Missess Henshall, Ridley, and Dowling
Charles is in Nashville working at the recruiting station with a Lieut. Carter of the 5th Cavalry. He must travel two nights and one day to man the Memphis station as well. Discusses plans to assure safety of family when they move there. He wants to hire a Vanderbilt student to spend the nights in a room of their home. Excited about the extra money he will make because of travel. Seems to be trying to impress Ria with how much he will make.
Charles is in Nashville. He is looking for a house to rent so mentions estimated costs; also estimates costs for servants. Charles gives Ria specific instructions about ordering stationery.
Charles is delighted with his pay which includes travel money. He is anxious for Ria to join him. Wants her to bring Pinnie with her. Also bring Mary Jackson. They can hire a girl to help her if necessary.
Charles is worried because the family members are all sick; urges Ria to keep nothing from him (interesting since he kept many things from her) Attempting to find a house in Nashville so discusses rental property and possible improvements.
Charles describes his schedule to her and gives her an address in Memphis. He will be there on Wednesday’s. He will rent a house soon. Talks about getting dresses made and ideas for the house. Mentions death of Henry Ware Lawton, his commanding officer in the Phillipines and Thomas J. Clay’s commanding officer in the Geronimo campaign.
Short note to tell her he had arrived in Nashville. Enjoyed Christmas with the family; hopes she will soon join him in Nashville
Ria had asked him to write from Memphis. Mentions a Moses Gibson.
The furniture has arrived in Nashville for their house. He has the grippe.
He had been ill but took Warburgs tincture prescribed by Dr. Maddin and now feels better. He has sent a telegraph so she won’t worry. He urges her to ship their household property. He misses his family. He describes damage to the furniture that had been shipped. He expresses surprise at the share she has received from the sale of farm products. She received $95 but he says her share of the estate should be around $20000 so she should be receiving a great deal more.
Charles describes the house he has readied for Ria. He also tries to heal a rift with Ria’s mother. He had said her portion of the estate should yield more income. Says he knows she has done the best she can and he is grateful to her. He is hurt that Mr. Chinn and Mr. Macklin should be so critical of his judgment that they cannot make the balance of the estate yield two percent.
Charles writes about acquiring servants. A friend, Mrs. Brown, has helped him get a house girl whom he describes as a 30 year old mulatto woman. Mrs. Brown will also help him find a cook. He encloses a letter from his mother and suggests that if she is strong enough they must have her with them during the winter.
Charles is obviously anxious about her impending arrival in Nashville. He has prepared the home, insulated the windows, contracted for a closed carriage. Supper will be waiting. Servants will please her.
Charles expresses his loneliness and how much he looks forward to her arrival. He suggests that the house he has prepared is more attractive than the one in Columbus. Encourages her to ask her mother to come with her. One the freight comes he will be ready to meet her in Louisville for the journey to Nashville. He insists that she get a vaccination for herself and Susan.
Arrived safely in St. Louis. Purchased Christmas gifts for Susan and Charley. Notes his blue spirits over separation.
Charles mustering out short term enlistees. This is after his wound so not fit for field service. He reported to a Col Goodale; hopes to join others of 17th Infantry who will be stationed at Columbus Barracks.
Information about Charles’s military pay and expenses. Had Thanksgiving dinner with Capt and Mrs. Morse; seeing their daughter made him miss his family more. Letter suggests that he would like to go into business with Tom Smith. Note in blue ink is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
General letter. He has little to do but they expect a transport in with soldiers to be discharged.
Glad to receive letters from Ria, Susan and Charley. Liked Susan’s drawings. Transport Sheridan arrived so plenty to do.
Writes to tell Ria that he is thinking about retiring. Wound is painful. He thinks himself unfit for active service. He has consulted physicians and they will recommend that he go before a board if he wishes it. Notes in a post script that a position he had thought available for Tom Smith fell through.
(stationery says 1901 but is probably 1902 given contents of letter. Clay went before a Board of Medical Officers who would report to a Retiring Board on his condition. Mentions presents from Tom and Pinnie Smith and Lizzie smith.
Failure of Christmas presents to arrive; speaks of his impending retirement. He has been before a board of Medical officers and expects them to recommend retirement. Clay was wounded in the Philippine Insurrection in 1899.
Charles’s birthday so he is making resolutions about being good husband and father. Sends Ria half his pay. Mentions Board of Medical Affairs.
Romantic letter emphasizing his dependence upon her. He hopes his decision to retire is a proper one and that he can provide ample support for his family.
Charles says he has just about finished processing the men from two transports and the Grant will soon arrive with the 4th Infantry and 500 discharged men. Urges Ria to have rugs aired; fears moths. Mentions retirement. Has been playing whist, cribbage and solo. A major Garrard of 9th cavalry is good at whisk.
Charles answers a letter from Ria chastising him for not writing. He says letters have miscarried. He mentions that the Grant will soon arrive. He does not go to San Francisco because it is expensive. Mentions Captain Perry.
He reminisces about his mother, Susan M. Clay, celebrating her 79th birthday and writes briefly about his work.
Charles expresses his pleasure that Ria and the children are at Mrs. Pepper’s house instead of the Capitol Hotel for the winter. He mentions the landing of the Grant with men of the 4th Infantry. He mentions possibility of the 17th Infantry being sent to Alaska. A Capt Jenks told him it was pleasant there but he prefers service in this country.
Charles in San Francisco but contemplating retirement. Asked Ria to send him a list of blue china she wants. He is allowed 2000 lbs of baggage so can ship it at government expense.
Mentions a trip to San Francisco to see a comic opera called The Princess Chic with Mrs. Cole and Capt and Mrs. Perry. Weather was very bad----cold and damp. Spent night with the Perry’s at Fort McDowell. Mentions processing the men returning on the Grant.
Charles explains how boring life is on the island. He plays cards with the other two old men, Majors Garrard and Augur. [Probably Joseph Lee Garrard, 9th Infantry, and Ammon Arthur Augur, 20th Infantry. See http://www.mfhn.com/auger;geds;afsa;augg118.htm#3723 and http://www.arlington cemetery.net/joseph-girrard.htm. He then writes romantically about how bad he misses her.
Charles writes that he received the list of Canton China Ria would like. Will check at Sing Fat’s store. Writes tenderly of wife and family.
Charles answers a letter from Ria about the assassination of Governor William Goebel. Jim Howard, one of the suspects is from the same county as Major Garrard who says that Howard is a cowardly murderer. Even if he did not kill Goebel his past suggests a capability to do most anything. Promptly changes subject to his impending appearance before the Retiring Board.
He writes of the boredom of camp. He is reading a novel, Janice Meredith, and does not go to San Francisco because it is expensive.
Describes trip to San Francisco. Reading novel Janice Meredith. [Bu Paul Leicester Ford and Edward Everett Ross, it is about a girl who helps Paul Revere.] Went to Sing Fat’s store but closed due to Chinese New Year [a popular Chinese bazaar].
Camp life very quiet. Played a few games of Solo with Maj Garrard and Augur. He writes briefly of the retirement board, held up by absence of General Young.
He writes about the blue china Mrs Pepper and Ria want. He complains about the price. Most of letter contains affectionate comments of a husband to his wife.
Charles teases Ria because he did not receive a letter. Boredom of camp life; cards with Majors Garrard and Augur the only amusement.
Charles is frustrated by the tax issue. Example of difficulties military personnel have with frequent transfers and financial obligations. He is also upset that she had to deal with it, perhaps a sign of his traditional values.
Agrees to look for blue China and assures her he will follow her advice about spending more money than he can afford. He tells her his retirement file should reach Washington soon but he probably won’t hear anything before March 10.
Clay writes to assure her that he had not been inconvenienced by the storm. She referred to a cyclone in Feb 26, 1902 letter. He had also telegraphed and thanked her for her concern. He tells her he had picked wildflowers for Susie and papa’s boy. Tom had written him about taxes, he believes, are the same that Ria had paid.
Charles notes that he has seen Capt Lyon and Capt Dowdy who have just returned from the Philippines. Tells Ria that Dr. Pope died in the Philippines of Bright’s disease. Bright family experiencing much tragedy. One of their sons has disappeared. Charles is highly critical of the war in the Philippines. It is too costly in money and human lives.
Short note mentioning press of work. He is working toward retirement and is hoping Tom Smith might get his position.
Describes a visit to San Francisco (he is stationed at Angel Island) where he met many old friends—(Henri) Lyon, an unnamed Sgt Major of the 17th, Major Wilson, Captain Dowdy (describes difficulties of), Captain and Mrs. Cole. Describes continuing pains from the surgery associated with his wound.
Short note keeping in touch. He mentions a trip to the dentist and the miserable weather.
Charles assigned to Clemson College. Talks to President of the College about repairs to their house—a Dr. Mill (spelling uncertain) most of letter is about what furniture to bring and storage for other pieces. Also mentions having dinner with Prof. and Mrs. Riggs, a professor of mechanical engineering.
Concerned because Dr. Bullock has diagnosed Charley with typhoid fever. Praises Ria for taking him to Good Samaritan Hospital. Letter shows father’s concern.
Conferring with Colonel Johnson and Mr. Dowdy about finding a house. Does not want to bring the children down until cooler weather. He misses his family. Mentions a Minnie Williams who was nice to Charley while he was ill and a lease with Tom Shelby.
Describes a house and arrangements to rent it from a Mrs. Bright. Describes housing conditions in Little Rock.
Discusses financial matters, Ria’s state of mind, and the house he has rented for them. He will go to Kentucky for them around September 20. He is in Little Rock.
Charles explains his travels as a civilian employee of the army. He has to go to Fort Smith, (Ark), Texarkana, and Hot Springs. He had been at Clemson but is delighted to be away from it. He alludes to significant issues at Clemson. Mrs. Blanford writes at the end of the letter that as military commander at Clemson Clay found the boys undisciplined. When he attempted to control them the authorities refused to support him. She says the entire junior class was dismissed by the next commander.
Charles worried about Charley. He is getting the house ready for the family to join him in Little Rock.
Plans to meet in Louisville for the trip bringing the family to Little Rock. Still concerned about Charley who had a relapse.
Ria’s surgery has been scheduled by Dr. McMastry for May 25. Clay will apply for leave so he can be with her. (He wasn’t) Tries to cheer her by quoting a Dr. Gibson who says her operation is not a dangerous one. Also calls her the bravest woman he ever saw.
Charles is depressed over money and absence of family.
Short note about weather and press of business.
Enclosed list of Bible and Science Readings for Ria. He had fixed up the cottage; misses her; asks about how she feels as she recuperates from surgery. Enclosure is a list of Bible and Science and Health readings from Lena, Ria’s sister to Ria. Other correspondence suggests Charles was rather hostile to Christian Science so it seems out of character for this to be in Charles’s letter.
Talks about her surgery and his travels.
Complains of train schedules; mentions her surgery; mentions a burning accident of Dan Payne. Fears that turmoil over horse racing in New York will hurt the price of a filly he wants to sell on June 26. To Ria’s complaint that she does not receive letters, he notes that he writes a few lines every day.
Misses Ria terribly; having trouble with station at Texarkana. Will send Arondale (spell) to replace the Corporal there.
He has been to a party at the Elk’s Club in Little Rock with a Mr. Dowdy. Noted that there was no drinking. Urged Ria to remain in the hospital if she was too weak to go home. Bit is Bob as note in hand of Mrs. Blanford says.
Complains of health; thankful for Mr. Dowdy who relieves some of his lonesomeness. Dowdy and two others will come to play cards in evening. He notes there will be no gambling. Worried because he does not know if she has left the Louisville hospital for Frankfort.
Talks money matters with Ria; has paid the infirmary and sent W.S. Farmer his note for items she has purchased. His brother George has written him fearing ruin because New York has passed an anti-racing bill. Notes his own horse interests. Terribly distraught over finances, but mentions that he could make $4600 per year plus income from two farms. Talks about taking a recruiting position in Louisville. Letter paper clipped to one from Mary Nash ______ to Ria, June 10, 1908
General letter but tells her what she should not do following surgery.
Lonesome letter to Ria. Urges her to care for herself and follow the instructions of Dr. McMastry, her surgeon. He emphasizes how much he misses her. Describes Shreveport and the problem of mosquitoes.
Charles in Little Rock, Ark recruiting for army; talks about cashiering a corporal; most of letter about Ria’s surgery. Mentions M.D.s he has checked with—a Dr. Amis at Fort Smith and a Dr. Gibson. Ria’s md. Was a Dr. McMastry. Bill of the surgery (probably a hysterectomy) was $300. Also talks about a possible assignment in Louisville. Ria does not like Louisville.
Ria has written a depressed letter related to her surgery and other issues. Clay has written Dr. McMastry, her surgeon, about her symptoms. He also consoles her about Mary, Susan’s caretaker, who had a stroke. Describes sense of obligation to help her because of what she had meant to family (an aspect of race relations). Wants to move to Louisville. Only a Mr. Dowdy cares about him in Little Rock. Does not understand Elizabeth Pepper’s prejudice against Louisville. Discussion of where they will live. He has suggested that they live with his sister, Teetee, and share expenses. Would make same offer to Ria’s mother.
Charles writes about her surgery. Apologizes for a scolding letter. Signs letter Old Daddy, a reference to the difference in ages of Ria and himself.
Charles is concerned about finances. Ria has moved back to Kentucky, the expense of which may be an underlying theme of the letter. He also notes his loneliness and need for family.
From Little Rock he writes a general letter. Mentions Clifton Breckinridge (had been in Civil War with Charles’s brother James) and how nice he had been to him.
Chides Ria for walking alone in the woods without a man protector. Remainder of letter is chatty news about neighbors and a house he could rent if she approved of it.
Misses her terribly; writes, Ria I am such a baby. Wants to be with family.
General letter about travels and his illness due to the heat. Saw (Clifton) Breckinridge.
Short note saying he is feeling better. He is stationed in Little Rock; she is at her mother’s in Frankfort.
Gives her travel itinerary and plans to start home.
Charles in Washington with brother Tom trying to get back on active duty with the army. A friend, Bob Woolley, has been seeking help of Mr. Breckinridge, member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation probably. The reference to Dr. Trapp and the baby’s eyes is puzzling. The youngest child, Elizabeth would have been 8 years old.
Ria has written that she does not want to stay in Louisville or anywhere else without him but he tells her that he is going to do just that. Also sends note telling children to be good for their mother. All is not well in the Clay household. Mentions importance of Tom Smith’s position, but also notes the extravaganza of Pinnie, Ria’s sister. Cautions that she must be frugal. Stresses the fact that he is old. There is obvious significant tension in family.
Enclosure to letter to George H. Clay not found. Asks Teetee to use some money he had sent George to buy their mother a birthday present. Enclosed it separately so if Susan asked to see his letter they would not have to show her this note.
He spends a page telling them why he has not written. He describes his employer, W.C. Houston Jr, very favorably. He says it is difficult to succeed in the wool business without start-up capital. Mentions a trip by Cousin Mary, Mrs. Conley and Eliza to Atlantic City
Charles tells her of his employment by W.C. Houston, Jr & Co. purchasing wool. He asks Teetee to forward him some money so he can meet his expenses. Wants money from his mother as well. Has a grand plan to make a fortune. Urges Teetee to keep his plans secret but does not explain why.
Teetee had written him despondent because she could not raise the money to go into the sheep business with him. He is discouraged too and is considering breaking his ties with Mr. Houston. Charles is thinking about selling his land. He has written to (Basil) Duke about it. He notes that he does not like the way Duke is handling their business. He says it is gratifying to hear how high Harry stands in Louisiana. (Harry would go on an Arctic expedition and return to Louisville politics between this time and his death in 1884.
Charles is in Trinidad, Colorado. He asks Teetee for $150. He can’t find a job but does not want to go home. Eugene Cushing will arrive in a week and Charles thinks Cushing can help him obtain a job.
Teetee and mother are visiting Fort Leavenworth. He hopes they will come home soon. He is not well. In explaining why he writes so infrequently he mentions an accident last summer. He now has dyspeptic headaches. He writes about preferring death than struggle to survive. He visited Eliza and Jim. He mentions George and his horses, the uncertainty of horses, and George’s desire for a farm. He had dinner with the Mentelles, a Lexington family. (Mary Mentelle, daughter of Waldemar and Charlotte Mentelle, married Thomas Hart Clay) He also visited the McDowell relatives and describes some of the alterations they are making to Ashland. He saw the Harrisons. He mentions Margaret who is disconsolate because of rumors Tom is engaged.
Charles complains of the intense heat at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He asked about his mother’s health and suggests a trip to the mountains of Western Virginia. He urges her to put no trust in newspaper accounts. He asks what Kentuckians think of a particular case, then says he does not think Mexico wants war.
Charles writes from Fort D.A. Russell in Wyoming. Some discussion of garrison social life.
He describes a full social life at Fort D.A. Russell. He mentions a reception given by Dr. Caldwell for a newly married couple (name indecipherable) and a German he and a Lieut. In his regiment gave for a Mr. Kuykendall of Cheyenne who had been very polite on their hunting trip. He planned a Christmas tree and party for 27 children of the enlisted men. He had Christmas dinner with the family of Capt. Van Home. He goes on to describe diners, Germans, and other social events. He also notes that sitting on court martial has kept him busy. He mentions a photograph of his father (James B. Clay) that Teetee sent him. He is proud of his father. He received a gift from Aunt Etta (Jacob relative) He mentions Lucy (perhaps Lucy Scott), Ida Clay, Nettie McDowell, Margaret Martin, and Eliza Clay, and Mary Stallcap. There are numbers on the back of last page, perhaps scores of a card came.
Charles sends $15 for payment on loan. The letter includes information on obligations to Teetee and to George.
They stopped in Omaha because of General Mezner’s illness. He calls Omaha a stupid little western town. He has made a long March which will end at Keaney, Nebraska.
Charles thanks Teetee for his Christmas present. Notes that Jeannie Worley has returned home.
Charles explains that he has been busy preparing his company for a long march and that is why he has not written. Sends a check for $80 to Tom.
Charles described a bad cold and bronchitis he had developed as a result of a trip to Phoenix. He went with Col DeRussy and Mr. and Mrs. Collins. He spends most of the letter talking about people that knew Tom Clay. Mr. Collins admired him very much. He met a man named Baker who wanted to be remembered to Tom. He also mentions a Dr. Ainsworth of Lo Angeles, Colonel Ward, Adj General of the Department, who knew Tom.
Charles writes to Teetee about his wedding. He wants to be involved in all the planning. He is concerned that certain people be invited, ordering a new uniform, etc.
Charles writes after learning from brother Tom that Teetee had fainted and cut her head badly in the fall. His advice seems quite Victorian.
Charles notes a fire at Balgowan in which some mirrors were lost. He suggests the importance of having insurance. He urges Ria to visit them in Columbus. Mentions a letter written by Harry with a postscript from John, two of his brothers.
Charles writes to say he and George are well and to ask about his mother and Teetee. He mentions Frank Noad.
Charles and George are at school and want family members to write. They do not like the food. He mentions that Teetee will go home with a Mrs. Nelson and that Nestor had written him. On back of letter in large letters is Home-Sick Boys Geordie and Charley
Writing from Racine College in Wisconsin. He mentions a cricket match but he was excused by Mr. Spalding due to a hand injury. He and Walker (unknown) have joined Dr. De Kouen’s confirmation class. He asks her how Mansfield looks. Mrs. Clay lived at the Thomas H. Clay estate for several short periods after the Civil War. He asked about his Aunt Mary (Mrs. Thomas H). Wants George, Tom and Teetee to write to him.
Charles describes his journey by horseback 300 miles from Trinidad to Rico.
The family has purchased the land outside Lexington (site of present Calumet Farm) which they s (James Clay Jr) and wife Eliza are in New York. Envelope explanation is by Elizabeth Blanford.
He is pricing tickets for her from Louisville to Denver. He tells her not to be uneasy about him becoming engaged. Paupers have no business marrying. He mentions two people—Katie and Uncle Robert. Both are probably from the Jacob family since no one of those names is Clay's
Charles tells his mother he has passed his examination,
Charles notes that he has written regularly and should be congratulated for overcoming the monster procrastination. He is concerned about brother Tom’s ill health. This letter must have been written just before Susan M. Clay bought the farm they named Balgowan. The letter speaks to the wild life of a western military post. Guard house is full of prisoners after a post pay day spree. Only one of his men is in the guard house and he will not prefer charges. Praises his company commander and says they both believe in justice tempered with mercy. He tells his mother not to worry about lions, bears, etc. because he is cautious. Refers to a dangerous activity called “coasting.” Dr. Brach broke his leg. Promises to go to church. Charles is stationed at Fort Custer in the Montana Territory
Charles sends $120 to pay George, Teetee, and part of his debt to Mrs. Clay. Explains why he has not sent more. He is trying to get a transfer but is not terribly hopeful.
From Fort Custer, M.T. Charles sends 8 photographs he was given as follows: one to her, one to Teetee, one to Eliza (Mrs. James B. Clay Jr.), one to aunt Mary and Miss Rose together (Mary Mentelle Clay and daughter Rose), one to Margaret Martin, one to Jennie Walker, one to Harry (Brother), and one to Aunt Etta (a Jacob relative). The Harry Clay he mentions is either his uncle or his cousin in Rogersville, Tennessee. He then asks for photographs of all his relatives. He writes about his success as a military officer and claims his health is good.
Charles encourages his mother to seek medical attention before she is seriously ill. He mentions that Mary Harrison is seeking the position of Post Mistress and he encourages her to write to Mr. Cleveland, the President, on her behalf. The Harrisons have always been true friends. Teetee has told him that Cousin Nannie (Anne Clay McDowell) has been very attentive. He also mentions Nettie McDowell and wants her to find him a sweetheart and send him her picture since he sent her one of himself earlier. He wants her to thank Mr. Wilson, probably Robert Burns Wilson, for a picture he gave Mrs. Clay of Uncle Aaron (Dupuy). Uncle Aaron was an early valet of Henry Clay and a family favorite. Charles tells her of plans to seek a leave of absence to gather letters of recommendation and to see Mr. Cleveland about a transfer to the 2nd or some other Regiment of Cavalry. Says his only claim upon Arthur was his grandfather but on Cleveland has both grandfather and father. And he says he is a Democrat. Offers his brother Jim a good citizen overcoat that is now too small for him and asks his mother to give his love to Jamie Walker and tell her to write.
From Fort Custer, Montana Territory Charles sends a check to pay part of his debt to George. He also promises to send Teetee money. He tells his mother his health is good.
Charles writes from Fort Custer to tell his mother he had arrived safely from a training trip. He describes the terrain and the danger of rattle snakes. He has enjoyed the trip but is excited about orders to go to Fort Leavenworth. He also urges his mother not to be so concerned about Tom. There may be Indian uprisings but he mentions several reasons Tom will be safe.
Charles has begun his career in the military. Dissatisfaction with African-American servants.
fragment. He has just returned to Fort Leavenworth. He mentions the heat and the abbreviated work schedule caused by it. He mentions an accident to one of the officers and in the midst of an explanation the remainder of the letter is missing.
Charles tells of two tragedies at his base. A Lt. Weinberg had been seriously burned and might not recover, and a child of General McCook had died. He mentions that he had seen that Lady Longfellow had won a race in Chicago. That would be a horse owned either by George or Tom. An inset to the letter tells about the fire that burned Weinberg. He had gotten up during the night. He stumbled and fell on his lamp. His underclothing became soaked in the oil and caught fire.
Charles writes brief note to let his mother he arrived at Fort Leavenworth safely. He mentions meeting many pretty girls in Louisville and forgetting to leave his Uncle Tom (Thomas P. Jacob) eight dollars.
It is Charles’s birthday so he writes to thank his mother for his existence and all the advantages he has had. He laments accomplishing so little. He is entering his examination period (for the military) so won’t be able to write. He sent an $8 money order to Uncle Tom (P. Jacob) that he had forgotten to give him when in Louisville.
His letter is brief because he is preparing for examinations at Fort Leavenworth school. He has almost finished his essay on the campaign of Vittoria. He says Teetee can read it in Napier’s Peninsular War. He asks about George’s horse Chevalier.
On Thanksgiving, he notes that the family has had no great afflictions, no great reverses, good health and a fair degree of prosperity. Dined with Colonel and Mrs. Offley. He is no great force, but pleasant socially She is an excellent type of the southern lady. Mentions three Marshall girls living with them, the granddaughters of Lewis Marshall, a brother of Judge Thomas A. Marshall of Kentucky. They are related to Robert E. Lee. He attended a party given by a Dr. Garrand. He asks if George received the $75 he sent him.
He has contacted Dr. Patterson of Kentucky University about a position at the university. He hopes to receive a three year assignment there. He also talks to his mother about his desire to find a wife, a subject they have discussed before. He also talks about his debts.
Charles writes of his love of family and reveals a concern that he is getting older and remains unmarried. He wonders if he can ever fall in love with any woman. He has thirteen volumes of Tolstoy he plans to send but has read several of them. He thinks Tolstoy one of the great writers of the century but does not like the way he handles Napoleon. He attributes Tolstoy’s dislike of Napoleon to the fact that the author is Russian. He describes his own feelings toward hero worship. He thinks historians are guilty of it and should pay more attention to what is great and good in the national character. He mentions an imported horse that George h ad lost. Praises George for handling the loss well. He is seeking a position at the A&M College (Kentucky University) He discusses his finances and his intent to pay the note he owes George. The note on blue paper is to Lindsey Apple from Elizabeth Clay Blanford dated March 20, 1988. She notes that Charles Clay later gave the Tolstoy volumes to Susan, his daughter, her sister.
Charles writes a postcard to calm his mother’s fears. He assures her he will be home around March 1.
Charles writes from Fort D.A Russell in Wyoming. He has received a scolding letter from her and thought it is not the first there are things that pain him. Susan has apparently accused him of not loving them because he does not write frequently enough. He defends his membership in the Cheyenne Club. He meets the best people of the town there and thinks it preferable to loafing around saloons and public billiard halls. He claims he has gambled only once. He occasionally plays cards with other officers. He has probably lost fifty or sixty dollars over the last year and a half. He also lost eighty dollars in a game played with citizens. She has also chastised him for a failure to appreciate the value of money. He agrees. He assures her he will do nothing to disgrace her or himself. He mentions having lunch with Susie Magoffin. Claims he is one of the best dancers in Cheyenne.
Charles writes to let his mother know he has arrived safely from his hunting trip. They brought back over 3000 pounds of meat. He is delighted with his role.
Charles writes about a disagreement with Dr. Patterson of the University. The War Dept has published an order defining what officers detailed to colleges are required to do. Apparently Patterson wants him to do differently. Charles assures his mother he will handle the matter without antagonizing Dr. Patterson but he will stand up for his rights. He plans to see Governor (Simon Bolivar) Buckner who is an old army officer. He notes he was glad to see that one of the Clay horses, Balgowan, had won a stakes race in St. Louis.
Charles is disturbed by the selling of property in his mother’s trust. He also tells her that he may be able to transfer to the 17th Infantry at Columbus, Ohio
Charles is upset that he hears so little from home. He announces plans to leave Whipple Barracks on August 25. He says wedding will be simple because Ria is in mourning (death of her brother Robert). He promises to show his mother Ria’s letters when he gets home. It will convince her of Ria’s strength and pure, Christian spirit.
Charles and Ria write separate letters to Mrs. Clay. Charles’s letter encourages them to visit. Ria has well-placed relatives in town and there is an officer who was in Tom’s unit. Ria describes the house in great detail and encourages the Clays to visit.
Charles expresses concern for his mother’s health. He asks about a trip to Columbus to see them.
fragment. From Fort D.A. Russell Charles writes chastising his mother for not taking care of herself. He wishes he was there to help nurse her then apply some army discipline to her habits. He then notes that he is in charge of his company and has whipped them into shape. Charles seems to be quite the disciplinarian. He describes a hunting trip that he led.
News of family. He has sent Ria and children to Frankfort. Hopes his mother can see them.
Charles is serving in the west and is writing home but only pages 2 and 3 of the letter are here. He mentions gifts for two of the servants. He also mentions the Goodloe-Swope affair which helps date the letter.
Clay apologizes for not writing but claims press of business. Trying to secure position with Governor McCreary of Kentucky. Working with General Haldeman, the Adjutant General and Col. Tandy Ellis his assistant. Mentions Bud (Charley) and Bit (Bob). Fritz Goedecke is May’s husband.
Thank you for father’s day gift.
Thanks her for remembering his birthday. Apologizes for not writing sooner but he has suffered a very bad cold.
Demanding to know their financial circumstances so he and Uncle Tom (Thomas J. Clay) can help them.
An example of the Colonel’s Victorian discretion.
Sawitzky is feeling the impact of the depression in New York. Clay offers a place for the summer.
A brief letter written by a young child. Ida invites Charles to come stay with her family.
Charles cousin writes that he must cancel their plan to visit a young woman.
copy. The Nashes were related to Ria Pepper Clay. She mentions moving away and letter is from Clarksville. She mentions two sisters Virginia Lee and Jessie Finley. Letter is probably from 1870s because she use the derivative of George, Geordie, used when he was a young boy.
copy. Mary is delighted to hear from her nephew, praises his letter then begins a rather somber account of things. Farming is bad, no money is being made, they do not have the means to entertain, country life is lonely, and she fears Charles’ mother is lonely too. Mike (unidentified) has a nice little Irish wife and Nestor (unidentified) goes to school when the weather permits. Thomas Hart Clay has not returned from Central America.
He informs Charles he can’t help him in Boston because he has no strong acquaintances there.
Letter contains business information.
Hefferman offers to sell the lots he bought for taxes back to Clay.
Jacobs expresses admiration for Charles’ perseverance over two years trying to find a position and hopes he will now be successful. He tells Charles of Susan M. Clay’s illness but hopes that when the effects of morphine have worn off she will recover. She is staying at Mattie Richards.
Encloses a check for $200 for a sale. Gives Charles advice and encouragement.
Postcard. Writer asks Charles for $50 to buy clothes. The card is probably from George Clay. He talks about his St. Louis property.
Job opportunities in the wool business.
Note Elizabeth Clay Blanford. Elizabeth was daughter of Charles D. Clay. Letters claim Jacob cannot help his nephew with employment. There was some friction between the Louisville Jacobs and Susan M. (Jacob) Clay over inheritance and management of funds.
The letter relates the death of Dr. E (Eugene) Cushing in an affray with Ed Ponett (?) Cushing struck by two of five shots. Cushing settled his affairs and died with honor.
Signature is indecipherable. James F. Robinson Jr, the manager of Crab Orchard Springs may be the son of James F. Robinson, the Union Governor of Kentucky during the Civil War. He writes to make note of some kind of accident that has befallen Charles Clay in Louisville. He hopes he finds someone who will help Charles as much as Charles helped him at an earlier time but no explanations are given. He notes that he wants to go into Eastern Kentucky, apparently on business Charles knows about but he has been unable to do so. Invites Charles to visit him for a few days.
Letter to potential employers in the wool buying industry. Note in blue ink is by Elizabeth Clay Blanford. It suggests Charles Clay strongly disliked the wool business.
Jacob, the mayor of Louisville and Charles’s uncle, sends Charles $60 and mentions that he had received a scolding letter from Susan M. Clay. Evidence of the hard feelings regarding administration of the family trust.
Jacob was Clay’s uncle, but was of similar age. McDowel Wedding----Nettie or Nanette McDowell and Thomas Bullock. A major social affair in Lexington.
The writer addresses the letter to his cousin and the letter deals primarily with genealogical issues. Mentions the father of John, the Grenadier.
Only a printed poem in envelope. Probably from Ria. They married Sept 8, 1896
Letter praising Clay’s daughter Susan. Says she has a temper and the letter suggests it was encouraged by family members.
He sends a cup and a fan as gifts commemorating his son who was killed in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Charles Clay made the arrangements to have the body exhumed and sent back to Louisville. Someone has written the names of people over terms like niece, mother, etc. They appear to be accurate. Charles D. Clay’s actions led to better relations between Charles Jacob and his sister, Susan M. Clay. She had believed he had mismanaged her trust fund.
Spanish American War. Thank you note for Clay’s comments in Ohio State Journal about the fallen of the 17th which included Haskell’s brother.
Writes to ask for contribution and solicitation of same for a memorial to the men of the 17th Infantry at Trinity Church in Columbus, Ohio. Includes two enclosures, one of the church treasurer’s report and the other a portion of the announcement of the memorial.
Philippine insurrection. Aldnach was in charge of the litter carrying wounded men the day Charles was wounded. Letter gives a very graphic account of that day. Says he believed Clay very near death. Medical value of whiskey!
Early 1900s. Miss Williams ran a school Charley and Bob attended briefly. Susan graduated in 1914.
Notes enclosure of statement for entry in the Breeders’ Futurity 1913. No statement included with letter.
Writes asking Clay for a job. He has heard that Clay has a detail with the organized Militia of Kentucky.
Contains newspaper clipping and cloth book mark Letter requesting help getting a position in Louisville. Lists retired officers of the 17th Infantry living in the East San Diego, CA area. Includes copy of a speech Clay gave in 1898 when the 17th returned from Cuba honoring the fallen. Letter says it was from Columbus Dispatch. Also a small cloth book marker noting the return of the 17th
Desha takes Charles up on offer to write the President and Senator (Ollie) James to recommend him for position of Collector of the District.(Internal Revenue)
Acknowledges Clay’s letter of recommendation for Desha Breckinridge as Collector of Internal Revenue for the 7th District of Kentucky.
Letter praising Bob Clay.
Sends news to Clay about circumstances of Charley’s death. Spencer had visited Clay earlier on a trip south to tell him all was not right about the investigation at FT. Snelling. Testimony of Capt Orsinger and Lieut Ingram; Urges Clay to come to St. Paul himself.
Spencer reports to Clay that he has been to the Department of Justice to speak to the officer in charge of the investigation. He describes information that came secretly from the army base to the investigating officer. He encourages Clay to come to Minnesota. Notes in margins are in hand of Elizabeth Blanford. They give a few of the death as the family chose to see it.
Has ordered commanding officer at Fort Snelling to render every practicable assistance. Refers Clay to his letter of Feb 27.
Sends a pamphlet confidentially to indicate that he experienced circumstances similar to the death of Charley Clay.
The board determined that Charley’s death had occurred in line of duty and not the result of his own wilful (sic) misconduct. No powder burns or singeing of the hair characteristic of Colt 45 wound. Noted that pistol was on the mantle but impossible for him to have placed it there. He was not killed by his own pistol which is missing. Further praise of Charley.
Johannis notes a check Charley had made out to J.M. Heller and promises to investigate. Assures Clay he will leave no stone unturned in the investigation.
Hart family genealogy
Duke says he cannot complete their business because the tax title man is sick. Hopes to complete it by January 3.
Duke acknowledges receipt of check to be applied to taxes.
Advice and information on sale of lots.
Duke informs Clay on market for lots.
Duke explains why he can not sell Charles’ land.
Information on property holdings in Louisville
Duke urges Clay not to go to court because his adversary gave an extension of time as a personal favor. He urges him to keep his lots even if he has to borrow money to pay the taxes. He tries to explain tax laws to Clay. Susan M. Clay was mistaken in her interpretation, he says.
Information on taxes owed.
Duke gives legal advice about taxes on lots.
Advice on the low market for lots.
Duke says he is doing all he can to find purchasers but it is not possible to accomplish impossibilities.
He agrees to sell property when purchasers can be found.
Duke gives legal advice on lots on which are owed back taxes, potential sale of lots etc.
Agrees to help Charles.
Jones informs him that a Mr. Green will place Charles in a position buying wool.
Jones urges Clay to see Alfred Pope if he has been unable to raise funds. It is important for Clay to be in Philadelphia soon.
Jones discusses Charles’ attempt to find a position. If current effort fails he wants a mutual friend to introduce him to William Houston. (Charles later went to work for Houston in the wool business.)
Gives Charles advice about making a fortune. He mentions that Charles has problems with his eyes.
Jones writes of a voyage they took hunting and fishing. He speaks of a great deal of leisure activity then encourages Charles as the latter enters the wool trade. He hopes Charles will finish his apprenticeship before the trade begins. The letter mentions a number of family members. Jones is married to Susan M. Clay’s sister Kate. Penciled note is by Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Jones gives Charles some business advice and some encouragement. He also mentions Tom Clay’s success as a marksman. (Tom later won a number of army competitions as a marksman.)
Jones responds to a letter from Charles. He mentions the wool business and general news of business and the family.
In hand of Lucy Scott and filed with her letters. It probably was contained in a letter.
Thinks it strange that Charles and his four brothers are all single. Mentions her cousin Jane who is Edward Biddle’s mother.
Tells him not to come to see her because she is busy with blackberry preserves.
Acceptance of engagement. Subjects: Social history.
Subjects: Social history.
Subjects: Social history.
Subjects: Social history; West Point Party. Wife of General Scholfield; Flirtation.
At West Point. Attends a cadet party. Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay, Charles’ sister is there too.
Subjects: Social history Mentioned: Mr. Alford of Lexington; Sallie and Lucy Humphrey
Mentions invitation from Teetee to visit, but had to decline. Talks about an old beau.
Subjects: Social history; Belle Alliance; southern blacks.
Lucy’s stationery. Dated 1879 because addressed to Charles who was in Philadelphia in 1879. Pressed flower in the envelope.
Subjects: social history pressed fern in letter.
She feels fate keeps them apart. Encourages him to try to get to know the Yankees of Philadelphia that he detests so much.
Subjects: Social history She is pushing him for a commitment. Tiny picture included in the letter. A young woman’s boredom.
Lucy speaks of them as engaged. She wants him to go to Trinidad and start a sheep farm. He can be independent and she is not as enamored of society as he might think. Apparently she is assuming marriage.
Subjects: social history.
Subjects: Social history.
Chatty letter, mild flirtation, local news. Mentions Thomas J. Cay’s success as a marksman.
Scott chastises Charles for not writing as frequently as she thinks he should. Letter may say something about social relationships. Her tone is quite flippant. It suggests wealth at a time when he is struggling to find a position.
Mentions a visit to New Orleans by Mary Ballard. Asked her cousin Sallie Bennett to call on Teetee.
Misunderstanding between them. She has heard he and Barton Shelby are a match.
Sympathizes with Clay over financial woes. Mentions an overpowering dread of insanity. Says she will not connect herself with a family in which it was hereditary. Ironic since it existed in Clay family.
Wants to know about New Mexico. Mentions his illustrious heritage and the importance she places on it. She does not think Teetee, Charles’ sister, likes her but declares Susan M. Clay, Charles’ mother, a highly refined lady. Mentions coming marriage of Lizzie Scott and Duncan Ogden. Mentions Lucy Bergland.
The Mariah Pepper Clay series comprises correspondence, a sworn statement, an art notebook, ephemera, and a memory book, which documents Mariah Pepper Clay's familial relationships and major life events. Letters written to her husband and children make up the bulk of the collection and concern events such as her wedding; the birth of her children; her husband's military service; her childrens' schooling at institutions such as West Point and the University of Kentucky; Charles D. Clay, Jr.'s suspected suicide; her conversion to Christian Science; and Susan Clay's elopement with William Sawitzky. The letters illuminate her relationships with her children, husband, mother-in-law Susan M. Clay , and sister-in-law Lucretia Teetee Clay. Additionally, the series includes a sworn statement concerning the death of Charles D. Clay, Jr. (Box 33, Folder 24).
Letter about property they could buy collectively with some hope of a profit.
Pencil drawings and paintings by Mariah H. Pepper (Clay)
Ria kept dance cards, invitations, minor league baseball scorecards and many other items related to her social life in Frankfort before her wedding in 1896. There are dried flowers, hair pins and other small artifacts as well. There are a few letters and pictures attached to the pages. The book provides a picture of the social activities of gentry youth.
Ria writes to her future mother-in-law attempting to say all the right things.
Seeking to be declared his beneficiary. Statement explains circumstances of Charles D. Clay Jr.’s death.
Susan doing art work; off to Louisville with Col Strode Jackson. Invites Sawitzky for a visit; Susan had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. (Frank) McVey.
Postcard. Denotes sensitivity expressed within family.
Elizabeth is visiting Bob at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Mrs. Clay writes about Susan leaving to go back to New England, taking with her a number of birds.
Pin refers to Mrs. Tom (Pinnie) Smith, Mrs. Clay’s sister. Mrs. Clinkenbeard was a Christian Science practitioner used by Susan, Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay. Mrs. Clay and the girls attended the Christian Science group. The brothers and Colonel Charles D. Clay remained Episcopalian.
Elizabeth is visiting her brother Bob, a West Point graduate, stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Mary Martha was Bob Clay’s wife, nee Martindale.
Susan, Charles, Robert and Elizabeth called their mother Marm. Elizabeth was called Metzie. Many of their letters are signed or addressed to those nicknames. They all loved animals and kept many pets. Elizabeth married William Blanford after World War II. Susan married William Sawitzky in 1927.
newspaper clipping enclosed. Notes her appreciation of Elizabeth’s frank assessment of circumstances around Capt A (Allison). (There was great hope within the family that Elizabeth would marry him, but she said that while she liked him and his mother she could not marry a man she did not love.) She mentions some of Elizabeth’s literary efforts, particularly Frogtown Spirit and possibility that Professor Farquar of the University would get them published. Mentions precarious financial situation. She discusses problems of tobacco farming in early years of the depression. She then turns to social activities and notes that Tom Clay had been hit by a car in Lexington but was being treated very well by the staff at the hotel where he lived.
Addresses letter to Charley, son who had been dead for over ten years; Elizabeth (Metzie) visiting Bob in Champaign, Ill.; Escapade; Tom (Smith), a cousin; Mrs Martindale, Bob’s mother-in-law; Cleo (Dawson Smith) taught Spanish at U.K.
Elizabeth visiting her Aunt Pinnie Smith. Mentions Millie Lawson. Mentions Helen and Tom. Tom Smith is Pinnie’s husband.
Elizabeth spent part of her inheritance after the death of her father on a trip to Europe. Mrs. Clay was visiting Susan, but rented rooms then spent most of the day with her daughter and William Sawitzky.
Elizabeth visiting Susan ; Lizzie is Mrs. Clay’s sister; mentions Lucy Ferman, author of Ky mountain stories.
Susan cutting teeth. Letter expresses concerns about the fire place and the danger to children.
Dated around Thanksgiving after birth of Bud in 1899 Mary is servant who helps with children. Mentions birth of Robert Burns Wilson’s daughter; Tom and Lizzie smith, Mariah’s sister. Ria often referred to Charles as her old man because of the difference in their ages.
Ria writes flirtatiously that she will see him Sunday evening but makes no promises as to the sanity of her behavior.
Ria has sent him a quotation then has to explain it to him. She has expressed a willingness to leave everything and depend absolutely on him for happiness. Then tells him not to ask her to say more.
Ria chastises Charles for not writing as he has promised. She mentions that Governor and Mrs. Bradley are staying with Mr. Tarlton. Elizabeth Clay Blanford writes that Tarlton is Christine Reynolds’ step-father. Warns Charles to keep out of the way of the Apaches.
Ria recounts that only two weeks ago he was visiting her. She says Christine (Reynolds) could not gauge the Governor’s (Bradley) response to her petition for Charles. (Charles had appealed to the governor of a position.) She did mention that he had many applications. Ria then tells Charles that she has begun bicycling to their country home each day. She is gaining a reputation as a nineteenth century new woman. Letter is one by a young woman seeking to be engaging but avoiding saying too much.
Ria writes a chatty letter about Christmas. She thanked Charles for the roses he sent her. She told Mr. Cannon about her engagement to Charles.
Ria is addressing him as Mr. Clay at this time. She says she dislikes cabinet photographs but since it is for him she will go to Mullen (a prominent Lexington photographer) She, Lena and Lissie had planned a trip to the North Carolina mountains but Clay Hatchett, Lena’s husband was too ill so it was postponed. She then talks about a sense of restraint she should feel around him—a reference to proper behavior. She also mentioned a visit from Maime Scott, Marian Lindsay and Thomas Averill—names that appear frequently as friends of the family. Letter includes some talk of Frankfort society. Ria asks Charles what he thinks of the marriage of Sidney Clay to May Stoner of Paris. Belle Clay was expected at Christine Reynolds’ and letter implies she will learn more.
Ria expresses appreciation for his letters. She then gives him permission to mention their engagement to friends. She describes several pets then mentions bicycling.
Letter contains gentle banter about letter writing, the habits of men vs. women, etc. She needles him a bit about his age and the need to wear a hat in cold weather. Shows her sense of humor.
Ria tells Charles she has answered his mother’s letter. She also denotes her awakening to all that has happened and wants Charles to pray with her that all works out properly; She mentions a visit from George C. Webb. There seems to be some irony intended in her response. Says she had heard that he was to be married to a Miss Graves but expresses some doubt. She has joined the King’s daughters, a Frankfort group, and is on the visiting committee for January. She asks if he is a member of the King’s Sons. She also asks him what he thought of her bicycle picture.
Ria dresses Charles down for things he has said in previous letters. Apparently he wants her to be more open with her feelings for him. She says it is not in her nature. She would like to express her feelings but when the time comes the valve closes and she cannot say them. She then turns to animals and her love for them. She had ridden out to the Cliffs and found a friend that had been injured.
Ria writes a flirtatious letter, characteristic of those early in their relationship. She mentions visits by Mr. Wilson (probably Robert Burns Wilson), Marion Scott, and Christine (Reynolds). She urges him to learn to ride a bicycle and speaks of the sense of freedom when doing so. She also mentions a photograph of the officers’ quarters Charles was to send her. They are preparing for the move to the Cliffs for the summer. (The Cliffs was a house they rented in the Thorn Hill area outside Frankfort.) Mentions a McDonald family. Her grandmother is going to give her a set of Montaigne’s writings. Encourages him to write.
Ria writes about going to Mullen’s Lexington photography studio to have her picture taken. Mullen did photos of many prominent Central Kentuckians. She writes that photographs never capture the true essence of a person because they show no expressions.
Ria has been out for a cold ride. Her brother Rob’s dog is stretched out before the fireplace. He had upset the household earlier by running off. Chides Charles good-naturedly for suggesting getting a cat to take care of mice. Tells Charles of a Lt. Hart who undoubtedly will be the toast of the social circuit because of his attractiveness, etc. She has heard he has already been engaged.
Ria writes a chatty letter. She has spent the morning with Christine (Reynolds), Belle Clay and Mr. (Robert Burns) Wilson. She has also had a visit from Laura Nutchell, A Virginia girl who has spent much of the winter with Mrs. Simon B. Buckner.
Ria gently chastises him for his goosy ideas about what she means in her letters. Her tone is quite independent. She mentions that he will be coming home in May and asks him if he will welcome the month that will bring him home that is if we keep on good terms till then. She then tells him that she has been visiting her country friends. She visited the Rodman house then went to see Christine (Reynolds) and Belle (Clay) She expresses concern about Belle’s health.
Ria writes that Rob (Robert P. Pepper) is suffering severely with malaria fever following grippe. Dr. Shillman is treating him.
8 newspaper enclosures. Ria writes about Rob’s death. The family will go to Fortress Monroe in March to try to restore their health. She mentions Teetee’s sympathy note, flowers from Mrs. Clay, and a telegram from Tom Clay. The newspaper clippings are accounts of his death and funeral.
Charles has mentioned going on an expedition in the west and Ria lets him know in no uncertain terms that she is not in favor of it. She turns to family news. Clay Hatchitt and Lena came through on their way to Crab Orchard Springs. Hatchitt is sick and doctors have told him to go to the spring. Willie Starling has also visited. Charles apparently wants a job with the cadet corps at Georgetown College. Lena praises the college. At end of letter Ria teases Charles. Plays on concept of liking vs. loving.
Ria writes to Charles at Whipple Barracks, Arizona. She is somewhat flirtatious then turns to a lecture by Uncle Willie at Cornell University and a trip south.
Elizabeth Clay Blanford wrote in the margin that Dick was one of May’s beaux. He is mentioned in several letters. Ria had relatives in Columbus. Mrs. Pepper’s mother had lived there. She mentions some of her relatives that still live there.
Ria notes the great distance between them and jokes about his commanding officer’s choice of men versus hers. Having attended church she mentioned Mr. Blayney (possibly the minister at the Presbyterian Church) who was trying to balance a trip to Europe with Charles’s schedule (He may have performed the wedding ceremony). Mentioned his two sons, Lindsey and Mack. He had baptized Rob Pepper and been a long time friend of the family. Mentions Mary Harrison and Mr. Johnson.
Maria tells him she is sending him a surprise. The letter refers to events of their early courtship.
The letter contains family news and she mentions the marriage of Louise Goodloe and Mr. ( ) Faulkner.
She asks Charles how she should send a miniature to him. A cousin, Alex Hensley, had visited Charles’s mother and sister and found them charming
Ria expresses her excitement at living in the west given Charles’s description of it. She is also working at learning to cook and make preserves. She has sent a miniature of herself to him painted by Paul Sawyier, a young artist who gives the promise of becoming a very great success as a miniature painter. He had painted three miniatures for Mamie Scott.
Charles has written to Ria about the native Americans. Letter shows stereotypical views held about the Indians. Ria is planning at this time to join Charles in the West. She notes her cowardice and challenges him to make her an Annie Oakley. She then switches to the topic of the wedding, saying that she wants him to be a part of the planning. She challenges him regarding the frequency with which each writes the other.
Apologizes for writing hurriedly but credits visit by Christine (Reynolds) and Belle (Clay). She agrees to the wedding as soon after Sept 1 as possible. They will decide the date when he arrives. The rest of the letter is a romantic expression of his presence in her thoughts and her hope that she will meet his expectations as a wife.
Light banter about housekeeping duties. Some information on African American servants.
Ria has spoken with Dr. Blayney (the minister) and she will take Charles to see him when he returns to Kentucky. There is perhaps more here than is evident because Ria assures Charles that Dr. Blayney is a most liberal minded sensible man who will do what is right. She rights about acceptance of her by Charles’ family and her sense of reserve. Charles apparently has made comments about tasteful dress.
Ria describes her wedding dress in detail and expresses hope that he arrives home on time. A mutual friend (Mr. Johnson) has told her what a wonderful family the Clays are, particularly Teetee.
Ria writes of Charles’s efforts to prepare the house in Columbus—wall paper, etc. She then describes her efforts to get a cook to accompany her to Columbus. The woman worked for a Mrs. Thomas (Emily’s mother) and Ria asked her before talking seriously to the woman. This speaks to relations between African American servants and white upper class.
Ria is convalescing after accident over Mike the monkey and she will not be able to meet Charles in Cincinnati as planned, She writes that she wants to join him. Notes that Aunt Laura and Miss Pattie (Burnley) were visiting.
Ria is convalescing from accident. She is feeling better but is still not allowed to walk on the ankle. Pin is her nurse.
Ria is beginning to venture out after her accident. She notes that Charles has met cousin Starling Loving. She does not know whether she will like him because he has a poor opinion of Kentucky and Kentuckians.
Ria writes of her daily activities. She was limited by an injury received, according to Elizabeth Blanford’s note when she attempted to rescue the pet monkey, Mike, from some dogs. She was on crutches. The letter contains considerable information about servants. Ria was trying to get Martha to go to Columbus with her as a servant, but Martha and her husband were hired by a Mr. pence to become hotel servants in California. She also mentioned Anne as a servant. Dr. Hume was Ria’s family physician.
Ria is sitting up after her accident and is able to enjoy the guests. She tells him of the activities of the Pepper house and her plans for her trip to Columbus to join him.
The letter was written before the birth of the baby. She refers to it as Harry. Ria describes her day to Charles. Mentions a letter she received from mrs. Lyon and her insistence that Charles visit. She mentioned a visitor, Mrs. Piper, who had married at seventeen and had ten children. Ria urged Charles to return a call to Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Gill. She speaks of good breeding. She writes about Frank Cannon and his living arrangements. She also tells Charles that poor old Mrs. Preston knitted a receiving blanket for Harry.
Letter speaks of Susan as a baby. Mama is Mrs. Clay’s mother so she is living in Frankfort while Charles is away. Mary was Susan’s nurse when she was little. Jim and Eliza are James B. Clay Jr. and wife. Operated Iroquois Farm near Balgowan. Mentions George Clay, Tom Smith, and her sister May.
Mentions illness of Louise; a visit by Helen Page. Hints at a relationship between Page and Robert B__. She and May were driven to the Cliffs by Mason Barnet. Describes its natural beauty. Bough a present for Mary Payne’s wedding. Also tells Charles about her reading.
Ria is upset and lonely. Louise, one of Mrs. Pepper’s younger sisters is very ill. Note in blue ink is in hand of Elizabeth Blanford. She had a frank talk with Dr. Hume who says she is progressing well and should deliver the last week in July. She mentions baby clothes brought by a Mrs Hendrick and a Mrs. Dudley. She relates the rigorous pursuit by Robert Burns Wilson of Helen Page. She and May drove out to the Cliffs. She asks if Nora is with Capt Sharpe or Mrs Bradford. Nora was a servant who had worked for them. Mentions a Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Gill in Columbus.
She mentions cutting a bucket full of little plantain to occupy herself. Also notes a visit from Miss Mag and Miss Eliza (no further identification). Also mentions attempt to rent a house to a Mr. Burnham.
Ria talks about a shopping trip in Harry’s interest. Harry is probably the name they have chosen if their unborn child is a boy. Charles’s brother Harry was killed in a shooting in Louisville in the early 1880s that was probably politically motivated. Mentions Charles coming to see her in June and praises Col. Poland, Charles’s commanding officer in that context. Mentions Capt. Roberts. Mrs. Johnson and Maimie Scott had visited. Pinnie was helping her. Notes in blue ink are in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford. She identifies Mike, the pet monkey, and Dick, May’s friend.
Flem is one of Miss Pepper’s servants. Mentions a Mrs Grumley. Some financial info. Ria writes of their unborn child, unsure of its gender. Mentions notices in the Courier and the Times (Louisville) of Uncle Charley Jacob’s marriage. He married a Miss Bullitt.
Ria writes of her activities and of Teetee’s (Lucretia Hart Clay) illness. The family had purchased a croquet set. The monkey Mike tended to interrupt the game by grabbing a ball. Mentions a visit from two women named Rodgers. Their husbands were the sons of cousin Eliza Rodgers
Ria relates information about the cost of her wedding trousseau and arrangements to credit some of it against her share of the estate when it is settled. The letter is largely financial information.
She writes about setting a time for a visit from Mrs. Clay and Teetee. She seems to defend Charles Jacob to her husband. She notes that he has withdrawn from the mayor’s race in Louisville, looks a good deal like Susan M. Clay. Apparently Charles Jacob is marrying a Miss Bullitt. Mentions Alex Hensley, Mr. and Mrs. Corgell, Christine Reynolds and Mamie Scott
Ria is putting up strawberry preserves. She mentions keeping Flem, a servant, busy picking them. Elizabeth Blanford confirms that her parents referred to the unborn child as Harry. Ria notes the movement of the baby.
Susan mildly chastises Charles for going to a park on Sunday. Her mother thinks she is going to have a daughter.
Ria relates a visit by Mrs. Barrett and Mrs. Bailey. She has been cleaning and mending. A letter from Teetee mentioned a visit by Katie Johnson.
Ria writes of her love for Charles then shifts to news. Mrs. Clay and Teetee had visited. She mentions a man in relation to photos taken of Mrs. Clay but the name is illegible. She mentions a Mrs. Barrett who had told her Charles’s march from Columbus to Fort Thomas had been postponed. She writes about Mrs. Bailey’s peach crop.
Brief letter—mentions a Mrs. Burnham, making strawberry preserves.
Ria writes of receiving his letters and wishing for more. She had a conversation with Lena (her half sister) and described a summer dinner she had enjoyed. Mentioned Mr Smith, a Mrs. J and a Miss R. She was surprised that the latter two had joined the Catholic church. She referred to the baby as Harry.
Letter contains news of Frankfort and people Charles would know. Ria tells Charles she has invited Teetee and his mother for a visit in July when Charles will be visiting. She startled family when she asked to go fishing in a party Frank Cannon was leading (She would have a child on July 21) Lena, her half sister, is with them, but her husband, Clay Hatchett will arrive to attend funeral of James Harlan, his uncle, who was killed by a train in Louisville. Mentions Lyne, probably Lyne Starling, who was coming from school in Danville (probably Centre College). Hopes he can help decipher Tom Smith’s formula for developing film. See letter of June 20, 1897.
Ria kids Charles about joining him in a soldier’s march. Pin took Mr. (Tom) Smith’s formula for developing photographs to Thomas (Averill). She notes that Lena and Little Lyne (probably Lyne Godecke) are set to travel. The family has reserved a Novel filly for him. She mentions the funeral of Mr. Harlan and a postponed fishing trip.
Ria writes about attempting to make raspberry jam with her Aunt Laura. She and Pinnie have also tried to develop film with a formula provided by Charles and Tom Smith, Pinnie’s future husband. She also mentions visits from Mr. Macklin and Mr. Chinn.
Chatty letter. Ria has been to town to shop and get t he mail. Mentions Charles’s march from Columbus barracks to Fort Thomas. If able she wants to visit. She is out quite a bit to be 8 months pregnant. Mentions a conversation that spoke of people Charles apparently knew. Expressed her dislike of racetracks but wished she could have accompanied him on a pleasure trip to Minerva Park. She wants a cousin Starling Loving to visit.
Brief letter assuring him that she is feeling well. Notes a short rain but the farmers say the harvest will go on. (they were somewhat dependent on the income from a small farm Ria inherited.) She says she is going to try to tone the photographs. She and Pin have been experimenting with developing film.
Ria, her mother, and sisters Pinnie and Lizzie picked raspberries. Lollie and Sissie came from town with her letter. Ria and Pinnie successfully developed their film (photographs) with the help to Thomas Averill. She describes the developing process for Charles. She describes the antics of Mike, the monkey. She asked Charles if he is interested in the Queen’s Jubilee. Her mother has ordered souvenir coups.
Mentions a visit from Virginia Hunt who has just returned from Hong Cong and Rose Crittenden. Describes the harvest of the wheat crop in great detail. Mr Macklin and Mr. Chinn are supposed to visit and share ideas. According to Elizabeth Blanford’s note those ideas involve breaking up the horse business after the death of Robert Pepper.
Ria writes about a visit from Dr. Hume and her nagging aches and pains resulting from her pregnancy. She mentioned the photos of Mrs. Clay. Letter contains news of family, Frank Cannon, the monkey Mike.
Letter dated internally; she says it is one week until her due date. Susan was born July 1897. She writes about Charles’s trip to Chicago and the impending birth.
Pin and Ria went to the station to get the nurse Miss Lynch. Ria hopes they like each other,. Harry Bush had stopped for a visit. Notes having a telephone. She talks about Charles’s family.
Ria writes of her activities. One of the farm hands, Jim Burns, will mail it for her. She and Miss Lynch are sitting near open windows because of the heat. Miss Lynch is sewing and Ria is reading John Fox’s new story, The Kentuckians. She mentions the literary flowering in Kentucky---(James Lane) Allen, John Fox, Corvain, and Robert Burns Wilson. Also mentions Thomas Nelson Page. John Cannon was out for a visit. Asks for Tom Smith’s photograph developing formulas.
Letter notes the extreme heat and the delight she took in a bath. Notes closeness of her due date. A Miss Lynch is with them. She may be a nurse for Ria.
After describing the weather and some personal news she writes about John Fox Jr.’s latest work that Charles had mentioned in an earlier letter. She prefers James Lane Allen because of his observations on nature. She notes that Mrs. Clay is happy to think she will have a namesake.
Ria is expecting a visit from Mrs. Clay and Teetee. She mentions talking to Christine Reynolds on the telephone.
Ris busy fixing preserves with Miss Lynch, the nurse, and preparing for a visit from Mrs. Clay and Teetee. She refers to Harry, the name for the child she is expecting if it is a boy. Tells a story about Mike the pet monkey. Describes Miss Lynch who makes $15 per week. She describes a flower pit she wants him to prepare at their Columbus home. Mentions a Mr. Hardaway and a Mrs. Grumley.
Ria writes about the visit of Mrs. Clay and Teetee. She tells Charley she is afraid they expected to see a Lily Langtry in her. She makes humorous comments about her physique during pregnancy. She expresses some anxiety about pregnancy.
Ria writes about the visit of Mrs. Clay and Teetee, taking pictures, rushing to catch the train. She also mentions that Mr. Macklin had been trying to train horses to the carriage for them.
Ria writes a hurried letter so it can be mailed. It hurries from subject to subject saying little. She mentions Flem, Frank Cannon and Susan M. Clay’s photos. She wrote to Mrs. Grumley and will write to Mrs. Lyon at Columbus. Envies Charles’s trips to Minerva Park.
She notes that she is sending him honey and preserves. Describes how cold it is for July. Mentions Harry but no further information. Cuts letter short because her sister is in a hurry.
Ria is homesick and wishes Charles was with her. She mentions several photographs taken by a Mr. Mattern—one of Mrs. Clay with Duncan under a tree and on of Mrs. Clay and Teetee in front of the house.
The Clays send Charles’s baby cup given him by his uncle Charles Jacob. Mentions two physicians at Columbus—Dr. Ten Eyck and Dr. Waters. Ria’s physician in Frankfort was Dr. Hume. She was not feeling well. Susan was born 5 days later.
Ria talks about having fresh blackberries, canning blackberries and tomatoes. Ria wants additional shelves in their pantry for the vegetables. She commiserates with Charles who had gone to a Dutch supper and did not like the smells. Ria and Pin are upset to learn that Dr. TenEyck is leaving Columbus.
Ria writes a short note saying she and Susan are doing well. (Charles was in camp near Visalia in August.)
Ria writes for the first time since Susan’s birth. She is now allowed to sit up. Miss Lynch is the nurse hired for her. She explains why she was frustrated with Charles when he did not telegraph after arriving in Columbus from Chicago. Ria is looking forward to returned to Columbus around the 21st. She notes how helpful her family has been.
Brief letter—praises Susan but notes her impatience.
Praises Susan. Nursing her as she writes.
Praises Susan. Miss Lynch took her for her first walk out doors. Charles saw Cousin Starling Loving.
Ria asked her mother about the flower beds she wanted Charles to prepare. Mentions Susan. Also mentions that their chances seem nice that Mattie may agree to go with her as a servant when she returns to Columbus. Relations with African-American servants. Mentins son of Mrs. French Hoge and an impending visit from (Tom) Smith.
Ria apologizes for her poor spelling and careless writing, promising to do better. She is anticipating a visit from Charles and Mr. (Tom) Smith and for the permanent reunification of her family. She is concerned about replacing the servant Nora. She discusses the purchase of a stove and how they will keep Susan warm. She wants Charles to get the opinion of Dr. Loving’s Annie (another servant). She discusses pay for a cook . She mentions that Rebecca (?) has come out with Mason Brown and Mason Barrel to go bicycling with May. She will ask Lizzie to print pictures of portraits for Dr. Loving. Christine (Reynolds) and Fanny Crittenden came to see Susan. George Clay had written her a real playful and very pleasant letter.
Ria declined an invitation to visit the Averills though Lollie and Sissie intend to go. (Lollie is Mrs. Elizabeth Pepper’s sister, Ria’s aunt.) Mentions correspondence with Governor Bradley but does not explain it Ria notes engagement of Charley Roberts and Eugenia B…….. then makes a humorous comment which Charles would apparently understand. Mary Jackson, Susan’s mammy, reminds Ria to sing Daddy’s song to Susan.
Ria speaks of Susan. Mary Jackson came to see her and thought she saw a Clay likeness. Notes from Miss Riza Watkins. Ria recalls meeting her on a walk near Balgowan. Ria mentions trying to hire Matha to replace Miss Lynch.
Ria writes of a proposed trip to town and of Susan.
Had received a telegram from Charles. She describes Susan trying to communicate with Mary (Jackson) , her nurse. She will see about sending some furnishings for their house. Tells Charles she wants a good petting when they are reunited.
Ria writes about Susan and an outing on the lawn of her mother’s house. Dr. Hume says Susan will have curly hair.
Ria writes of eating baked apples and watermelon. Charley is to entertain three ladies at their post house. She writes about the Dickinsons in some detail. She describes Mary Jackson, Susan’s mammy and mentions trying to get Martha to come to Columbus as a cook.
Letter dated by anniversary of marriage on September 8, 1896. Ria writes of how blessed they are by marriage and birth of Susan. She looked about a wedding present for Thomas and Mary (Averill) and a present for Mrs. Worley’s stepdaughter but decided to wait until Charles had learned of her marriage. She asks Charles about his guest then relates a conversation with Martha, a servant she hoped to retain as a cook. Martha was indignant over perceived treatment by Charles and Ria. Nor was she inclined to move to Columbus. Urged Charles to seek help of Dr. Loving in getting a cook.
Ria describes a cup given to Susan by Mrs. Clay. Reminds Charles that a year ago they had just about arrived at the Gault House, a Louisville hotel. Urges Charles to write to Pinnie.
Ria tells Charles she was not feeling sad when she wrote him. She says the furniture was shipped on Thursday. Asks him to get a new door to keep out the cold air. Urges Charles not to think she is sad.
Ria relays news of the family. Sisters and mother plan trips to Cincinnati to have dresses fitted, etc. They catch the train in Georgetown. She has purchased a gift for a wedding. Tom and Mary will wed. She mentions no last name.
Ria writes of giving Susan a bath. She is anxious to know if Charles will be able to visit. Frank Cannon visited and much taken with Susan.
Ria indulged herself by eating an apple and it caused Susan to have colic. Praises Susan. She is glad Charles was able to see Dr. Loving.
A short note speaking of Susan having an attack of colic but improving by morning. Mrs. Pepper met the girls (probably some of her daughters) in Georgetown for an overnight trip to Cincinnati. She was rushed so Flem, a servant, could get the letter to town.
Ria is uneasy because her mother is away. Mrs. Pepper helps when Susan has the cholic. She writes about the things he has done to their Columbus home and of a visit by Margaretta Johnson and Mary Harrison. They noted how happy Charles’s family was over Susan. Mentions especially Mrs. Clay and Tom. She plans to buy a gift for Miss Worley as Charles suggested in another letter.
Ria writes delightfully of Susan. Mrs. Pepper returned from Cincinnati with gifts for all. She also mentions that Sissie, May, and Pin, her sisters play with Susan. Mentions Mr. Cannon and Flem in relation to acquiring the mail.
News from home; a visit from Uncle Will Starling but Ria’s mother is away. Her sister May is there. Heavy religious overtones to letter.
Ria is in Frankfort. General news. Charles is trying to become the Brigade Adjutant and is getting help from Cousin Starling. Notes visitors—Ellen Bush, harry Bush and family. Describes Susan.
Thomas J. Clay to Mrs. Charles D. Clay letter dated June 4, 1898 enclosed. Also two photographs
Refers to topics found in her letter of April 23, 1898. Cousin Starling, a doctor has visited her and declared her healthy; Pin and Sissie are packing for the trip home. Charles is in Thomasville.
Ria has apparently returned to Frankfort given the people named in the letter. Mentions her sister Sissie’s friends visiting. Mentions a telephone conversation with Christine (Reynolds) and a dispute between Christine and Sissie. Christine had been brother Robert Pepper’s fiancé before his death in 1896. Also mentions Frank Chinn, a Frankfort man who helped with farming and financial matters. Her reference to mother near the end of the letter is most likely a reference to Charles’s mother, Mrs. Susan M. Clay.
She dated letter April 20, 1896 but that is incorrect. Ria forwards names of people living in Tampa who have Kentucky connections—R.P. Jacob, Mrs. H.L. Watterson etc. Also notes givts to her and visitors—Mrs. Pland, Cousin Pamela, Cousin Mary, Mrs. Morehead, Eliza Rodgers, and others Charles would know.Mentions a letter from Mrs. Susan M. Clay. Dr. Loving pronounced her health good. Describes Susan’s actions.
Charles has left for the Cuban expedition. Ria’s sisters went to Columbus, Ohio (base of 17th Infantry) to help her prepare to move back to her mother’s home in Frankfort. She mentions Cousin Starling, a relative of her mother, Sissie and Pinnie—two sisters, and others who are apparently residents of Columbus who Charles would know—Pennick Rogers, Mrs. H. Brown. Mary Jackson, an African-American servant, had gone with the Clays from Lexington to Columbus and was Susan Clay’s nurse.
Expresses her depression over his absence. They are packing to leave Columbus and saying their goodbyes to friends and relatives of the area. Note on envelope is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
General family news. Shares her news about the war with him. Agrees to see Mr. Chinn about Charles’s insurance policy.
Spanish American war. Susan has whooping cough and Mrs. Pepper, Lollie, and Sissie have colds. Mentions Dr. Hume and a private nurse, Miss Lustneau. Tom Smith’s drawings arrived and Ria is delighted. Tells story of Pinnie mounting a horse for a photograph to send to Tom Smith but deathly afraid of horses. Describes a pet monkey named Mike.
News paper clipping enclosed. Tells about the weather then notes visitors—Mr. and Mrs. Sam Johnson and others. Notes Susan’s delight at receiving her father’s photograph. Sends Tom clay’s note about wheat crop to Charles.
Complains about the irregularity of the mail service. Describes Susan’s efforts to get someone to play with her. The nurse has suggested they play with her too much which will make her nervous. General family news.
Chatty letter mostly about susan; Delighted that he has attended the Episcopal services.
Ria expresses in very religious terms her hopes for reuniting with her husband and the dangers of war. Talks about a railway being near completing but the raiders declare that it will not be allowed to remain. They want a free turnpike.
Ria responds to comments made in Charles’s earlier letters. Delighted that he is now the adjutant and raises many questions about Col Poland, Col Haskell, and Captain Rogers. News of Susan.
Ria jokes about Charles’s ego since being appointed adjutant. Shows her sense of humor. Also kids him about a comment made by Will Hall saying Susan was pretty but would be prettier if she looked more like her mother and less like her father.
General news. Praises Susan, Wheat price has reached 1.70. Notes sketches drawn by Tom Smith
General letter discussing her activities and those of Susan. Notes visitors to Frankfort and family visits to others. Names include. Frank Cannon, Mr. Marks, Mason Brown, the Broadheads, Belle Brick, and Lucy Alexander, Henry Clay Wilson
Ria is delighted with sale of wheat. She will send Charles $100 to buy the horse he needs as Adjutant and she will pay bills in Columbus and Lexington. She expresses happiness at being able to help Charles with finances. Mentions that Susan is in the yard with Mary (Jackson), and a negro picnic in the park with an atrocious band. She tells Charles the authorities are not sure they will need a new regiment after all. Wonders how many college boys Capt Shelby will enlist.
She sends news of Susan. Mentions a letter from Teetee Clay and says she will enclose it. It is not with this letter. Mentions a visit from an Aunt Kate Starling and asks Charles if he has heard from Cousin Starling who is helping him secure position of Colonel in a unit of volunteers.
Ria met Capt Garrard with Mrs. Rodman. Garrard had promised Charles he would try to call on Ria. They joked about Governor Bradley’s treatment of Kentuckians and a later reference says he will make a promise today and break it tomorrow. Ria tells Charles Mr. Macklin, the farm overseer, wants to get him a horse in Kentucky and describes the type he will need. Uncertain who Dick is but may be Richard Menifee Ried, a family friend.
Ria mentions the check for $100 she plans to send him. Sketches and photographs sent by Tom Smith to Pinnie. They are not quite a couple yet, apparently, but Ria is interested. Some war news—rumor that the Merrimac had been sunk by the Spanish.
Ria has learned that Charles has been ordered to Cuba. She gains strength from her faith.
General letter about her home. She writes about a litter of pups and her mother’s cook Nettie.
Ria responds to Charles letter about the discomfort of the troops. She calls the Cincinnati Enquirer a sensational mean old paper. She praises Charles’s brother Tom as so manly and so tender.
Ria recounts the newspaper stories of the transports leaving Florida for Cuba. She tells Charles about a party her mother gave on a trolley car supplied by a Mr. Buckly. Mrs. Susan M. Clay and Teetee came down. Some information about social life and hospitality. On a visit to Margaret Johnson, she insisted that Teetee and Mrs. Clay spend part of their visit with her.
The letter is mostly about the wheat crop, the cost of insurance, storage, etc. Tom Clay is helping her with it and she is very pleased with him.
In blue ink Elizabeth Clay Blanford suggests the letter was written in 1899, but it may be 1898. Other letters refer to the problem with Mike, the pet Monkey. The monkey was sent to the Cincinnati Zoo though this letter suggests it would be taken back to Phoenix, Arizona by a Mrs. H off. Ria mentions Egmont Keys near Tampa and Cousin Starling. Mrs. Elizabeth P. Pepper was a starling. Ria mentions a disagreement between her sister Sissie and Christine Reynolds, who had been expected to marry brother Robert P. Pepper Jr. before his death in 1896. Also mentions a family trip to Niagara. The Registration Roll mentioned at the end of the letter may be the list of children who contributed to the Women’s War Relief in 1898. See letter of June 12, 1898
Ria tells him that the family left for Niagara Falls over the Midland. She also paid remaining bills from their time in Columbus out of her money and writes about how she sees her money being used. Notes that Mike, the pet monkey will go away that afternoon. According to Elizabeth Clay Blanford’s note the monkey bit Susan so was given to the Cincinnati Zoo.
Spanish American War Some war news. Lena, her half sister, has joined her in Frankfort. Rest of family is in Niagara. Rebecca Johnson is also visiting.
Ria recounts the affect of a storm on telephone lines. Susan’s actions. Asks Charles how the army will handle mail with the men in Cuba.
Spanish American War Ris interprets the newspapers in the most positive manner because she wants the war over. Interesting aspect of social life. Some of May’s friends came out, spent the night and appear ready to stay over to dinner.
Personal news about Ria and Susan. She is frustrated with herself for reading the sensationalist newspapers. Dick, a servant, is mentioned as is Mr. Macklin and Frank Chinn.
Letter expressing her love; sent $5 to the National War Relief Association so Susan would lead the list of patriotic children (Teetee had already done it) Other family members would contribute too. Cautioned Charles not to eat green Cuban fruit.
Spanish American War. Letter had to be 1898 because Charles is in Tampa. Ria writes glowingly of daughter Susan. Shows relationship between husband, wife, and daughter. She warns him about trusting any Cuban with Spanish blood in their veins.
Rumors in Lexington that Charles was wounded so Tom asked a favor of General Nelson Miles. Ria relieved. Has read accounts of battle at El Caney. Mentions Mr. (Henri) Lyons and Tom Sharpe relative to the battle. Pinnie lets Ria read Tom Smith’s letters and see his sketches so she feels more in touch with Charles.
Enclosed is letter from Susan M. Clay to Mrs.Charles Clay July 7, 1898. Susan M. Clay is very worried about her son. (She has lost 5 other children) Means to comfort Ria but may make it worse. She and Teetee also want addresses of men killed or wounded at El Caney so they can write in support. Ria’s letter notes promotions of Henry Ware Lawton and Leonard Wood. Expresses concern over Dickinson and Haskell. Ria tells Charles that Lena, her half sister is with her to help with Susan. She also asks about Tom Smith.
newspaper clipping enclosed. Spanish American War. Good letter for American patriotism and lack of understanding of the real issues leading to the Spanish American War. Mentions a visit to Christine (Reynolds) and a visit from (Frank) Chinn.
Worried about yellow fever. Very distraught letter because she is homesick and worried.
Santiago has surrendered and Ria is elated because she thinks Charles will be coming home. Mentions an American newspaper printed in Cuba and Henri Lyons role at San Juan Hill.
Describes a kind of chain letter to raise money for military ambulances. She informs him about threshing of wheat. And describes Susan’s antics.
References to Cuba date the year of the letter. Ria rides a rollercoaster of emotions reading the newspapers’ conflicting reports. Tells Charles about a ride with Susan into the country.
Spanish American War Delight at receiving his letter. She has heard that the Spanish troops are being sent home but she thinks it more important to send U.S. troops home. Family news and issues.
Heard from a friend who had served with Charles that he was well (Received a lot of news from returning soldiers). Concerned about Yellow Fever. Also notes General Miles expedition to Puerto Rico. Army surgeons nixed idea of taking regular soldiers, tired by the war in Cuba, to Puerto Rico. Feels sympathy for Mrs. Dickinson and Mrs. Michie in deaths of their husbands.
Describes a shopping trip with Susan and Mary Jackson in Frankfort. Gifts chosen for Susan’s first birthday (July 21) indicate the patriotism of the time.
Writes about Susan and her birthday presents. She is happy to have heard that regulars who fought in Cuba will not have to fight in Puerto Rico. Suggests a problem in army with Yellow Fever.
Family news—members of the family had just returned from a month long trip to Niagara. Pinnie visited a friend, Ruth Ruddell in Kokomo, Ind. Passed information from Mr. Macklin and Tom Clay to Charles about the wheat crop.
Ria notes her irritability and thinks Charles can help her control it.
Notes sale of wheat and some military comments
Ria is afraid of Yellow Fever. She had read newspaper accounts of the battle at El Caney and the charge up San Juan Hill.
Spanish American War. Military news she had gleaned from papers. Hopes war will soon be over. Mentions Frank C (Cannon)
Spanish American War. Long section on war and its horrors. Ria thinks she has an idea of what is was like from a detailed letter Tom Smith wrote to Pinnie and from magazines such as Harper’s Weekly. She will make a scrapbook about the war.
General letter with news from home. Mother is Mrs. Susan M. Clay; Tom is Thomas J. Clay, Charles’s brother. Mentions Sam Johnson; Uncle Charley. Both may be relatives on the Jacob side of the family. Charles Jacob, mayor of Louisville, was Mrs. Susan M. Clay’s brother. Her sister Lucy was married to a Darwin Johnson.
Spanish American War Ria writes what she knows about the war. Mentions a letter from Tom Clay and an invitation for Mrs. Pepper, Susan, Mary Jackson, and Ria to visit at Balgowan, Susan M. Clay’s home. Some information on servants---Mary Jackson in Frankfort and Effie in Columbus and Ria’s attitude toward them.
Spanish American War. Ria thinks it is over. Talks about a visit to Teetee and Mrs. Clay.
Spanish American War. Wrote to Mrs. Poland about death of Col. Poland. Sister May and Nan Clay returned from Estill (Irvine). Mentions Rebecca Johnson. News of daughter Susan indicating attitudes about child raising.
Notes still breast feeding Susan. Worked hard because Susan’s mammy, Mary Jackson, was off. Mentions Beck Johnson, Mrs. Brown and Hord. Notes letter of Col. Haskell to Tom (Clay)
Spanish American War. Letter shows growing impact of the war on Ria Clay. She is much more religious. Mentions meeting David Stone, a man who met Charles on the eve of the first battle in Cuba. Mentions Mrs. Worley, Margaretta Johnson—local friends
Thanks him for his letters. Effie and a friend expect to join them for the winter. She asks him about the 17th Infantry and where various regiments might be assigned. Tom Smith has been appointed adjutant. She is encouraging him to get a place prepared because she wants to join him. That is unusual. Usually she refuses to join him, preferring to stay in Frankfort. Mentions the wheat crop and that it was sent to a warehouse owned by Joe LeCompte and Lucas Brodhead. Mentions Mr. Macklin who operated the farms for the Pepper women.
Telegram. Charles on way to Philippines. Cheerful update on spirit at home. Clay was on the U.S. transport General Grant.
Mentions Nan Clay who is visiting. Sweet letter to her husband. Mentions enclosing a letter from Teetee but it is not there
Difficulties of communicating by telegram; mentions that Tom (Clay) had telephoned to check on them. Mentions communicating with Mrs. Perry who they had known in Columbus. Ria tells Charles about Susan and her actions. Encloses in the letter a note from Edith Jacob, the wife of Charles Jacob. Charles Clay had helped improve relations between his mother and Uncle by seeing that the body of Charles Jacob’s son was sent back to Louisville.
Ria makes usual remarks about missing him and notes problems with the mail. Susan has mild case of whooping cough. She mentions several newspaper articles about Charles.
Ria notes that Susan is 18 months old; affectionate comments to Charles who is on his way to the Philippines.
Mentions a Mrs. Perry whom they had known in Columbia, Katie Johnson, Bakers Art Gallery. Relates health problem of Tom Smith who has the chills and Pinnie’s efforts to care for him. Mention’s Thomas and Mary Averill and their daughter. Spoke to Dick and Margaretta Johnson.
Ria living at Capitol Hotel. The Cliffs suffers from extreme cold. Tells Charles a story about a group of people May invites out on Saturday nights for cards and a sleep over. They went to a pond behind Mr. Wilson’s house (Possibly Robert Burns Wilson) and broke through the ice. Party included Nan Clay, Dick, May, Mason Brown, Edmond Rodman and Frank Canon. Mentions a visit from Christine (Reynolds)
Three letters in one envelope. Some news of troop movements and an incident at Port Said. Ria reads the reports of General Henry Ware Lawton to keep up with Charles.
Ria notes her tendency to fall asleep easily. She is expecting their second child. Recounts news of Susan, mentions the departure of the second battalion under Capt Brush for the Philippines. Notes that she visited Mary and her daughter Rebecca.
Ria tells Charles about a dance to be given by Rebecca and Ellen Johnson and Ruth Ely. Nan Clay and May are in town and her mother was there earlier in the day. Mentions a conversation with Margaretta Johnson.
She writes of the bitter cold. She has asked Pinnie to go to the Ohio State Journal to get a copy of the speech he gave honoring the men of the 17th Infantry.
fragment. Ria writes of a dance, a german, attended by Nan Clay and May. Ria watched the dancers and was a little concerned about what people would say. Note in blue ink in hand of Elizabeth Blanford says her mother was pregnant with second child. Saxton was playing for the german.
Ria writes of a heavy snowfall that has kept her mother from coming into town from the Cliffs. Also writes sensitively of Susan and how she talks about her father.
Sentimental letter expressing great homesickness. Dependent upon religion for comfort.
Ria writes about paying bills in Columbus. She asked her mother for advice and notes possibility of borrowing from her mother.
Begins letter with somewhat racist comments about the Philippines. Mentions dispute between Secretary Alger and the President. Alger expected to resign. Notes public criticism of Alger and praise for Miles (probably Nelson Miles.) An article in the St Louis Globe described the sea voyage from New York to Gibraltar according to a Lt. E.G. Smith.
Blue ink notes in hand of Elizabeth Blanford. As noted Ria and Susan stayed at the Capitol Hotel in Frankfort while the rest of the family lived at the Cliffs at Thorn Hill, Frankfort. General family news and rumors of small pox on board one of the ships carrying troops to the Philippines.
Letter internally dated Feb 26, 27, 28. Ria is homesick and expects Charles is too. Mentions a visit from May and Beck (Rebecca) Johnson and Susan’s dislike of Johnson. Sisters are going to Cincinnati for the opera so her mother is going to stay in the hotel with Ria. Ria read news of the Philippines.
Ria delighted to receive a cable from Charles and marvels at its speed. Mentions a dinner with the Averills and meeting a young woman named Easterman whose sister taught at Ogontz. Mrs. Blanford’s note indicates that Ria and two of her sisters attended the school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Ria did not stay long.) Ria feels a definite superiority to residents of the Philippines.
Brief letter while Charles away during Philippine Insurrection. Notes burning of Winslow Hotel; Mary and the baby may refer to Mary Averill and her daughter. Old Mary is probably Mary Jackson, Susan’s nursemaid
Very effusive beginning to the letter then includes Susan in sending him love. Notes that men they know, Majors Rogers and Andrews have been given new assignments. She notes the reception at Malta of the Sherriden. Letter indicates the support of Ria’s family during Charles’s absence. Mentions Talbot Dudley, News from Teetee. Teetee wants Sissie to develop a chapter of the DAR in Frankfort, but Sissie will not, Teetee then asked Margaret Johnson
Ria writes about Susan and the nice things people say about Charles. Expresses pride in him as a soldier.
Susan had been sick with the croup, but is better. Refers to a letter of Tom and an article she has asked him to write. This could be Tom Smith or Tom Clay. Mentions Effie and Sissie. Sissie is Ria’s sister.
Ria welcomes Charles back to the United States. Wounded in the Philippines he was accompanied home by Ria’s sister, Pinnie. Ria notes that Pinnie’s husband, Tom Smith, telegraphed from the Philippines that he was well. Pinnie would make the voyage to the Philippines again to be with her husband.
Sentimental letter. Ria hopes a letter is on its way from Gibraltar. Dr. Hume stopped by to check on Susan and a Dr. Baxter also came by. She is living at the hotel.
dated from internal information i.e., Susan (Susie) Clay’s second birthday would be July 21, 1899. Letter on day of Charles Clay’s surgery to remove bullet from wound received at BanLac, the Philippines. Tom is Charles’ brother; Dr. Barrow may have been associated with Good Samaritan Hospital because the surgery was done there. Charles refused to have the bullet removed until after the birth of his son Charles Jr.; mentions Courier Journal article, General Hall(s); Ria’s sister’s Sissie and May Pepper.
Charles has surgery to remove the bullet and repair wound received in Philippines. Letter shows support of family members. Mentions a Miss Lynde, Lynda Payne Kerr, and a Lt. Jackson. Note in blue ink is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford. (Lynda Payne Kerr is the wife of Judge Charles Kerr.)
Charles in Nashville. Ria mentions that Harry Bush, a family friend hopes to see him. News of the children and Charley Jr.’s illness.
Dating based on contents of letter (Thanksgiving). Charles has just arrived in San Francisco. Ria hopes he will like Col. Goodale, the commanding officer. Urges Charles to behave himself and reminds him of duty to family. Also expresses loneliness without him. Describes a drive she and the children took with Tom (could be Tom Smith or Thomas J. Clay). Mentions the Roses hotels and the suicide of Stuart Young. [The November 29, 1901 New York Times ran an article on the then former city treasurer of Louisville. A $23,000 discrepancy had been found in the city’s books under his watch. He killed himself on the evening of the 27th. On the 28th the Times reported that young had systematically stolen $50,000.
Family news. She had called a Dr. James because the children were sick; he added milk to their diet. Noted a trip Tom Smith took to see his mother and good health of Elizabeth Smith. Frank Cannon played with children; Invited to a party by Mr. and Mrs. J. Swigert Taylor but declined because no fun with out him there. Mentions other Frankfort people—Mary Harrison, Margaretta Johnson, the Crittendens, Burnleys. Christine Reynolds in a highly nervous condition. Ria plans to go see her. Also mentions Rogers Clay. Letter contains a drawing by Susan
General letter about daily events. Mary is the nurse for the children. Getting a coat for herself and coats made for the children.
Charles in San Francisco. Ria talks about missing Charles particularly because Tom Smith had returned to be with her sister Pinnie. Notes Elizabeth, Tom’s and Pinnie’s baby. Describes actions of Susan and Charley to their father.
Charles is in San Francisco. Ria mentions buying Christmas gifts for the family, gently chides Charles because she has not received a letter in three days.
Early letter sent to Charles at Angel Island. She mentions Col Goodale and hopes Charles gets along with him. She sends him the latest drawing of their artist daughter. Blue ink is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
News of family. Ria and children are at her mother’s house so the sisters, May and Sissie help a lot with the children.
Discusses possibility of retirement and the income they need. She may be using the children to encourage him to retire. She quotes Charley Jr. as saying I want to see my Papa. She also encloses two hearts Susan has asked her to send to him.
Says Tom Clay agrees he should pursue retirement. Suggest that Christmas increases her desire have family together. Perhaps some pressure on him here. She also includes a cut-out drawing from Susan.
Christmas letter. Mentions Harry Bush and Uncle Pat, an old black servant. Tom’s Elizabeth is Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Tom and Pinnie Smith. She will visit frequently through the Clay children’s childhood.
Ria describes Christmas Eve at Mrs. Pepper’s house. Family letter expressing her love and letting him know the children are thinking about him.
Describes Christmas as her mother’s house and an incident involving a black servant, Uncle Pat. That story suggests one type of relationship between black and white at the turn of the century. Letter mentions Frank Cannon, Laura Pepper, Christine Reynolds, Rebecca Averill, Katie Johnson, Tom Smith, Frank Chinn, Mr. Rogers (an overseer), and Mary Jackson, the children’s mammy. Notes in blue ink are by Elizabeth Clay Blanford. [Frank Cannon 1843-1922 was a Frankfort lawyer and in 1901 served as a teacher at the First Presbyterian Church’s Leestown Mission School. Rebecca Averill also taught there.]
Ria writes of the children, the weather, and her homesickness for him. She shows some anxiety or nervousness in the letter.
Ria writes of the children. Mr. Shinkle, the barber, will make a house call to cut Charley’s hair.
Chatty letter about family. Babies are Susan and Charley; Mrs. Tarlton, Miss Wedfeld, and Christine (Reynolds) are neighbors. Christine Reynolds was engaged to Ria’s brother. Also mentions Pin (Mrs. Tom Smith), Ria’s sister and her daughter Elizabeth. Mary is the children’s caretaker.
Chatty letter talking about children. Charley knows he is Papa’s boy. Writes of other antics of children.
Ria writes about a hike she, Susan and Charley took with Tom Smith. She also writes about his retirement from the army and the hope that he can find some work in Kentucky.
Smallpox in the area so she had Dr. James vaccinate Susan, Charley and herself. Small pox cases are isolated in a pest house very close to them. She also relates information about the social standing of a Jim Withrow, a cousin of Sam Johnson. It seems to be a very important matter.
Ria writes about headaches experienced by Tom Smith. Dr. Hume thinks it is from bad eyes, damaged by writing by candlelight in the Philippines. She is critical of the army. They seem to have no regard for man or beast. Glad will soon be comfortably out of the service.
Writes of extremely cold weather and a small pox scare keeping them in doors. Margaretta Johnson has invited Sissie and Ria for a game of cards. Writes briefly about the Goebel assassination trial (Howard’s) and the make-up of the jury. Lena and Mr. Hatchett are at Crab Orchard so she can gain wait. Ria questions medical theories.
Ria writes about the children. Other family members play with them a great deal. Tom and Pinnie Smith are buying a farm in Indiana with Pin’s money.
Ria mentions wildflowers Charles sent to Susan and her delight. Mentions McCoy children, Miss Tarlton, Miss ____feldt, and Christine Reynolds. Ria went to a play called A Ca____ Comedy starring Tim Murphy. Shocked by a tax bill for $73.
Commiserates with him about infrequent letters. Concerned about danger of small pox. A yellow small pox flag marked places where it existed. Mrs. Pepper asked Dr. James to vaccinate the family. tom Smith offered several positions including railroad engineer. Hoping he will soon be home. Then abruptly says she approves of innocent amusement but does not approve of him playing cards on Sunday.
Financial information including debts she has paid. Again cautions that they need to live within their means. Also notes bills to Drs. Hume and James for medical care. She then lists things she and Mrs. Pepper want him to check at Sing Fat’s store. Shows something of the taste of the era.
Describes children making valentines and a romp in the snow with Susan. Discusses attempt to move the capital of Kentucky and the competition between Lexington and Louisville. Inquires about his appearance before a retirement board, hoping that he will soon be with them.
Ria is anxious about the decision of the board. Tells Charles about Susan and Charley. Mentions Frank Cannon who came for a hand of duplicate (bridge) with May, Lollie, and Sissie. Received a note from Teetee about donating books for soldiers in the Philippines.
Telegram suggests that Charles is to be retired. Ria’s elation is obvious.
Sends Clay a list of the china he might purchase but cautions him not to spend beyond his means.
Received his letter while waiting in Averill’s store [Averill’s Drug Store on West Main Street in Frankfort] to see the matinee Fra Diavolo. [probably the opera by that name] Charles was mortified about the taxes but Ria had taken care of it. Early in their marriage Ria frequently paid bills for Charles usually out of her funds. He was always mortified. Letter alludes to his effort to get a medical retirement. Ria says she has quite a welcome prepared for him.
Some financial information; also writes that Tom, Pinnie, Sissie, and May had gone to a matinee performance of an opera. She tells Charles that Col. James E. Pepper had burned to death in the New York Park Avenue Hotel fire. (Ria was mistaken. Pepper escaped the fire.) A note by Elizabeth Clay Blanford says Pepper was a cousin of Mrs. Elizabeth Pepper.
Ria writes of Tom Smith’s efforts to transfer. She heard a sermon by Dr Roberts, President of Centre College. Visited the Scotts. Tells Charles she had been wrong about the death of Col. James E. Pepper. Frank Chinn visited.
Ria is worried about a cyclone that hit San Francisco. Gently chastises him for not informing her of his safety. Mentions Tom Smith and a transfer he is seeking.
Ria assures him that Susan and Charley are not forgetting him. All are preparing for his return.
Short letter. She had been to church then to visit Mary Nash Averill. Mentions several names but illegible. Bud is Charley Jr. Sissie may be Ria’s sister or daughter Susan.
She describes the delight of Susan and Bud (Charles) at receiving letters from their father. She has talked to Teetee on the telephone and received a letter from her. Mother (Mrs. Susan M. Clay) is suffering bad health. Referring to a letter from Teetee she mentions Governor Beckham’s refusal to represent Kentucky commercially and socially at the South Carolina Exposition. She says Teetee is incensed. Notes visit of Lena and Mr. Hatchett. Notes in ink are in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Ria expects Charles to be on his way home but writes just in case he was delayed. Recounts the difficulty of Tom Smith. Dr. Hume is trying to help him with a transfer but Smith’s father has written a harsh letter threatening to disinherit him if he resigns.
Ria is terrified by the accounts of the battle at El Caney and not knowing her husband’s fate. God help a poor half demented wife who adores her dear Husband. Letter includes news of home. Mentions Mrs Jimmy Kinkead and Miss Mary Harrison. Mary Jackson, Susan’s caretaker, is ill.
General letter telling about children. She continually mentions their father to them. Also mentions Christine (Reynolds) who asked her to give Charles her love.
Letter expresses her homesickness and appreciation for his letters. Describes a trip to town to pay bills. Mentions Tom’s (probably Tom Smith) efforts to find employment with Mason Ford And Company.
Instructs him on the people he needs to talk to at Fort Snelling about Charley’s death.
Charley is on coming home from the Episcopal high school he attended in Virginia to prepare for the West Point exams. Mrs. Clay gives him instructions
includes letter to Charley dated October 10 and one written by Charles D. Clay to Charley on October 11. Chastising Charley for not writing. Indication of Charles D. Clay Sr.’s parenting; mentions Blackford the headmaster at Shadmann’s. She warns Charley about his health. October 10 letter says she received a letter from Blackford that noted the older boys were hazing Charley and it annoyed him. She reminded him that older boys were in charge and he would be one of them in a year. First page of father’s letter encourages him in regard to the hazing; reminds him that he has a tendency to fight the battles of others. Letters are stapled together.
She relates a comment by Mr. Blackford, the principal, that Charley has the highest ideals of any boy he had ever known. He says that if he can come out untarnished and gain popularity, he can do much for the school. Mother gives him a strong lesson in moral behavior.
includes letter to Charley dated October 10 and one written by Charles D. Clay to Charley on October 11. Chastising Charley for not writing. Indication of Charles D. Clay Sr.’s parenting; mentions Blackford the headmaster at Shadmann’s. She warns Charley about his health. October 10 letter says she received a letter from Blackford that noted the older boys were hazing Charley and it annoyed him. She reminded him that older boys were in charge and he would be one of them in a year. First page of father’s letter encourages him in regard to the hazing; reminds him that he has a tendency to fight the battles of others. Letters are stapled together.
Includes newspaper clipping. Charles at Columbian Preparatory School in Washington D.C. Mrs. Clay living in Louisville. Preaches her son a sermon after he had complained about difficulty of lessons. Quotes Secretary of the Navy Daniels that there should be a single moral standard for women and men. Includes newspaper article on Daniels’ remarks.
Ria writes to note a sympathy letter from Lucretia on the death of Robert P. Pepper Jr. She notes that Rob had seen Teeter’s brother (probably Tom who was stationed at the fair) at the World’s Fair in Chicago.
Thanks Teetee for a letter and for proclaiming her a member of the Clay family. Referring to Teetee’s letter of July 30, 1896, she notes the relationship to Henry Clay. Notes failure to establish a chapter of the DAR in Frankfort. Mentions a Mrs Buckner and Mrs. Barrett, but suggests that Teetee might take her (Ria) into the Lexington Chapter some day. Teetee had mentioned her wheat crop so Ria mentions hers. Also mentions efforts to become a housekeeper. Asks Teetee to spend part of the winter with her and help her keep house. She expressed disappointment that Teetee and Mrs. Clay had not visited Margaret Johnson. She had wanted to bring them to the Cliffs to meet her mother and sisters. Letter is perhaps a fitting response to Teetee’s letter.
Ria implies that Charles had been most concerned about a list of relatives he wanted invitations sent to. Letter suggests he was far more concerned with protocol of wedding than he had earlier said. The date of the wedding is now September 8.
Ria tells Teetee she is sending invitations to the people Teetee h ad suggested. She asks for the address of Richard T. Jacob (Mrs. Clay’s brother). She asks Teetee to thank George for his saucy letter and makes a humorous response concerning the other brother (Tom). (George often made fun of the military airs of his brothers, particularly Charles)
Just over a week from the wedding, Ria writes a note to her future sister-in-law. She has enjoyed being with Charley and hopes he felt the same. Says everyone praises Mrs. Clay and Teetee.
Ria relates the story of Mike’s rescue and her injury. She also describes her home. She then mentions the elections and makes some political judgements. She wanted to congratulate Tom on the elections but urges Teetee to tell George that she is afraid of free silver men. They have been tearing down toll gates near us. They also burned the toll house. She mentions Jim and Eliza, George and Tom.
Letter urging Teetee and Mrs. Clay to come for a visit. Mentions a Mr. Milward of Lexington. Clays had purchased a sideboard but it had not arrived. Milward would try to find it.
She chides Bob for not writing. She mentions marriage of Edith Berryman and Baylor VanMeter. She says Susan is running around in search of pleasure and finding but little, Metzie crazy about botany…
Accompanying note Mrs. Elizabeth Blanford to Lindsey Apple March 26, 1988. Anticipating Christmas. Notes that Governor (William) Fields is threatening to stop a naval cadet dance at the Capital Hotel because he doesn’t believe in dancing and card playing. Also mentions Susan’s first meeting with the Scribblers’ Club, a literary group in Lexington. Miss Hearns is probably a Christian Science practitioner. Metzie is the youngest sister.
She is elated that he will soon be home for Christmas. She attributes his improved grades to Christian Science treatment. She mentions local people such as Ben Goodwin and Mr. Smith. She wants to know if she should invite Anne to Christmas dinner.
She expresses her exasperation with Susan who went on a walk with Ralph Fletcher Seymour, a visiting artists, and caught a cold. Elizabeth had visited Anne
Tells Bob about visiting Hood Harney who has had a relapse and a second operation. Mentions Ann, the girl Bob likes.
(internally dated 1924) Mrs. Clay writes about the tobacco crop and Col. Clay’s ability to pay two notes. Col. Clay has talked to Dean Anderson. Other letters show Bob hoped he could get him a job when he graduated from the academy. Mrs. Clay shows her fear of all Bob’s plans. She tells Bob that the engagement of _____ Polsgrove has been announced in the Lexington Leader.
Metzie is going to a concert with Mrs. Peter and Virginia. The letter is rather pessimistic. Col. Clay has gotten Mr. Eaves to raise the tobacco and Mr. Berryman to get horses for him to keep. Tom and George Clay have sold Henry Clay’s correspondence to the Library of Congress but they won’t tell Colonel Clay what they got for it. They are undecided about their future (Teetee died the year before.) She expresses concern over finances.
Talks about going to see Mammy, who is nearly 100 years old, and bringing her apples and marmalade. Says the puppies are all gone except for one female. Due to descriptions of glowing tree colors, it's likely fall. Talks about she and her husband registering their votes for Coolidge.
She is worried that he and Cureton have reached West Point. She helped Metz catch the train to Louise Falconer’s party and mentioned that John Davis and Boyd Bailey had been out to call on Susan. They mention a (Florence) Brown, a seventeen year old girl from Lexington. She has kept the family pets inside because of the cold weather.
She expresses concern over the cold weather at West Point. She mentions Miss Helen, her Christian Science practitioner and the fact that Susan and Virginia Goodwin are going to a film. Her father has chickens and is very proud of how many eggs he is getting.
The family is delighted with a letter Bob wrote. Anne has been very nice to Elizabeth at the University. She recounts an attempt to see Professor Sax (Sax was in the University Art Department.)
After the death of her son Charley Mrs. Clay explains that she went to school to try to prepare herself to take care of the family if Col. Clay died. She also related a story told by Mrs. Harney, the mother of their boyhood friend Hood Harney. The story emphasized Charley’s sense of honor. The note in blue ink is that of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
(internally dated 1924. See Robert to Mrs Clay March 4, 1924). Mrs. Clay mentions going to work at State College. She informs Bob that Mamma (Mrs. Pepper) is very ill. Hood Harney is not doing well either—two surgeries. She saw Anne in Lexington.
Bob has been in the hospital with a bad foot. Mrs. Clay implores him to keep nothing from her because she worries so much. Mrs. Pepper is ill. Col. Clay has a problem with a finger. She mentions Hood Harney’s illness.
She is anxious because she has not heard from him. She mentions minor family news and the Colonel’s efforts to find someone to raise his tobacco. She notes that Hood (Harney) is getting better. (He was a childhood friend of Bob and Charley.)
Ria is upset because Dr. Bullock suggests Susan will need an operation. She is hoping for improvement through Christian Science and mentions her practitioner named Helen. She also expresses concern over the health of Mrs. Pepper (granny)
She expresses delight at his standing in Philosophy then takes a biblical approach in urging him to apply himself. Notes a possible visit by Metzie in the summer.
At Easter she describes preparing flowers for Charley’s grave. She mentions that Mr. (Granville) Terrell had been out to dinner. (He was a literary friend of Susan’s). She describes the health problems of her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Pepper and the rental of a wheel chair for her. Encourages him in his school work.
in one envelope. Mrs. Clay is terribly worried about him because he has not written. (Always anxious, Charley’s death had increased her concerns for her children.) She wants Metzie (Elizabeth) to visit Lyne Smith and then all of them see Bob at West Point. She says they do not have the money to send Elizabeth for a visit to West Point. She also mentions that Anne may go to West Point and stay with the Chaplain. Mrs. Clay hopes Mr. Berryman will find horses during the races because he boards them at the Clay farm. Promises letters from Metzie and Susan. April 30 She is worried that she has not heard from him. She sends two clippings from the Lexington Herald but they are not in the letter. She mentions the lack of money in relation to Susan and to the trip to West Point planned for Elizabeth. She hopes to get a job at Bogaerts (a Lexington store) that Louise Falconer’s mother had but is giving up for a trip with Louise to Europe. She expresses anxiety about being a business woman.
She thanks Bob for his Mother’s Day letter and the copies of the Cadet’s Prayer. Col Clay will give one of them to Bishop Burton. She cautions Bob about taking risks while playing polo then mentions the job she hopes to get at Bogaerts. She mentions that Louise Falconer is going on a trip before sailing with her mother for a y ear abroad. She is delighted that Bob has asked Louisa Hoge for a weekend. She clearly states that she hopes it diminishes his fondness for Anne who she says is queerer than Dicks hat band ever dared to be. She expresses doubt that Elizabeth can visit him unless they get horses to board at the farm.
She tells Robert that Susan is going to Memphis with Louisianna von Engleton, Dunster Foster and Ida Moore (Foster and Moore had attended Miss Ella Williams School with Susan) they were attending a Confederate Reunion as representatives of Lexington. She tells him about a meeting of the Bryan Station chapter of the D.A. R. to discuss a pageant to be held at Harrodsburg. Writing from the Phoenix in Lexington she mentions appearance of Billy Breckinridge who she says is putting on airs and flirting with Dunster Foster because he has passed the West Point exams. She is not entirely complementary. She encourages Bob to invite Dunster Foster to West Point. (In an interview Dunster Foster Petit said she did like Bob a lot but she married and her son, Foster Petit, was later mayor of Lexington.
She expresses her concern over his flying. She despises the army because of its dangers. She then turns to a pageant held at Harrodsburg and the participation of Susan and Metzie. The girls were in an episode depicting the heroic effort of the women of Bryan’s Station. She also mentions Susan’s trip to Memphis. Colonel “Dick” Redd suggested her as a representative of the John C. Breckinridge camp. Susan attracted an admirer, Tom Collier, but found out he has been insane. She mentions Dunster Foster then Billy Breckinridge and hopes Bob will help him at the point if he behaves himself. She encourages Bob to be a christian, honorable, clean, sober gentleman.
Mrs. Clay is very worried about the pageant in Harrodsburg. She worries about the ferry ride across the Kentucky River and the shooting of blank cartridges and arrows in the pageant itself. She worries about a drove of cattle and a drove of sheep. She doubts they will get to West Point. There has been no word from Mr. Berryman (about horses to board) and Mr. Eaves is trying to back out of raising the tobacco.
She mentions that their puppies have been killing the chickens so they are looking for new homes for them. She keeps Bob informed about Uncle George and his horses. She mentions the Colonel’s corn crop and a problem with the tobacco pool. She calls them high handed and criticizes the salaries of J____ Stone and Hensley Shouse.
Mrs. Clay expresses wish that there was a school like West Point for women. Susan and Metzie could use the discipline and character building. Society is drifting in an immoral direction. She says Susan has published her poems which are dark, dreary, desperate and somewhat sacrilegious. She has imbibed such though from her limited and not choice circle of friends. Mentions Bettie Barbour, Louisa Hoge and Dunster Foster. Col. Clay wrote a short note at the end of the letter.
(Contents indicate the West Point years—probably 1924)Mrs. Clay is very concerned about his report and puts a lot of pressure on Bob not to disappoint his father and the family. Mentions marriage of Will Talbert to Miss Rose Mason. Hood Harney is out of the hospital and staying at the Lafayette Hotel.
Coming from Church she and Susan stopped at the Phoenix Hotel. Susan is going to visit Elizabeth Simpson. They are sending Bob a birthday present—a cigarette holder, not to encourage the habit but for a pretty finish to an occasional smoke. She mentions that Mr Terrell (Granville) would come to dinner. Metzie was demoralized and nervous over examinations but did well. Susan is going to Chicago but Ria does not know what may be the outcome of her disordered ideas…. She and Susan are having lunch at McGurks. Elizabeth and Col. Clay are going to George Clay’s for dinner.
Anne has gotten married and Ria is happy that Bob is taking it well and she is happy that Anne is married to someone other than Bob. She mentions Col. Clay’s efforts to pay off the bills and speaks of their financial situation. She also mentions that Dr. McFarland of the University has chosen Elizabeth as a student assistant in botany.
She urges him not to try out for track again because it affects his health and his studies adversely. Men in their family are all manly but no athletes. Says the hearts in the Clay family are unconventional to say the least. The Colonel says to give up track.
She mentions sewing for the girls and Col Clay’s efforts to get barns to house eighteen or nineteen acres of tobacco he is planning. She tells him she has seen the films The Ten Commandments and the Thundering Herd. She is fascinated by film making. She describes guests of Metzie—Janet Metcalf and Virginia Goodwin, and a little farm boy (name indecipherable). She describes trying to write a limerick to win a prize from a magazine. She suggests that the father of Virginia Goodwin is going mad.
(1925 internally dated) See Col. Clay to Robert October 20, 1924. Upset that she did not receive her usual letter, she writes that the Col. is enthralled with a lawn mower he purchased and with the help of a African American named Charley Davis he is raking and cutting grass. Mr. Berryman has no news about horses (to board).
She tells him he means so much to her then talks about working in her garden with George (may be her brother-in-law or a servant). Susan has gone to the Romany theater with Elizabeth Murphey (Simpson)
Fragment of a letter. Warns Susan about going to movies too often. Mentions: Mrs. (Leslie) Carter, an actress; Miss Stone; several servants; Miss Virginia, the children’s tutor; Lena and Clay Hatchell, Ria’s half sister; Willie Kinkead---Susan is staying with her Aunt May and her husband at Fort McPherson ink portion is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Susan visiting Aunt Pinnie (Mrs. Tom Smith) in Washington D. C. Took course in stenography and got a job—hoping to escape the suffocating atmosphere of family and community as she saw it. Sissie, another of Ria’s sister’s had paid for her course. She is trying to pay it back. Mrs. Clay is not altogether happy about Susan living away from home as a single woman. This is one of several letters that seem to confront Susan with guilt about her decision. Part of letter is missing.
Mentions Charles Hertz, young man interested in Susan; Bob on way to West Point, stops in Washington to visit Pin (Mrs. Thomas Smith), Ria Clay’s sister. Lizzie is another Pepper sister and Metzie is Elizabeth Clay (Blanford), Susan’s sister. Mrs. Sandifer, a Christian Science practitioner.
Susan went to New York in 1921 to try to publish her poetry. A Lexington friend Helen Lowry introduced her to people---a Mr. Cesare ,Alfred Kreymborgh. Mother’s letter is portrait of southern traditionalism.
fragment. Letter notes Susan’s resignation as a writer with the Louisville Herald. She worked there in 1921-22. Mother mentions encouragement from Edna Ferber. Susan had interviewed Ferber when the writer was in Louisville. It also mentions acceptance of a piece Susan had written by Alfred Krembough. There are other references to these events in the papers. Letter offers encouragement through Christian Science.
Elizabeth (Metzie) is helping Mr. Smith run for sheriff in Fayette County. Mrs. Smith is Cleo Dawson Smith who taught Spanish at the University. Mentions relatives of her mother, the Starlings and various cousins.
Sending Christmas gift.
Christian Science; Miss Lounsbury, practitioner; Dommie, the Sawitzky’s car; omnibus—transportation that passed in front of Clay home; Peter Ross
Note about planting a garden; note by Elizabeth Clay Blanford identifying Will.
Postcard. Storm in Lexington
Bob, Mary Martha and Lucy visiting in Lexington; Paris, Illinois; Sissie and Lizzie are Mariah Clay’s sisters, Lollie Starling is a cousin; gifs of Tom to Bob—Healy portrait of Henry Clay; James B. Clay portrait. Future division of Tom Clay’s estate.
Recounts trip to Bardstown with a Mr. Crum; says they ate at Beaumont Inn. (She may meant the Talbott Tavern. Beaumont Inn is closer to Harrodsburg) Mentions a car accident on the way back to Lexington. Sissie and Pinnie are Mrs. Clay’s sisters. Tootie is a niece (Mrs. Ben Kennedy of Frankfort); King’s Daughters Hospital is in Frankfort. Mentions Dr. Coleman, Mayor of Frankfort. Bob is probably Bob Smith; Robert Clay had visited in August but left early (See Susan Clay Sawitzky to Mrs. Charles D. Clay, August 19, 1934.) Tom Clay’s heart condition.
Millie Lawson, longtime African American servant; Mrs. Sandifer, Christian Science practitioner; Tom Clay’s financial help; Tom Clay’s health; Pinnie Smith’s health; Mr Bosworth, a neighbor;
African-Americans in the depression; psychological impact of depression.
Mrs. Clay lonely after death of husband and worried about Susan. Plans to send money to help fix Vassili’s teeth.
Mrs. Clay is delighted that Vassili has found a patron though the benefactor wishes to remain anonymous. Much of the letter deals with illness and the efforts to resolve through Christian Science practitioners. She also describes her husband’s death and her happiness t hat he did not suffer.
Blizzard in Lexington; Millie Lawson quilting; names friends of Susan and Vassili;encourages Susan to send laundry home;Mrs. Buffum, a Science practitioner; Lonesomeness after death of Colonel Clay; Vassili’s health; will Middleton was an African-American laborer on the Clay farm; Millie Lawson cooked and cleaned; Bob sends Millie extra money; Depression wages. Frank Fowler associated with University; he attempted to get a negro dialect play written by Elizabeth published in New York; Mary Averill; Note of sympathy from War Department about death of Col Clay; Elizabeth Clay Blanford not in blue ink about importance of Millie and Will to family.
Metz or Metzie is the nickname for Elizabeth; Millie Lawson; Tom Clay; Lafayette Hotel; Elizabeth Murphy (Simpson)
Mrs. Sandifer; Mrs. Williams is probably their landlord, Mrs. Augusta Williams. Miss Sammis, a neighbor; Mrs. Weed, a neighbor; Selling home; will Middleton, African-American laborer; Millie Lawson; Sawitzky having problems with teeth
Financial problems of Mrs. Clay;; slowness of the army to send money; help of Uncle tom. Death of Darwin Johnson (brother-in-law of Susan M. Clay); Katie was sister or half-sister of Susan M. Clay; Mrs. Sandifer; Tom Clay; Lizzie Pepper, Mrs. Clay’s sister.
Mrs. Clay and Elizabeth have Saturday lunches with Tom Clay; Tom Clay helping her financially; discussion of taking a boarder; lowering sale price of home; Pin is Pinnie Smith, Mrs. Clay’s sister and Tootie is Pin’s daughter; Lizzie Pepper is Mrs. Clay’s sister; pension check not arriving.
Mama (Mrs. Elizabeth Pepper, Mariah’s mother) Mrs. Weed (Susan’s neighbor) Mrs. Augusta Williams (Susan’s landlord); Bob Clay and Will Middleton - relations with African American servants; Tom helping Mrs. Clay financially; Sale of property stalled.
Bob in town trying to sell house; difficulties of selling; Sissie (Mrs. Clay’s sister) Bob Smith; medical news
Sale of property; Mr. Waltz and Mr. Pettit are neighbors. Mrs. Wright may be the wife of the owner of Calumet Farm. Describes a film called Green Pastures — African-American issues; religious issues;
Jimmie Cogar; Mrs. Funkhauser, husband at the University; Joe Wise; Senator Joe Blackburn; Katie Johnson, a relative; Margaret Nash, a relative from Frankfort; Waltz family; Petit family.
Writing on envelope—grocery list; etc; Mrs. Sandifer, practitioner; Metz (sister), Janette McDonald; Nelson Eddy; May Time.
Susan at Cragsmere; shopping list on envelope; Pinn is sister Pinnie Smith; Bendalari-purchased Clay home; investment of money from estate sale; Reynolds Tobacco; General Motors; Bob (brother); Metz (sister); William Powell, Franchet Tone; Jene Harlow
Elizabeth taking over finances;Effie Young; Margaret Nash (relative); Rose Crittenden; St. James Court (Louisville); Tom Clay health; Millie Lawson, African American servant; Healy portrait (of Henry Clay); Mrs. Buckley ( a Christian Science friend); Cleo (Dawson smith); Henrietta Clay (relative).
Susan ill; Christian Science; Pin (Mrs. Tom Smith ) Tootie, Pinnie’s daughter.
May was Ria Clay’s sister. Married a German soldier who served in the 17th Infantry with Charles Clay.
Ria wrote to Christine about a plight—a decision she had to make. Apparently she was unclear because Christine writes back asking for an explanation. She knows it is a matter of the heart. She mentions Thomas Averill’s engagement to Mary Nash and the attraction of someone to Ria’s sister Lizzie. She also mentions several men who apparently had interests in Ria—a Mr. Cameron and Robert Trabue. Note is in hand of Elizabeth Blanford.
Christine writes about local news and people Ria would knew. She and Lizzie Pepper were developing pictures Lizzie took of Mr. (Robert Burns) Wilson and some of his paintings. She mentions Mamie Scott, Mrs. James Murray, Louise and May, Vest LaBrot, Elizabeth Henderson.
Pinnie describes the bazaar and mentions a number of names but her handwriting makes it difficult to read them with any degree of accuracy. She mentions Vew Labrot, Ruth Elys, Mr. Graham, Dudley Lindsay, Mr. Franklin, Ed Stanton, Bettie Mastin, and Christine (Reynolds).
A cousin of Ria, Pepper writes that Robert Burns Wilson is auctioning some of his paintings. Liz (probably Lissie Pepper) and a friend (It may be a LaBrot). Mentions a Dick Van der Veer
A chatty letter about Frankfort and the activities there—a church bazaar, etc. Christine had been engaged to Robert Pepper Jr before his untimely death.
Ely sends a bill for surgery performed on Susan. $15
Thanks for wedding gift and news of the wedding Mentions that Teetee plans to attend the wedding. Also talks about Christmas
Fragment. Pinnie writes of her impending voyage for the Philippines. Mentions sisters May and Lena. Begins to tell a story about the black servants when page ends but there is no second page. Blue ink in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford. Contents of letter support her contention t hat the letter is from Pinnie.
Philippine Insurrection. Pinnie arrived in Manila and pronounced Charles looking well. Mentions a number of people who probably had Central Kentucky connections. Mrs. Duncan is probably the wife of a military officer who later helped Charles when Charley Jr. died in the service. She also mentions the Hart children, Mrs. Reeves, Mrs. Hardaway as if Ria would know them.
Philippine Insurrection. Letter contained two enclosures—a newspaper clipping that is no longer attached and a copy of a letter from John C Gregg to Mrs. John L. Kirk March 28, 1890 The letter describes a battle in which Gregg participated. The letter gives an account of the wound Charles Clay received at Ban Lac.
Ria’s half sister, Lena writes to thank her for a gift. Letter includes general social news and relays praise of Susan to Ria.
Writes immediately after Charles’s surgery to comfort Ria. Her husband Jim and Tom Clay were there and saw him shortly after the surgery. She mentions Linda Payne Kerr, a family friend, who was at the hospital. She mentions a forthcoming visit in Frankfort of herself, Teetee and Mrs. Clay to Margaret Johnson. She writes that the Clays are forgetful as if Ria would surely know it.
The family is still at Irvine but this sister is getting tired of it. Refers to Mrs. Clay as dear old Ria so probably one of the younger sisters. She wants to visit Ria in Nashville but then describes a play presented by the people staying at Estill Springs that she enjoyed very much. Mentions Shackelford, Burn(h)am, Stedmann, Lollie, etc.
Pinnie writes about her impending return to the Philippines. She mentions the trial of the alleged Goebel assassins and hopes for a pardon of Howard from the death penalty. The letter contains other Frankfort social news. She mentions Lizzie Chinn, Buck Johnson, Ester Burnham, her sister Sissie.
Charles and Ria built their home in 1904 and the children could still be called babies. Mrs. Hatchett was Mariah Pepper Clay’s half-sister. Lived in Scott County.
Letter after Ria’s surgery; describes Susan. Mentions Katherine Garrett and Mary Stevenson. Her husband is Thomas. Also mentions Lena, one of Ria’s sisters. Letter paper clipped to one from Charles Clay to Mrs. Charles clay June 17, 1908. The Nash family lived across the street from Mrs. Pepper and may have been related.
Charley (Bud) was a student at Episcopal High School studying to enter West Point. He got in fights with bigger boys over questions of honor. Interesting account of child psychology of the time. Within family Charley was known for his intense sense of honor.
Pinnie trying to convince Ria to send Bob back to complete work at Shadmann’s. Both Charley and Bob attended Shadmann’s school. It was known for preparing young men for the military academies. Fearing financial problems at home he wants to drop out and finish his work at a Mrs. Kavanaugh’s in Kentucky. Letter suggests that Pinnie is a surrogate mother for Bob in Washington. Praises Bob’s character and says Mr. Shadmann does as well.
Letter dated from contents. Mother of Mary Martha thanking Mrs. Clay for their visit and asking for list of people she wants sent announcements of wedding. Praises Bob Clay; describes gypsy life of army people; sorry Clays had not been able to attend the wedding.
Her son Paul had visited the Clays; he attended Berea College; depression
Thank you note after a visit.
Baby was a Clay pet.
The George H. Clay series consists of letters written by George H. Clay to various family members. The bulk of the series consists of letters written to his brother, Charles D. Clay, concerning business ventures, agriculture, and family news.
George asks someone to look in the deed box to find plot of property. He draws a map for them. On reverse side is part of note to Thomas P. Jacob on stationery of R. H. Crittenden U.S. Marshall for Louisville dated May 7, 1880 regarding need of funds for Marshall’s office.
George writes to Ria after Susan’s birth. Thanks her for naming baby after his mother. Pokes fun at Charley and his brass buttons. Says he has little advice on child rearing because he is a miserable old bachelor but he does anyway.
Exchange of property between the two. (Basil) Duke was the lawyer in the transfer. The signature on the letter looks like C.M. Clay but it is signed your affectionate brother. There is no brother with the middle initial M. Aunt Mary may be a member of the Jacob family or it could be Mary Mentelle Clay, the widow of Thomas Hart Clay. The Clays had property in Louisville, but most of it was tied up in a trust.
Letter has to be from George because he mentions that everyone else has written. Gives Charles advice. He understands that it is difficult for Charles to leave so much behind but he is nevertheless being too gloomy. It is, after all, the profession he chose. Should also be some pleasure in doing his duty. George opposes expansionism. Writes about his horses and predicts they will have 9 foals. Last portion of letter is missing.
George writes about Charles’ wheat crop, the price it might bring, and the expense of harvesting. He mentions their two brothers, Jimmy and Tom. He also mentions two of the African Americans who work at Balgowan Henry and old Daniel (Uncle Daniel). Weather was hot and dry so he carried water from Jim’s pump. Mentions sail of three horses.
Sewing bluegrass seed for Charles but wants check to pay for it. Mr. Waltz will sow seed. Concerns about little Charley’s health
Describing condition of Charles’s mares. Letter contains a lot of information on horses—breeding and racing and the financial side of it. George also asks for direction relative to Charles’s farm. Mentions Tom Clay’s heart problems and Teetee’s bad health.
The Harry Independence Clay series consists of letters, notes, printed materials, diaries, receipts, and newspaper clippings documenting Harry Clay's expedition to the Arctic, political career, and family relationships. The bulk of the collection consists of his voluminous notes on the Arctic, Greenland, and the Eskimo people. Additionally, there are speech notes; several diaries, including his diary kept on Howgate's Expedition (Box 65, Folder 5); and newspaper clippings, concerning the expedition and his death in a barroom brawl. Harry Clay wrote several letters Clay to his family, including his mother Susan Clay, his brother Charles D. Clay, and his sister Lucretia Teetee Clay. In one letter to Lucretia, Harry describes the current politics of Greenland (Box 38, Folder 47). The series contains many letters written to and from Harry Clay from people such as Henry Howgate, J.C.S. Blackburn, W.B. Hazen, Basil Duke, and Augustus Greely. These letters reflect Harry Clay's involvement in politics, his law practice, and his efforts to rescue the Greely Expedition, efforts which were ultimately rejected. Notable letters include those from Henry Howgate concerning his involvement in the Howgate Expedition to Greenland and the Arctic, such as the original letter inviting Harry Clay to join the expedition (Box 44, Folder 69).
On back of envelope phrasings suggests conveyance of land to Susan M. Clay. It looks to be the handwriting of Harry Clay. The 154-152 may refer to lot numbers in the Jacob Enlargement — a Louisville development in which James B. Clay and Thomas P. Jacob had interests.
Harry Clay describes the Gulnare and the Proteus, the two ships he was involved with on his arctic travel. He also comments on the two crews.
Writes about stalking musk-oxen.
Photograph of Harry Clay
Charges of cannibalism; information from survivors
Portions of the notes are missing but he treats topics as diverse as his relationship to the Eskimo children, Greenland government and social life, seal hunts. He describes some of their travels by sea.
A diary Clay kept while on a European tour
Belonged to Harry Independence Clay who was a student there. Practiced his signature, H.Clay, to copy that of his grandfather.
Note for $500 at 10% interest. H.Clay is Harry Independence Clay
In 1876 Harry Clay ran successfully against Capt. Boland for Prosecuting Attorney. Charges of running on his family name, but Clay showed aggressiveness that characterized his short political career.
Letter of introduction for Harry Clay.
The Gulnare put in at Godhaven to make repairs and gather supplies to replace those lost at sea. Doane explains his mission and asks for Smith’s help.
Mentions his efforts to learn about the safety of the Gulnare and how he was misled. Praises efforts of the Inspector’s family to make him comfortable and notes his enjoyment of the year spent in Greenland. Gives some information on Danish and native cultures
A Louisville friend of Harry Clay sent several poems, doggerals, etc. while he was preparing to go on the Arctic Expedition.
Tells about Christmas and New Year celebrations. He talks about a servant who shared their brandy with his friends. Keeps temperature readings and writes mostly about the weather; Describes hunting trips; exploration trips. Notes surprise at election of Garfield.
Harry Clay recounts the refusal of Dr. Octave Pavy to treat a sick child in Greenland. Clay’s disgust with Pavy later led to his leaving the Greely party.
A long article on Harry’s interaction with the Danes and the Eskimos.
Harry Clay sailed on the Gulnare to Greenland with Henry Howgate expedition.
Newspaper clipping about Harry Clay’s lecture on the Greeley and Howgate expeditions.
The article is about the Howgate Expedition.
On the trial of Philip Hinkle, a city official the Board of Alderman was trying to impeach.
Calling on his experience in Greenland and his study of the region Harry Clay presented a plan for the relief of the Greely Expedition. The army refused to use it, but it would have saved many more members of the party. (Original in the Library of Congress.)
Copy of article detailing the shooting of Harry Clay by Andrew Wepler.
penciled note credits Louisville Courier Journal. The clipping is an early account of the shooting and death of Harry Clay in Louisville.
Charles asked mother to send by bearer of note a bundle of things he wants to take with him (on Arctic Expedition).
Harry discusses difficulties of getting the Gulnare certified for the voyage to Greenland. He also gives details of the crew, etc.
Harry tells her about an accident aboard the Gulnare, blaming it on the engineer. He still believes in the seaworthiness of the ship. He also describes the land.
Letter notes an expedition looking for specimens. He also talks about the land.
Harry writes a long letter telling his sister how well he is faring in Greenland then recounts the history of Greenland. He describes the current governor and the weather.
A response to a letter from Charles. It involves Charles work in the law office of Richards and Baskin. He mentions sending letters from Mrs. Clay and Teetee.
Harry asks several times about Charles’s condition but encourages him to return to Louisville and his position or Alex. Jackson his intimated that he will have to fill the place with someone else.
Harry expresses his delight that Brainard survived the Greely expedition and knew of his efforts to save them. He explains his plan and his failure to convince General Hazen that it would be successful.
Harry expresses his delight that Greely had been saved and explains his plan to rescue them and the refusal of Hazen to entertain it.
(wife of Inspector General Smith of Greenland?) Note in hand of Mrs. Blanford suggests author. The author is aware of his family connections and his political ambition. Talks, seriously or otherwise, about his returning to Greenland.
Howgate invites Clay to join the expedition. Notes need for Senate approval. If that fails he will launch a private venture.
Howgate gives Clay the details of sailing and urges him to make personal preparations.
Government delays have pushed starting date back to approximately June 1.
Urges him to be in Washington by June 12.
McGee asks for instructions concerning payment of city attorney fees in cases where work is conducted in the city workhouse.
Includes To H.Clay by J.T. White Letter may be from Wheeler McGee. See George H . Clay to Harry Clay Feb 10, 1881. The letter is from an office holder in Louisville and discusses law suits related to his holding office and being paid. The letter also includes a poem entitled To H. Clay by J. T. White. The poem refers to his arctic expedition and local friends.
Howgate informs Clay that if the appropriations bill passes congress Lt. Greely will lead a party and meet him around Aug 1.
Crutchfield informs Harry of national and political events. He mentions the presentation by Gov. Blackburn of a violin to Miss Currie, the daughter of General (Basil) Duke. Generally, it is a letter between close friends.
Howgate informs Clay of the progress on future expeditions and delivers assurances re Susan M. Clay’s health.
Symmes asks Clay to verify some scientific assumptions his father had made. One involved a dip in the compass needle when the eightieth degree of north latitude was passed. The other involved a warm area above the 80 degree.
Smith asks him to leave some magazines for her at Upernavik. (Harry was friends with the wife of one of the Greenland officials named Smith.)
Duke encourages Harry to began a lecture tour about his voyage and announce his return to the practice of law as well. There may be slight political overtones to the letter as well. Duke notes that Major Richards and Baskin agree with him. All three are involved in the practice of law and in Louisville politics.
Copy (Original in Library of Congress). Greely expresses regret at Clay’s withdrawal from the expedition and thanks him for the sacrifice of his own interests.
Hazen inquires about a box entrusted to Clay by Lieut. Kislingbury, one of the members of the Greely Expedition.
Photographs related to the Howgate Expedition, an exploration venture to the Arctic that Harry joined.
Blackburn, Ky member of House of Representatives, has contacted General Hazen for Harry and will apprise him of Hazen’s action.
Hazen writes about the Greely expedition and Harry’s offer to help in their rescue.
Moore recounts preparations related to the arctic.
Hazen informs Harry that he will not be allowed to join the Greely Relief Party and expresses his certainty that the plans to rescue them will be successful. Elizabeth Clay Blanford wrote on the envelope about the failure of those plans.
Ridgely had promised to vote for Clay but then Caldwell decided to run and he had made an earlier promise to Caldwell. Hoped Clay would not be offended.
Postcard. Hamilton expresses his support and encourages Harry to ask for his help.
Leathers says Clays defeat yesterday was actually a victory. He came very close to turning out the corrupt politicians and the Buckingham dance house (the Whallen machine).
Letter of condolence following Harry’s loss of the race for the state legislature.
Smith expresses his loyalty to Clay. He would rather be Harry Clay defeated that Isaac P Caldwell elected. He then gives Clay advice not to prosecute any of those who opposed him thereby turning them into allies.
Hughes expresses condolences on Harry’s defeat in the state house of representatives race but suggests future success for him.
Gamble invites Harry to call on her after he served as a pallbearer at her brother’s funeral.
Buckner, an attorney, praises Clay’s argument in the Snapps case, a legal case involving Louisville government corruption.
Postcard. He is planning to come to Lexington and hopes to have a day or two with Harry. He is bringing his gun and some cartridges.
Washington asked for a letter signed by Henry Clay. He says Clay was a friend of his grandfather George Corbin Washington. He will give him one of three seals of George Washington in existence (One is in the state library of Albany N.Y. and will exchange a letter of George Washington’s when his father gives them to him within the next year.
He will lay Harry’s communication before the Advisory Board. Willis writes on House of Representatives stationery and is probably referring to the Greely relief plan Harry developed.
The James B. Clay, Sr. series consists of a small but descriptive amount of correspondence, biographical sketches, financial notes, printed material, and newspaper clippings. The series includes two letters written by Henry Clay to James as well as one letter written by James to his father. One of the letters from Henry Clay references the sale of a family of slaves (Box 40, Folder 66). In the letters James mentions his failing health (tuberculosis), the Compromise of 1850, and his opinions on the likelihood of Abraham Lincoln's election (Box 39, Folder 41). The series contains a printed pamphlet written to James B. Clay's constituents (Box 39, Folder 19) and several financial notes.
Written by his daughter Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay, the original is in the Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 57.
Long article about his character and public service. Poems glued to back.
Invitation to call on Mr and Mrs. James B. Clay at Ashland that evening,
James tries to comfort his father against the abuse he is received from (Henry)Foote and Davis regarding the Compromise of 1850. Most of the letter is about his efforts to reach a settlement with the Portuguese about the U.S. claims. He also remarks about his health. Symptoms suggest tuberculosis (He died in 1864 of tuberculosis).
(Copy) Clay purchased Ashland from his mother and was to pay over four years. This note is most significant for the signature of Lucretia. It matches signatures in the J.O. Harrison papers, Library of Congress. This note is in Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 43, Library of Congress. Note on the letter saying Grandma’s signature is in the hand of Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay.
Thomas Jacob is Clay’s brother-in-law and business partner. In letter he predicts that Lincoln will be elected but the concern is ill founded. The House and Senate, or the Senate alone, will render him powerless for two years, and the people will come to their senses in that year. Also mentions work on the Portland Canal (Louisville)
James on his way to be charge d’affaires at Lisbon. In same envelope, a letter addressed to James B. Clay from Sarah Parkinson about ordering of tablecloths and napkins. The Clays purchased household lines and clothing in Brussels and Paris before going to Lisbon. Parkinson letter dated Nov. 11.
The article mentions James B. Clay as a rebel conspirator along with Marshall Kane and a Dr. Pallen (probably Dr. Montrose A. Pallen, a St. Louis physician sent to Canada by the Confederate government.)
Writes to James in Missouri that he is sending Orphan boy, a cow, dog and gun to him. Mentions some farming news. Says Mrs. Clay had decided to go to Washington with him than changed her mind. (She did not go to Washington with him after 1835.)
Henry has traveled to New Orleans and reports that the cholera has abated. Most of the letter is about business. James has sold Bill and his wife, and Sidney and her child. He is glad the owner of Sidney’s husband bought her and the child. He hopes to be rid of Charlotte on any terms. Because Lucretia is dissatisfied with her cook he asks James to rent or buy one that will please her. Expresses his desire that she enjoy every comfort. He also mentions several other business dealings.
Lucretia (Teetee) Clay identified correspondent on an envelope. Notes James Clay’s election to Congress.
Johnson agrees to pay $1000 on demand. Note at bottom signed in hand of Susan M. Clay, Clay’s wife, Johnson’s brother-in-law, says it was written as a joke. On back is a fragment related to the confinement of citizens to their homes during the Civil War (Signed E. P. Bracht, Mayor and Provost Marshall July 13, 1862)
Farewell letter to a dying Clay. Clay would die less than one month later.
The James B. Clay, Jr. series comprises letters, a biographical sketch, and a newspaper clipping which document James B. Clay, Jr.'s familial relationships. The letters include two written to his sister, Lucy Clay, and two written to his mother, Susan M. Clay. James wrote most of the letters while he was a way at school as a child. Additionally, the collection includes his obituary and a biographical sketch about James B. Clay, Jr.'s life.
James is away at school. His father has sent him a letter written by brother Harry. Wants Lucy and Harry to write. He talks about holidays and student activities.
Away at school he notes homesickness and asked about his siblings Susy (Susan). Harry, and Tommy. Asked mother to write and visit.
Jim Clay is in college but he plans to go into business either with a Mr. Worley or Mr. Tingle. The business will be a wholesale saddle and harness business. He says Mary Stevenson is still unable to walk. He wants to know when William Pope is to marry. He wants to know if Aunt Lucy brought his saddle. Then he says to tell Harry Clay that he saw a negro boy that belonged to his wife’s mother, Mrs. Phipps (Harry Boyle Clay married a woman from Rogersville, Tennessee).
James away at school; letter written from Ashland perhaps from a farm overseer. Notes issues regarding livestock, hunting, gifts of produce to brothers of James. Notes that he expects James to someday live in that large White House in Washington.
A mutual friend, Susan Young(?) has told him James Clay has a diary of General (John Cabell) Breckinridge and one of his own that Wright would like to copy for the publication of the war records.
James Clay died on a train between Baltimore and Washington on February 7, 1906.
Prepared by his sister Lucretia Clay, the original is in the Library of Congress H. Clay Family Papers, Box 57 Folder 2
Wanted Aunt Kate, Aunt (Lucy) and Uncle Charley (Jacob) to visit. Mentions party of cousin Lucretia; probably Lucretia Clay (Breckinridge), daughter of Thomas Hart Clay. She died 1860 or 1861.
The first scene of a French play. It appears to be in the hand of Lucretia Teetee Clay.
The note is believed to be in the hand of Teetee Clay. The papers raise questions about Christian grace, the nature of God, the philosophy of Christianity. The heading of the document is Shailer Mathews Dean of Divinity School University of Chicago doctrinal.
She claims that General Hazen should have taken Harry Clay’s advice on how to save the Greely party.
A novel written by Lucretia Hart Teetee Clay in the late 1890s. Many of the characters resemble members of the Clay family.
A letter of condolence following Harry’s death expressing how much they admired him in Greenland
Patterson, the President of State College of Kentucky writes to thank her for verses she sent him following an accident. He reports that he is recovering.
Teetee mentions a visit from Uncle Dick and Aunt Laura (Jacob) and Mary Pope. She has also invited _____ Nelson to visit. Mentions her brother John and her plan to go to town if the Klan does not visit Mansfield again. (Thomas Hart Clay had been a Union diplomat. He died in 1870). She went to a lecture with Horace Bashaw(?) George is with Charles. This is probably during the period they were students at Racine College in Wisconsin.
Family news — .She went with brother Jimmie to see Miss Rose (daughter of Thomas H. Clay). Moses Gibson asked her to accompany him to Mansfield, the Thomas H. Clay estate. She thinks Gibson a bore and wishes he would marry someone so she would be rid of him. He mentioned a marriage between Horace Ba….and Miss Thomas. Talks about life at the Phoenix Hotel. Mentions Will W. Benton.
Teetee thanks Charles for sending a beautiful card and wants to send him money to buy more. She refers to her brother Harry in the card and notes an intended visit to Aunt Etta, a Jacob relation, in Louisville at the end of the month.
Fragment. Teetee is expecting a visit from Nannie Gordon. Plans to give her a dinner and to invite Nettie (McDowell) Margaret (Johnson), and Minnie (Clay) to help entertain her. She mentions that Tom sold his horse Ballyhoo in a claiming race. Mentions two local marriages.
Teetee has been busy with guests. After Nannie Gordon left, Mattie Richards and Jessie visited. She writes primarily to inform him of mother’s health problems.
Teetee describes a visit from Tom Clay, a cousin, (son of Thomas Hart Clay). They walked around the farm viewing the flowers and horses, had a lunch. Teetee introduces Millie Lawson who came to help for that special occasion. She would later work for Teetee and then for Charles as Elizabeth Blanford’s note on the envelope indicates. Describes improvements at Balgowan. Presentation of a flag by the D.A.R. to a regiment.
Concern of Mrs. Susan M Clay relieved by his cablegram. (Mrs. Clay had lost 5 or her ten children by this time) Teetee says they follow his unit, Chaffee’s brigade, in the press. Praises Ria as a soldier’s wife. Notes that she has been appointed Chairman of the Woman’s National War Relief Association and is raising money. Notes that name of Susan Jacob Clay heads the list on the Children’s Role. Mattie Richards, wife of Major Richards, very ill.(Teetee’s brother Harry Clay practiced law with Richards for a time in Louisville) Katie Johnson asked about Charley. Tells him about Ria’s wheat crop and the crop at Balgowan. Notes that cousin Henry McDowell is in bad health. Tom Clay, probably Thomas Hart Clay Jr, has also asked about Charles. Mentions Will McFarland as wounded. African Americans are glad their people are helping to protect Mr. Charley. Black servants are very proud of him, she says. Blue ink in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
She talks about the planting of flower beds and taking flowers to their mother’s grave. Contents suggest letter written shortly after Susan M. Clay’s death in 1905.
Children’s illnesses and Tom’s heart condition. He will go to New York to see a Dr. January. Dr. Bullock recommended. Mentioned flowers for mother’s grave. Mrs. Susan M. Clay died in 1905.
Tells about Dr. Thomas Bullock (Nettie McDowell’s husband) working in a clinic in a mining town, Gardener, New Mexico. Bullock was shortly thereafter fired. Mentions house guest, Robert Tyler and granddaughter Mary Brooks, of Jim and Eliza Clay. Jim was oldest of James and Susan Clay’s children. Says she is glad she is not married. Would not want to have to follow a husband to a mining town.
Teetee writes a charming letter to her future sister-in-law expressing her pleasure in Charles’s happiness. She expresses her disappointment at not being able to accept an invitation to visit Margaret Johnson because she could have met Ria and members of her family. Claims there was too much for her to do at home. She is also busy preparing for the unveiling of a monument at the Bryan Station Memorial of the Lexington Chapter of the DAR. She suggested that they ask Col Reuben Durrett, President of the Filson Club to speak and Major Henry Stanton to write a poem and recite it. She then describes the program in detail. She will have to make the introductions and fears she may be overcome by the prominence of her position. She notes that she must uphold the reputation of the family. (perhaps a subtle or not so subtle attempt to education Ria). Refers to Balgowan ats the Shanty. Teetee tells Ria she is writing a novel.
She begins letter claiming a bad headache — neuralgia — had kept her from writing sooner. She is delighted that Charles and Lucretia will be going to Columbus, Ohio rather than Arizona. She mentions a D.A. R. meeting at a Mrs Railey’s home. She describes the social atmosphere in greater detail than the business. Notes that a Mrs. Hart, Regent of the Versailles (KY) chapter was there. Teetee was the presiding officer. She refers to Balgowan as the Shanty. Elizabeth Blanford’s note on the envelope suggest it could be called such only in comparison to Ashland. Both Mrs. Susan M. Clay and Teetee referred to the home as the Shanty. Teetee is writing a novel and asks Ria for help writing the love scene. In an unusual attempt at humor she writes , If I only had a lover to inspire me, I might find it easier. She also mentions that Col. (Reuben) Durrett of the Filson Club has asked her for a speech she made at an even about Bryans Station.
fragment. Teetee writes about Ria’s accident and encloses a newspaper account of it. She mentions that she, Tom, and George attended the funeral of Mrs. William Bruce. She also mentions Jennie Worley. Teetee is anxious to hear from Major Stanton about the publication of her novel. Also mentions Ria’s house in Columbus.
Lucretia writes about always being tired, yet implying that she was always working. She helped her mother in the garden then answered an inquiry from Will Anderson about Clay family history. Teetee reveals a bit of gender frustration. Yet, she notes that George had cooked breakfast and helped prepare dinner.
Chatty letter that really does not say much. She is sorry Ria could not come to Balgowan and does not think she and Mrs. Clay can come to Frankfort. Mentions a visit by Hattie Johnson.
Asking Ria if it would be convenient to her and her mother if she and Mrs. Clay visited over night.
Teetee has new glasses so able to do fancy work for the baby Ria is expecting. (Susan was born on July 21). Mentions Dr. Oldham who prescribed the glasses. She mentions her heavy work load and a possible trip to Versailles, KY
Tells Ria she is organizing the papers, letters, etc. of several generations. Also gives an account of some stock she owns and a business representative in California.
Teetee writes the first letter with a new pen to Charles and Ria because they gave it to her. Letter is very faded.
Teetee mentions gifts the family is sending for Susan’s first birthday. Also notes the death of Charles Jacob Jr and the deaths of men in Charles’s unit — Haskell, Dickinson. Mentioned a friend, Lucy Bergland, whose brother Will McFarland was wounded at Santiago. Teetee was trying to get information from him about Charles Clay.
Chatty letter about correspondence with the widows of Charles fellow officers. Mentions having Robert Burns Wilson read her novel. Teetee wrote slightly different versions of a novel under different titles using many in her family as character studies.
Fragment. Teetee writes of her illness and all the things going on at Balgowan. She does not elaborate but George and Tom were having some financial problems in that period. She wrote of a lunch with Lucy Bergland and Mary Mortons. She will turn down an invitation by Margaret Payne to play cards because it is in the evening. Mentions the Alexanders, a prominent horse farm family in Lexington. She writes about Henry Clay McDowell’s health and doubts he will recover (he died in 1899)
Teetee tells Ria how important Susan is to the Clay family. Tom goes frequently to Frankfort to check on them when Charles was away. Teetee praises Charles as a noble man. She mentions that General Henry Ware Lawton, accompanied by his family, will leave for the Philippines. Teetee says Charles is convinced the baby Ria is carrying will be a boy---the Charley of the future. Teetee says her mother was very ill; she gave Mrs. Clay a product called bronchine but did not tell Dr. Bryan who she suspected would disapprove.
newspaper clipping enclosed. Philippine Insurrection. Teetee writes about Charles’s wound and encloses a newspaper clipping from the Lexington Herald. The Clays appreciated Ria sending Charles’s cablegrams and the notes of support from friends including Mrs Eric Bergland (Lucy McFarland) of Baltimore. Teetee disapproves of the war. Teetee tells Ria that she has heard that Uncle Charley Jacob, former mayor of Louisville, had left his daughters a small inheritance — roughly $25,000 a piece. Also mentions a letter to Pinnie Smith. Newspaper clipping recalls death of Henry Clay Jr. and sacrifice of Clay family
Teetee notes deaths of Winslow Dudley and of Lewis Clark. She is excited about return of Charles from the Philippines. Tells Ria she has written a piece on Elizabeth Hudson Clay for the Filson Club. With not by Tom Clay. Tom’s note is about her farm and how good it looks.
A long, chatty letter containing news of family and neighbors. She notes her illness and that of her mother. She purchased a wheeled chair for her mother and is delighted with its affect upon her health. Brother George wheels his mother all over the farm. Teetee had been to Louisville for a conclave — probably a meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She became ill and had to call a Dr. Bryan when she returned to Lexington. She had a form of malaria which he treated. She mentions two honors she received and is peeved that her brother Charles did not note the first of them. The Woman’s Board of Administration of the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition appointed her a commissioner representing Kentucky. She was also appointed National Historian by the Dames of 1846 which had offices in Texas. Teetee tells Ria that Capt. (Tom) Smith had sent her a gift. She mentions James and Eliza Clay, Mattie Richards, and the death of Jennie Ingels (Eliza Clay was an Ingels), Annie Hardin, Jennie Worley, Mrs. Reid, Clara Dudley. Relates a bit of gossip. Lillie Duncan, wife of George Otis Draper had gone to New York with John Allen to file for divorce. The Drapers oldest son was engaged to Grace Engleman of Lexington. As a post script Teetee apologizes for mentioning Lillie Draper’s secret admirer. Lillie Duncan was the daughter of Henry T. Duncan who owned the (Lexington) Daily Press.
(fragment of letter) Letter explains her frustration with Governor Beckham. As Commissioner for Kentucky of the Woman’s Board of Administration of the South Carolina Exposition she tried twice to get him to support Kentucky’s involvement but he refused.
Fragment (letter in hand of Teetee) Death of Ria’s family dog lead to discussion of the Clay love of pets. Also a visit from Capt George Martin, an old friend of Tom’s who was visiting Henry Duncan. Mentions a number of relatives from the Warfield family. Also mentions Mr. John Allen
Obligatory letter after surgery (Ria and Teetee were not close due to Ria’s conversion to Christian Science) Teetee and Tom Clay had lunch at Julia Brock's, a McDowell cousin. Will and Alice McDowell were there. George could not go because his helper on the farm, Mr. Sherard, was away. Announces death of Mrs. Dan Swigert (Swigert was a major horse breeder). Mentions Dan Payne’s accident with gasoline; announces pregnancy of Linda Kerr and Carrie Scott (Thornton). Says Lizzie Jacob, a Louisville relative, will probably visit Ria in hospital. Description of Jacob’s troubles. Katie is Kate Jacob Jones. Darwin Johnson married Lucy Jacob.
Teetee writes about her activities and those of other family members.
Lucretia gives him news of the Greely party. Harry is to be the Expedition Secretary. The letter also contains news of home.
Teetee writes a letter with family and social news. Susan M. Clay adds a postscript encouraging him to leave Greenland and come home.
Letter mentions recipient as Teetee’s dear little niece. Susan was only niece she had at the time. Chatty letter notes seeing the horses with George, wanting to see Susan and her brothers, and an impending visit from Mrs. Bruce and Letetia Bullock.
The letter is in an envelope dated December 23, 1919. Letter incomplete. Susan in Washington visiting her aunt Pinnie, Mrs. Thomas Smith. Mentions various family members. Etta Jacob is perhaps a great aunt by marriage. Robertson refers to a family genealogy. Mentions Col. Richard Menifee Redd and daughter Ruth. Also servants Ellen, Martha, and Millie.
The Robert P. Clay series comprises letters, military awards and citations, drawings, childhood writings, and newspaper clippings documenting Robert P. Clay's schooling at Shadmann's and West Point, military service, marriage, and his relationships with his parents. The bulk of the series consists of correspondence with his mother, Mariah Pepper Clay, during his school years, his time at West Point, and his military service. One letter relates his removal from command by Colonel Weeks, who feared a mutiny, and his reinstatement after overwhelming support from his men (Box 42, Folder 45). His letters to his sister Elizabeth Clay Blanford include details concerning his service in World War II. Additionally, the series includes several letters written to Robert concerning the sale of Clay family letters.
Elizabeth writes on the envelope that Bob received the Silver Star and the Air Medal in Korea. Letter Susan wrote to the Lexington Herald on April 7, 1945, with a story about Bob receiving the Croix de Guerre with Palm from the French government. The envelope includes two copies of description of receipt of Bronze Star and a copy of the original order awarding him the medal.
In hand of Elizabeth, this appears to be a newspaper account of the wedding of Robert Clay and Mary Martha Martindale. In addition to describing the heritage of the participants and the wedding. The site of the honeymoon has been erased. The article mentions that they sailed for Hawaii on April 3.
A prayer offered by Perry Claxton, Director of Volunteer Counselors for Washington County (MS)
This is a child’s attempt at story writing.
Biography of her husband. Note in ink on one copy is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Picture of Robert P, Clay Jr. who has won first place in Zoology Division of the Junior High School Science Fair.
Robert P. Clay was stationed in Passau at the end of World War II.
Robert Pepper Clay was stationed there after World War II.
Robert P. Clay’s material from the end of World War II.
Clay named to head board at Fort Sill, Ok. The article list medals Clay earned.
Bob had requested a leave so asks that temporary duty with the Organized Reserves by rescinded. Request was granted. His request and approval are included. A page has been torn away at the end of the document.
Sent to Elizabeth Clay Blanford October 24, 1944, Bob’s letter from France. Speaks of high prices in France; general news of the war. Mary Martha, Susan and Elizabeth shared Bob’s letters. The envelope is in Susan’s hand.
Thank you letter from the city of Passau. The letter indicates that a painting was enclosed but not with letter.
Clay is honored for his support during the conflict in Korea. Honor bestowed by the 17th Infantry.
Story about Clay and his retirement Thursday, July 30, 1955. Two copies.
Mary Martha is away so Bob writes to give her the news. Bob refers to his son. Ray Nalferes mentioned — cannot identify.
The memorial recalls Clay’s affiliation with and service to the church and his community.
Salute to Col. Clay by Brodie Crump. Tribute to Bob after his death. Robert Clay lived in Greenville, Mississippi after his retirement from the military.
A formal tribute signed by the church moderator, William Todd, and delivered to Mary Martha Martindale Clay.
(during World War II) In the envelope there are three cards with short notes from Bob. The cards are to his daughters Sue and Lucy and his wife Mary Martha.
Robert thanks the family for the Christmas gifts to the children. In bed with colds, Mary Martha has read them Little Women and the Hollow Tree Book. Reminds Bob of his youth. He longs for the day they can have a stock farm at home. He notes the increasing energy in military activities, the recall of officers on civilian duty, etc. Fort Sill is a bustling boom town.
Birthday letter; Mary Martha and children living near her mother.
Bob asks Metzie to get him some wicks for his cigarette lighter. He mentions talking with Mary Martha and his young son Bob.
Robert is in Germany and feels they have the Germans on the run. He talks about Christmas presents for his children, but laments that he cannot say more about what he is doing for security reasons. Mentions Wes Goddard, Bill George. He is sending money home — nothing to spend it on there.
Robert is taking a friend to Aunt Pinnie’s for dinner. He has also been invited with other students at Shadmann’s to a party given by Marguerite Wolley. He does not want to come back to Shadmann’s after Christmas but transfer to Kavanaugh.
He tries to convince them to let him come home and work at Kavanaugh rather than stay in Washington.
Charles Clay had talked with General McArthur about Bob. He tells his father emphatically that he does not intend to stay as an upperclassmen and he is not going to be hazed. He says West Point is run like an autocracy. The letter is a plea to let him leave and not think badly of him for it.
He is down and does not feel well. The corps was reviewed by President Harding and Secretary (Wales) but he was not happy about that either. He mentions that the trouble he had about Charley had about died down but he likes West Point less each day. He talks of quitting
He asked for permission to resign. Two upperclassmen are hazing another student badly. Any system that allows such action is unjust and he wants no part of it. The second incident was the dismissal of Warrington Dorst, Col Dorst's son, from West Point. He thinks it unfair. He sees no reason to stay. His father had written him a telegram he thought unjust but he had gritted his teeth. However, it is no use.
Robert has reacted negatively to hazing and says he must resign this time. He explains the efforts of upperclassmen to make him lose his temper. He blames family; this resulted from their refusal to let him quit earlier. Urges them not to contact the authorities and explains the problems if they do so. He mentions a Vigilance Committee that would force him to leave. He is really down on West Point.
Bob writes about his father’s attempts to clear Charley’s memory and refers to a detailed letter he sent his mother. He is looking forward to summer when he can help his father on the farm. He writes about his Differential calculus class.
Father in Washington seeking support in case of Charley Jr. Mentions General Pershing and General Davis; armchair detective in death of his brother
He apologizes for not writing. He was disappointed his father had not come up to see him when he was in Washington but knew it was expensive. He recalls his younger days and thanks his mother for his parents’ efforts to make them happy. He has been studying hard. He gives his mother and account of his grades. He promises her to study hard. He also talks about Charley’s death and his father’s efforts to get the ruling of suicide overturned. He assures his mother that it was not suicide and it really does not matter what other people think. He notes the near cancellation of a hockey game with the Royal Military Academy of Canada because of warm weather. He gives a very critical description of the Canadian cadets.
Bob describes his grades and his effort to improve his standing. He also mentions news of the Clay farm.
He apologizes for writing a blue letter and promises to buck up. He mentions a Longevity pay bill before congress and hopes it passes. He writes a bit about his father’s twenty acres of tobacco but laments the low prices. He asks about Hood. (Hood Harney had been a boyhood friend of Charley’s). Lyne Smith and another girl plan to come up for Hundredth Night but Dinkey can’t come. He mentions a course his mother is taking at state college and complains about Anne.
The date is in pencil on the envelope but the letter mentions father’s day as the reason for writing. Bob has finished his second class year and will now be in first class.
Robert mentions two letters from his father. They had been communicating about his future. If he goes into the army he wants to transfer to the cavalry. He thinks he can easily get a job in civilian life because of the prestige of the Academy.
Robert has returned to West Point. He describes trip. A Cadet named Hubert Cole seems to be very interested in Metzie (Elizabeth). He asks that his father check with Dean Anderson about a permanent position but also one for the summer.
Bob urges father to talk to Dean Anderson. He uses the family’s financial needs to suggest to his father that he should seek civilian employment once he graduates. He has been talking to another cadet who suggests that he can made a much bigger salary in one of the larger manufacturing cities than in Lexington.
Charles sends a birthday greeting to his father on his 73rd birthday and thanks him for his parents’ efforts. He then tells his father to quit worrying about he and Mary Martha having a child. He tells his father he likes the army and is proud of his father’s Silver Star.
He mentions the appearance of a world famous etcher with a display of etchings. One is Te Bell Tower of Mon…
Bob needs money to see a Dr. Trapp about hay fever and the pink eye.
Bob announces safe arrival (in Washington) where Pinnie met him. He is now in school (Shadmann’s).
(internally dated 1918-19)Bob is in school in Washington. Discusses coming home for Christmas and possibly working some of the break to earn money. He would stay with his Aunt Pinnie. Notes that the Clays are putting a telephone in the house.
The end of a letter — it mentions a Christmas check from his Aunt Lizzie who he sends to his mother and that he sent Anne’s gift to his mother as well.
Bob is at Shad’s, the prep school he attended in Washington. Had dinner with Mrs. Clay’s sister Pinnie. Elizabeth and Lyne are his cousins.
Postcard. He went to church and had dinner with Pinnie but did not have time to write. He asks for money.
Bob is upset about an algebra exam. He plans to go to church and then out to Pinnie Smith’s for dinner. He notes that Granny (Mrs. Elizabeth P. Pepper) and Sissy look fine. He notes that Sissy is in constant fear of Fritz and almost goes to pieces every time his name is mentioned. Fritz Godehue married into the family; he was an officer in the 17th Infantry with Charles Clay and Tom Smith. He mentions Anne and that she has not mentioned her mother. (According to Mrs. Blanford, Anne’s mother suffered a nervous breakdown and the mental illness which characterized her family was the major reason Mrs. Clay objected to Bob’s courtship.) He asks his mother to have Col. Clay write to him because he has not received a letter from him since he arrived. He needs money.
He made silly mistakes on a math exam that hurt his grade. He wants to know if there is enough money for him to come home for Christmas.
He does not want to return to Shadmann’s. He is confident he can pass the entrance exam for West Point without returning. He uses finances as an argument.
He assures his mother it is not homesickness that makes him want to attend Kavanaugh rather than return to Shadmanns but his concern for the financial state and health of his father.
He has been visiting Aunt Pin in Washington. His grandmother and Aunt Sissy are there. He and a friend named Patten had dinner with them. Lyne and Elizabeth gave a dance and invited all the fellows left at Shadmanns. Mr. Shadmann refused to let them stay out late. Mentions an instructor, Mr. Michaelson, and a prank involving Mr. Shadman. He urges his mother not to worry about his studying. He wants to go to Kavanaugh school after Christmas. He says Shadmanns isn’t that much better and it cost $300 as opposed to $130. Mentions Charley.
He wants to leave Shadmann’s and go to Kavanaugh.
Bob at West Point; after Charley’s death; notes trouble with his girlfriend — Anne; looking forward to coming home on break.
fragment from West Point (1921). Robert complains of fatigue and says he will remain at West Point unless asked to leave. Mentions a French conference.
Robert assures his mother that he is alright but very busy. Mrs. Clay worried incessantly about her children.
Bob asks his mother for $5. He needs socks. Wearing the last pair, he is out of money.
In a fight Bob had a blood vessel burst in his eye. Spent the week with Pinnie. He asks for money.
Robert informs his mother that he has arrived at West Point but very busy. He visited at his Aunt Pinnie’s then went to New York with some friends who attended Shadmanns. He gave her his address.
Robert is beginning his plebe year and is happy with his standing. He likes West Point at this point and promises to do his best. He is homesick but wants to do well for his parents’ sake and his own. Hopes Susan, his sister, can visit. He was not able to see her when he went through New York City.
Bob promises to try to make good at the Academy for the sake of his parents.
He is homesick and writes about how wonderful home is.
He is upset that they have not written. He has not written either but he has an excuse, he says. He has been busy. They have been ordered to wear their tar-buckets at parade so has to shine it. He has gone 17 days without getting a demerit but had several close calls. He went one whole period without his gym belt but no one noticed.
He dislikes the military and wants to resign.
Fragment. He expresses concern about health of family then tells his mother he will remain at West Point until June but if he still feels gripe toward the army as an upperclassmen he will resign. He is worried about his academic work, gets headaches and loses sleep.
He is near the bottom in French. About fifty men have resigned. He is getting along better with the upperclassmen. He thinks he has been walking in his sleep. He thinks he is going to fail French so wants to resign in mid December.
He tells his mother about going to the Army-Navy football game and a visit to the Home of Mason, a former Schad fellow, and taking femmes to a hop at the Astor. They returned very late to West Point. He talks about academics; he says he’ll never be any good at French. The letter contains a long lament about his family’s lack of respect for his efforts at West Point and his intense dislike of the school and the army.
Bob is studying at Schadmann’s, a private school near Washington D. C. in preparation for the West Point exams. He wants to come home and not return. He thinks Schad is interested only in the money, not the students. He threatens to fail the exam if his mother does not do what he wants.
Robert writes about his difficult studies. Old P. Echols certainly can think up some hard questions…. But he is pro in all subjects including French. He hates West Point and all its fool customs and traditions, but since you all have made up your minds for me to stay here I am going to do all in my power to pass. He expresses how badly he misses home; appreciated gifts.
Bob writes that he will be home in a week. He is doing very well academically. He comforts his mother concerning the death of Charley. A note in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford says Charley died on November 27, 1922, and Bob had returned to West Point to take his exams.
Bob asks her to remind Col Clay to see Dede Anderson about a permanent job and a summer job for him.
He is depressed. He wants permission to resign. He has done badly academically. He hopes they will send him home. He says he hates the place and always will. He wants to go to state college to take an engineering course.
Problems of plebe year at West Point. Bob promises to finish the year just so they don’t think he is yellow. Upperclassmen giving him a hard time. He makes no rash promises about graduating from West Point. Mother has accused him of wanting to come home because of Ann. He says he wants to marry her but that is not the reason he wants to come home.
Bob is depressed over a poor mark in math and the fact that things in general have gone badly.
Warm weather reminds him of home and how much he misses it. He talks about his academic standing: he is 2.3 pro on the writs. He is struggling with analytical geometry. Charley is his brother who was expelled from the academy.
Birthday greeting to his mother. Having trouble with French at the Academy.
Robert writes on mother’s day. Mrs. Clay has seen Anne, Bob’s girlfriend, and has written that she is a flapper, plumb and bobbed haired. (Mrs. Clay was not fond of Anne or her family.) Bob says he has fairly good grades in math and French. Mentions that trouble with Smith as about blown over.
He expresses distress at death of Thomas Page Averill. He writes about his classes and asks for money to buy Anne a graduation present.
A short note that describes his activities at West Point during the summer months.
He has finished a difficult time but passes. He was turned out only in French. He was not in the first batch to be made corporals but hopes to be in the second list. He got the highest grade on Major Hobbs rating sheet but that low down top sergeant Smith gave him a low score.
Bob says he has fulfilled his promise to stick out the plebe year but if he finds next June that he is no happier he is going to resign. He says the upperclassmen are crawling him especially hard. He mentions a swim meet vs. Brown University and a diver named Sonk. One of his roommates was dismissed for math deficiency.
He is concerned about his class standing. Says the only things he has to look forward to are the letters from Marm and Anne.
He writes lovingly of his mother then turns to artillery practice and sham battles.
Bob is depressed. A friend had died in a drowning accident, he had gotten demerits, and there were rumors about restrictions on Christmas travel. He is also upset about Anne who has stopped writing.
Bob expresses his dislike of life at West Point. He stuck it out for the first year as he promised but he is still unhappy, unpopular, low ranking and absolutely disgusted. He mentions a girlfriend named Ann.
He is concerned about Christmas leave but has 50 demerits to spare. He says the work is terribly hard this year. French continues to be his nemesis.
He is concerned that a low score in French will cost him his Christmas leave. He is working hard in other subjects. He expresses how much he misses home.
He writes about his grades. He had the bad luck to draw Major Haw for his first instructor in history. He fears losing much of his Christmas break but says he will come home even if it is just long enough to kiss them all goodbye again.
He describes a football game with Yale that ended in a tie. He mentions a missed kick by O’Hearn, the Yale drop kicker, the efforts of Bill Wood and Smythe for Army. Six men were knocked out during the game, including Fritz Breidster and Garbich, their all-American center. He describes the stadium.
He notes that his father is borrowing $6000 to make repairs. He discusses his financial situation. He is distressed about Tom Smith and plans to write to Pin.
Sends money so he will not have to turn it in to the treasurer.
He tells his mother that he has gotten a good start in everything but French. He mentions several people who rode with him part of the way from Lexington to New York — Bob Smith, Tep Barbours, and Nicholas. He went up in the Woolworth Tower to see New York. He tells his mother of a cadet, Stanger, who was turned out in math and English. Says he tried to get him to study. He writes about how much he loves home and family and again offers to leave the army. He borrows money from the janitor, Bill Bennett, and asked for money to pay him.
Bob is concerned about his family. He says he would like to graduate but would come home if they needed him.
Bob mentions that his grades are good and he is enjoying the snowy weather. However, there is no place like Kentucky. He mentions an exhibition of clothes given b y New York firms. He helped a friend select a suit.
Mrs. Clay has written him about the board investigating Charley’s death. Bob seeks to console his mother but implies some unhappiness on Charley’s part. He mentions the testimony of a man named Bush and believes he knows more than he is saying. He assures his mother that Charley was not the type to commit suicide. He notes that his father is investigating the possibility of murder. Bob is willing to leave the academy to comfort his mother.
Bob mentions his grades again but assures his mother he will improve. He is proud to have been chosen the best rider in his company. Pin has to leave Washington but Bob thinks the boys can get a good education at Sr. High. Bob talks about a dream his mother had in which she thought she saw Charley. (Charley had been killed or committed suicide the year before) He is quite sensitive to his mother’s loss. He mentions a marriage between Elizabeth and John. (This may be Elizabeth Smith, a cousin and the daughter of Pinnie Smith.)
Tells mother about the Hundredth Night Show; boxing match with Culver Military Academy. More on Charley’s death. Spencer was the man from St. Paul who wrote to Col Clay that there appeared to be a cover-up in death of Charley.
He writes about Army sports teams beating Navy. He plans to try boxing. He writes about his classes, particularly the difficulty of descriptive geometry. He is homesick. He complains about French class.
Letter about Charley’s death; speculation about role of Howard; Lt. McDonald’s testimony
Letter about Charley’s death at Fort Snelling. Father is there; Bob mentions articles in New York World and in Limes about father’s efforts. Believes Bard is probably guilty but also has questions about Howard. Reveals considerable information about the death.
Robert has been in the camp hospital with eczema on his foot. He had received a letter from Lyne (Smith) a cousin, who was visiting New York with Dinkey and another girl saying they wanted to come to West Point but he had received the letter late. He has not done well in his studies but hopes to improve. He is uneasy about home. He hopes his father’s investigation (of Charley’s death) is going alright. He mentions a person who has been in the hospital for a month and blames it on West Point. He looks forward to furlough and plans to help clean up the yard at home.
Talks about Charley’s death; Colonel Clay went to Fort Snelling to prove his son did not commit suicide. They believed a soldier who went awol — Bard — committed the murder. Captain Tuttle found money that had gone missing. The commanding officer, the Clays believed, fabricated a story for fear of Charley’s death causing a black mark on his record.
Tells mother of a dream about Charley; mentions a skin disease affecting his foot. Describes problems of a cadet named Cole. Talks about Anne his girlfriend (Clays did their best to break up the couple because there were mental disorders in family members. Other letters refer to the issue.
Bob reassures his mother that he will not hurt himself by running cross country. He needs to be studying Philosophy and Chemistry rather than writing letters. He is more worried about losing his hair. He asks her to send him some hair tonic. He notes that Anne does not like his hair short so she will not like him bald.
Bob at West Point; writes about new evidence in death of his brother. Evidence discovered by a Mr. Brill. Two suspects in what Clays believed was a murder----Howard and Bard. Army initially said it was a suicide.
Bob is anxious to get home. The Academy holds them after graduation for no good reason. He mentions that Pinnie and Tom Smith are dissatisfied in Frankfort and plan to move back to Washington.
He writes about his grades, a trip by the Grey girls to New York, and his attempt to make the cross country team.
He writes about his grades in chemistry and philosophy. A trip by Anne, Betty Grey and Dara Hoge was altered. He mentions Teetee’s illness.
He urges his mother to stop worrying about his cross country running. Ria Clay suffered serious anxiety issues related to her husband and children. Bob tries to be very sensitive to her concerns. He mentions Anne and the gift of a ring. He also mentions his academic work.
Bob had bad luck with the worst p. in the [philosophy] department so his grades had suffered. He mentions Teetee’s illness and the despair of his uncles, Tom and George. He is worried about losing his hair; he says it is quite prevalent in the corps.
Robert expresses his sadness at death of Aunt Teetee and his concern for his uncles who had lived their lives with her. He fears the effect of selling Balgowan and urges his family to support them.
Bob is upset about the attitude of his father and Uncle Tom about Anne. He plans to marry Anne. Family has noted insanity in Anne’s family. Bob says if he thought God would permit insanity to be passed from generation to generation he would not believe in God. He explains problems in Anne’s family. Says the fear of insanity and brooding over it was what drove Miss Marion insane. (The family consistently interfered in children’s relationships often out of fear of bringing insanity into the family.)
He complains about lack of letters and mentions his grades. He dislikes Uncle Tom’s idea of selling his horses and buying hunting lodges in Florida and Wisconsin. He worries about Tom’s health and about Uncle George. George has taken care of his mother and sister all their lives and this would leave him high and dry. (Teetee, the sister, died in 1923). He is anxious to get home. Saw Penrod and Sam. Discusses his finances.
He apologizes for failure to write, expresses his love of family, and worries about his academic standing. He laments a loss at Yale and mentions Garlish and Smythe as key players. Mentions the disappearance of two pets at home
Bob tells his mother he is caring for a kitten that two first year students brought in from the cold. He could get in trouble but can’t put it back outside. He thinks he is sure to get Christmas leave. He is making good tenths and hopes to make up a few files. Anxious to come home for Christmas. He does not like the new caps issued to Cadets.
Robert describes a tie game between Army and Navy. Mentions running back George Smythe, Ed Garlish. He describes a visit by Lyne Smith and Dinkey at the Astor hotel I New York. They had difficulty finding tickets to a play but finally got seats for Mitzi, a musical comedy staring Mitzi, Uncle George’s old friend. The ticket agent gave them a break on the tickets. Complains about how much Dinkey talks. Complains about his grades; worries about being “turned out.”
Despite his schedule Robert writes because this is the first anniversary of Charley’s death. He praises her courage.
He is sad about missing Thanksgiving at home but happy to anticipate Christmas. Praises his family. He writes his mother about a Goat-Engineer game played between the first twenty-two and the last twenty two men of the second class. Description adds to West Point story.
Robert praises his mother’s religious faith then turns to his own depression over his studies. Complains of boredom.
Again mentions his grades with specific scores for Drawing, Chemistry, Spanish and Philosophy. He is trying out for the boxing squad. He has tried to talk Anne into staying in Lexington rather than visiting her father in Tennessee.
He writes of his trip home for Christmas. He expresses concern over his grades, particularly Philosophy. He notes that Susan does not think much of the Scribbler’s Club, a Lexington writers group. He mentions Professor Faqua and Miss Nancy Green.
Bob explains aspects of a cadet’s uniform to his mother. He mentions the opportunity to escort Louise Falconer to a dance arranged by his mother but tells her not to try to make him fall out of love with Anne by fixing engagements with other girls.
Bob is back into his studies full time. The trip up on the C&O was tiresome. He saw Johnny Haskell and wanted to ask about Fred Cusack, apparently the victim of a murder. He writes as if Mrs. Clay knows the story. He writes about Metzie then Anne. He assesses the opportunities in military life reaching a negative conclusion. Isolated army posts, too little money, slight chance of promotion. He thinks marriage would be unfair and Anne has had enough tough times. He will finish at West Point but wants his father to talk to Dean Anderson about the possibility of a job when he is finished.
He writes about his academic standing in classes like electricity and mechanics. He asks about Metzie’s chances of getting into state college. He mentions that they found a Chuck Canham who used to sound off and make a racket. No further explanation. He complains that the family does not write; he is particularly upset with Susan.
He is out of the hospital but his grades are a problem. He received a letter from Anne but complains about how she has treated him. He hopes they can visit but worries about the debts of family. He asks about his grandmother and about Hood (Harney). He met two girls from Kentucky — Emily Belter(?) and Barbara _______. Emily was a cousin of Lena Hatchett, Ria’s half-sister and also of Cousin Katie (a Jacob relative). They also had visited Louisa Hoge.
Robert writes to ask for money to repay a janitor for getting his watch repaired. He also thinks he has a good chance of making the track team. He mentions the weather and some home news.
He writes about a watch he is sending back to Lexington to be repaired. He apologizes for several blue letters and promises to work harder academically.. His mother has blamed Anne for his bad academic standing and he admits that he thinks about her too much. He writes openly about his relationship.
Birthday wishes to his mother are followed by assurances that he is in no danger from a scarlet fever epidemic. There are just a few cases among the cadets. His academic standing is disappointing.
Bob talks about his grades in Phil (Philosophy), drawing, Spanish, and electricity. Assures his mother that there is practically no danger of being turned out. He mentions a trip planned for Susan and Anne (This may be a trip to a Confederate Reunion in Memphis). He also mentions a possible trip by Metz (Elizabeth) and Lyne, a cousin. He is practicing with the polo team, riding a pony named Suffragette.
He writes about his social life. Louisa Hoge came for a dance but is anxious to get back to Lexington. He is aggravated with Anne and is ready to write her off. He also mentions Virginia Goodwin, but she does not appeal to him. He says his studies are going well except for Spanish. He mentions Susan’s trip (probably the Confederate Reunion in Memphis)
Robert assures his mother that his flying in an airplane was not dangerous and that he will not join the air service. He tells her that he flew in a Martin bomber and a Curtis GN4-H or Genny. Given his descriptions it seems unlikely he put his mother’s concerns to rest. He describes a trip to New York and the expenses of it. Saw a play called The Beggar on Horseback. He asks for money. Strangely, he says he had to borrow five dollars from his wife but he is not married. He hopes for visits from his mother and sister Elizabeth. Mentions Anne.
On leave from Fort Wright and Mineola he has gone to New York. Saw a play called The Beggar on Horseback and went to Keith’s Vaudeville. Hesitantly tells her about flying in an airplane He knows how it will worry her.
Bob describes the summer encampment at Fort Wright and all the pleasant things available to him. He mentions the new plebes which includes Billy Breckinridge, a Kentucky Breckinridge. He also mentions Richard Barthelmuss (?) who “has been up here all day with the incoming plebes trying to get local atmosphere for his new West Point picture.” He notes that Anne may come with Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay for a visit.
Robert expresses his delight at getting three letters from home. He claims it is the hottest day of the year. He would like to swim but mentions how foul and dirty the Hudson is. He mentions health issues of father and sister Susan.
Bob is optimistic about polo unless the squad is picked entirely by bootlick. He had visited New York, was disappointed in Chinatown but liked the Bowery. Urges his sisters to get a phonograph record called Limehouse Blues.
Bob says there is little news but describes sham battles in which he participated. He mentions Metzie’s trip and hopes she will come with Lyne Smith.
He expresses pleasure that Metzie is coming for a visit but worries about the time he cannot spend with her. He wants someone to come with her and will try to see if Anne can come. If not he asks about Virginia Goodwin. He urges his mother to use Virginia to encourage Anne to come. He speaks openly to his mother about trying to make Anne jealous.
Bob is happy that his mother is coming with Metzie for a visit. He encourages her not to worry about him on the polo team because he is no longer on it. He thinks he was treated unfairly. He mentions the races at Saratoga and Uncle Tom’s horses. He also notes that a Col Ashburn, the post surgeon, asked to be remembered to Col Clay. He was on the transport to the Philippines with him.
Bob feels comfortable in First Class classes — his final year. Metzie bobbed her hair.
Robert laments a poor showing in law but expresses his resolve to improve. The letter gives a sense of his struggle and his resiliency. He mentions a trip to Notre Dame and one to Yale for intercollegiate basketball games. He also mentions Anne and his somewhat tumultuous relationship with her.
He has done very well in his classes and is looking forward to getting home. Anne gave the mitten or the equivalent of it. He was hurt at first but fully recovered. He spends most of the letter convincing his mother he is taking it well.
He is delighted to be getting closer to graduation. He is studying and practicing track. Louisa (?) had been to visit him. He planned to go to Nassau but because a cadet came in slightly drunk the rumor was that the Super intended to cancel weekend leaves.
Bob tells his mother that he has done very well in engineering but hopes after graduation never to crack a book again. He mentions the court martial of a cadet who came in drunk.
He is anxious for the end of term. The following week they will go to Aberdeen Proving Ground and Frankfort Arsenal to see big guns in action. He describes a new uniform then turns to his assignment after the war. He fears his class rank limits him to the infantry but he will not go into it if it makes his mother unhappy. He suggests that his father might be able to call in favors from General Davis to get him into the field artillery or the Cavalry. He mentions a visit from Louisa (Hoge) and that he might go home with her. He wants to buy a car when he gets home.
Two letters in envelope — first written Friday. He describes training his men and expresses confidence in his commanding officers. He is living with three other officers — Nick (Nicholas), Gubbs, and Channon. Second letter written Sunday. Robert describes life in the army. He spends a lot of time playing tennis, shooting pool and preparing for a horse shoe. He attended a going away party for General Aultman’s daughter Anita who was leaving for Wellesley. He went into Indianapolis for supper and vaudeville.
Bob apologizes for not writing but he has been busy. He will not get home for Thanksgiving. He has a horse named Ruth. He asks about the pets at home. He describes the son of a very wealthy couple he has met. Mentions two girls he has met — Ernestine Middleswartz) and Billy Heynigh(?)
Bob relates the story of a mounted inspection. The first Sergeant of his unit was delighted that snow got in the Colonel’s eyes and he could not find anything wrong with the outfit. He urges his mother not to worry about him. He mentions attending a dinner with Hayden at General Auttenare’s(?) where they gave a bridge party in honor of Joe Hardin’s bride. Mentions Ernestine Middleswartz.
He took Emily McMilllan to a dance, played bridge with her, Billie Heysiner, and Meriwether. He says he is becoming fond of Emily. His unit is headed to Camp Knox so he plans to attend the Derby. He expresses concern about Dunster Foster (Petit)’s health problems. Uncle Tom is helping him borrow money from a Lexington bank.
stamp and post mark cut from envelope. Date Sept 5, 1926 written in pencil on envelope. He is at the Hotel Astor. He and Nick went out to Fort Slocum. They are awaiting recruits. He says Jimmie is here with his birds.
In San Francisco, Robert traveled by sea from Panama and headed to Hawaii. The Nicholas’s are with him at the Alexandria Hotel. He complains about the Lt. Col. in charge. He thinks he is trying to win his general’s stars by working everyone else to death. He writes rather critically of Panama. He tells his mother that he had met a man named Bunning who knew Charley and spoke highly of him.
postcard. He informs her that he is leaving San Francisco (probably for Hawaii) Saw the movie Ben Hur.
Newly posted to Hawaii, he describes the weather and his activities. He plays tennis and swims regularly and is interested in polo though the scarcity of ponies makes them too expensive for him. He mentions a General and Mrs. Wolf, a Mrs. Mackall and a Capt Alexander who served with Col Clay in the 11th Infantry. He is dating a girl named Margaret. Bob says he was mentioned in the Honolulu for his sports accomplishments. The family had told him of the murder of an officer and he expresses concern that he might know him. Mentions a Mrs. Monahan and the Nicholases.
Thanks his mother for a valentine and expresses relief to be out of Major Miner’s battalion and to get with a keen B.C. like Capt Alexander and battalion commander like Major Lewis. He is training a polo pony for a man named Fletcher. He describes the landscape at Schofield Barracks. He dislikes the society of Hawaii and wants Susan and Elizabeth to visit. He wrote a special note for his mother on Valentine’s Day recalling a happy childhood.
Robert is stationed in Hawaii. He relates a picnic trip with friends and describes the blow holes in the reef. He also tells about a battalion reconnaissance to determine artillery positions if defense of the island. He asks about a trip Elizabeth, or Metzie, took to Fort Harrison. (Metzie thought her parents were trying to match her with a military man.) He is not sure the girls (probably his sisters Susan and Elizabeth) would like Hawaii because of the social system — i.e., army and rich tourists. Looking forward to polo.
Bob writes about coaching the track team and working his horses. He is trying to help the family financially. If the Wordsworth bill goes through he will make an additional $75 a month. He wants to help his father and buy a brood mare or tow to be raised at home.
Stationed at Schofield Barracks with the 11th Field Artillery Bob writes about Metzie’s relationship to Joe. He says Col. Clay should not worry about Joe’s finances if they love each other. He will be unable to mail letters for about two weeks. He will be on maneuvers. Mentions a Captain McCreary who is joining them. He had played polo with him at For Harrison and at Camp Knox. He mentions Howard John and Shelby Little as if his mother knows them. He mentions the Nicholas family as a godsend to him.
Bob again tries to convince his mother what a wonderful girl Mary Martha is. Apparently some comparison has been made to Dunster (Foster Pettit) and he says Mary Martha is worth dozens like Dunster.
The letter contains family news including mentioning of Susan and Mr. Sawitzky, his marriage to Mary Martha, and a desire for mail. He tries to present an ideal picture of Mary Martha to his mother. He also mentions a polo match and his polo pony Dixie.
He misses Mary Martha and writes as if his parents will not be able to attend the wedding. Mary Martha wants his sister Elizabeth to be the maid of honor. He writes about his polo pony.
He tells his mother he has never shirked any duty because of Mary Martha. He includes some news about the sports teams, worked out his polo pony, Dixie, and saw the movie Tell It To the Marines. He is glad that Susan is happy. (She had eloped with William Sawitzky in May).
Missing home at Thanksgiving, Robert praises his family. Stationed in Hawaii he wants to get closer to home but is happy he met Mary Martha there. He writes about bringing her home. (According to Elizabeth Clay Blanford Mrs. Clay was very upset that he did not bring her home before he became engaged.) He relates some news about army life, particularly sports teams.
He explains lack of correspondence as effect of training his recruits. He has sent Christmas gifts, including one to be forwarded to Susan.
Robert is anxious about a visit of Mary Martha to the Clays. He is also anxious for her to join him in Hawaii and talks about his efforts to arrange for a trip home. He mentions the development of a polo team.
(envelope postmarked March 5, 1929) Chatty note about a picnic and caring for their dog. He promises to write more frequently after being chastised by his father.
He apologizes for not writing but busy getting married quarters settled. He and Mary Martha sailed to Hawaii on the Wilhelmina. He is Regimental Stable Officer and track coach. He mentions Susan’s visit home and her trip to Europe.
Robert tells her of his unit’s trip on the Wilhelmina to Honolulu. Received a tremendous welcome. Nick, Mrs. Nicholas and Klep met them at the dock. They were greeted at the artillery club by a large group of people including General Hamilton and Colonel McCloskey. Mentions Jimmie Channon. He is the track coach and unhappy that they lost a meet. He mentions playing polo. He encourages Metzie to visit; she can get travel if Col Clay requests transportation through the Quartermaster General. Praises his wife.
Robert notes a visit to the Clays by Tommy Crutcher and Elizabeth — Pepper relatives. He mentions a planned Christmas leave with the Martindales, two months in Lexington at the end of his tour. He mentions Denty McGinness, his first classman roommate, and a gift sent to Elizabeth for her graduation.
Mary Martha is throwing a huge bridge party and she was so upset they went to the beach for a picnic. They are hoping to get an assignment at Fort Benjamin Harrison (IND). Notes that a Mr. and Mrs. Ward from Louisville are visiting. They are related to Miss Lettie Peter.
Robert gives car trouble and a resulting late arrival as the reason he had not telegraphed her to let her know he arrived safely in Paris, Illinois. He will send a signed contract to her but no indication what it is. He does write about insurance papers and expresses concern about housing when they get to Fort Sill (Oklahoma).
Postcard. He lets his mother know he has arrived in Rolla, Mo. On way to Paris, Illinois and all are fine.
Mrs. Clay has chastised Bob and Mary Martha for not writing. He admits error but defends Mary Martha. He says she was hurt by Mrs. Clay’s letter. Bob is quite the protector. He then mentions a number of people they both know. He criticizes Mr. Wright — probably the Wright of Calumet Far. Says his conduct has been disgraceful and he should be sued for breach of contract. Bob suggests staking off the front field into building lots which might force Wright’s hand.
Mary Martha Martindale Clay; Nibbie, a pet; Charley (deceased brother)
He writes of a review of the field artillery stationed at Fort Sill, OK. He was pleased that his horse did so well. He informs his mother that a Mr. and Mrs. Walter Martin are going to visit Lexington looking for a place to move their horses. They are from New Jersey but visiting in Florida met Mary Martha’s Aunt Emma who told them about the Clays. Urges his parents not to hire a real estate agent.
He tells his mother how much he misses Mary Martha who is visiting her family. He plans to pick her up on his way home when he is on leave. Sorry he won’t be able to see Uncles Tom and George who will be in Canada. He asks his mother if she can provide dinner and lodging for Harry and Louise Workman, good friends who will pass through Lexington on the way to Cleveland.
Robert describes a training session at Fort Sill and the men he is with. He mentions Hayden as if his mother knows him and Claude Bruback, a classmate who was with him at Fort Harrison. Describes Hayden and his home. Asks questions about family members.
Bob gives a description of Christmas presents and Christmas dinner. They invited a friend and classmate of Charley’s at West Point to dinner. His name was Chick Fouber or Fowler. From Charleston, S.C. he made an unfortunate marriage in the Philippines and is separated from wife.
Bob recounts the removal of his wisdom teeth. He mentions the Allisons who had visited them.
Three photographs. Bob assures his mother that his problem at the C.C.C. camp was all a mistake. Col. Weeks apparently thought there was a plot among the men against him so relieved him of command. The men rallied to his defense and he was reinstated. His only concern is that it will be on his record, but he urges his mother not to worry. Bob writes from Camp Little Lake in Givian, Michigan. Includes three pictures — probably of Lucy rather than Susan.
Robert writes from Camp McCoy. They are planning a visit home. Metzie has a bad cough so there is some concern about Lucy, Bob’s young daughter, but he notes that Dr. Estill can judge the issue. He describes some of Lucy’s childish ways. He expresses appreciation for “tributes” to Uncle George and Uncle Tom. George Clay died in late 1933. The tributes are not with the letter.
Millie (Lawson) African American Servant; Nibbie, a pet; Tootie , Mrs. Clay’s niece, Mrs. Ben Kennedy of Frankfort, Ky.
Letter about Susan’s health. Bob made polo team. Mentions P.L., a girl friend.
Bob writes from England. He describes a family of Clays he has met in England. They raise racehorses as well. He says it is the area where their family originated.
Robert has been transferred from the 18th artillery to the 83rd Division Artillery and considers it quite a promotion. He says he is perfectly safe and Jerry is withdrawing.
Lyne shares information about people they know and her own social life. Freddie Pine, a ’24 graduate, is engaged to Helen Wallis though they knew each other only 10 days before becoming engaged. She is much in love with Eddie though she is not sure he really loves her. He is attending the university of New York. Bob has invited her to a game but she asks if he can get a ticket for Dinkey too since she does not want to come alone. She mentions a visit from John Sr. and Jr. and Teetie with no additional information.
Letter details the sale of letters in the Clay collection. They included letters signed by Daniel Boone, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Hayes, Harrison, Fauquier and others.
Letter notes attempt to sell other items from the Clay papers.
The Maria Martindale Clay series consists of a small amount of letters and Maria Martindale's obituary. The letters document Maria Martindale Clay's relationships with her husband, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law. They briefly reference Robert Clay's military service and mostly deliver family news.
Empty envelope. The Clay’s did not move to Greenville until after Col. Robert Clay retired from the U .S. Army in the 1950s.
The photographs are of Lucy, Susan and Bob Clay. The adult with the dog is probably Mary Martha. Pepper refers to Bob or Robert Pepper Clay. Clay was his mother’s maiden name. Concern of a soldier’s wife.
Robert P. Clay’s military decorations. Father and Uncle Tom are Col. Charles D. Clay and Thomas J. Clay. Pencil is in hand of Susan Clay Sawitzky.
Mentions death of Bob Smith. Robert Pepper Clay was particularly close to his aunt, Mrs. Tom Smith.
Bob’s wife thanking Mrs. Clay for hospitality on a short visit. Bob and Mary Martha are either engaged or just married. Conditions between Mrs. Clay and Mary Martha were never as cordial as the letter implies.
A short letter concerning a proposed visit. Mary Martha postpones it due to heat and the needs of her mother.
Includes Mrs. Charles D. Clay to Robert and Mary Martha Clay November 29, 1931. Mary Martha thanks the Clays for the Christmas presents but encloses the second letter to suggest there had been a compact to exchange only greetings and good wishes. She mentions the Allisons, a mother and military son who were friends of Elizabeth and praised her highly. The second letter does make the suggestion Mary Martha mentioned. It also notes a homecoming of Pinnie Smith’s family in Frankfort.
Mary Martha writes Bob who is visiting in Lexington. Letter refers to a shopping trip Mary Martha took with Mrs. Clay so the letter may be 1928 or later. Wants him to buy a dress for her mother that she saw. Some news about army friends and their new assignments.
Martha is with her mother in Illinois and Bob is visiting in Kentucky. The letter is essentially about a pet Bob took with him, and his mother-in-law’s health issues.
Although clippings are not with the weather she sends newspaper accounts of daughter Susan’s wedding to Benjamin Disharoon. She apologizes for being six months too late. Ben is finishing his course at the University of Tennessee and hopes to be sent back to his home town of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Susan is expecting. Lucy left for New York. (She attended Columbia University.) Bob Jr. was attending Columbia Military Academy.
Bob ordered to Camp Roberts, CA; impending birth of Robert Pepper Clay Jr. Gift of family heirloom.
The Susan M. Clay series comprises letters, financial documents, a diary, a portion of her will, and a scrapbook documenting Susan M. Clay's relationship with her family and her dedication to the Clay family legacy. The bulk of the series consists of letters to her children: Charles D. Clay, George Clay, Susan J. Clay, and Harry Clay. Additionally, the contains letters to her daughter-in-law, Mariah; her sister, Susan Jacob; and letters written to her from people like Henry Howgate. Notable items include a diary written by Susan's son John C. J. Clay, who died as a young man (Box 43, Folder 8); a letter from Susan to Rutherford B. Hayes (Box 43, Folder 12); a letter fragment concerning conditions of the sale of Ashland to J. B. Bowman (Box 43, Folder 2); and a memorandum to Susan M. Clay's will (Box 43, Folder 10).
A Biographical Sketch (copy) written by Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay
Written in the effusive style of Lucretia Hart Clay, the original is in the Library of Congress, Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 57.
Biographical sketch of Lucretia Hart Clay written by her daughter-in-law. Original in the Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 57, Library of Congress.
A part of the purchase of Ashland in 1866 was $5000 to be used as tuition at Kentucky University. Letter indicates some of the measures attempted to collect it. The fragment is in the hand of Susan M. Clay
A chapter in a biography Susan wrote titled Henry Clay: His Slanders-James Parton, Andrew Jackson. As Judged by his Contemporaries. (Copy)
Written because of a disparaging article by James Parton in the Youth’s Companion and because some of the younger members of the Clay family were not familiar with his contribution. Attached is a new preface by her daughter Lucretia Hart (Teetee) Clay. Original in Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 55, Library of Congress
A document that seeks to tie Henry Clay to the lost cause but does tie its author to late nineteenth century attitudes toward race. Original in Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 55, Library of Congress
A part of Susan Clay’s biography of Henry Clay. Original in Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 55, Library of Congress.
She expresses desire to see portraits, silver, and other heirlooms remain in the family.
A mother encouraging her son to be good while she is away. Written from Newport, R.I.
Dated 1865 because Ashland is listed yet it was sold to Kentucky University in late 1865. Total estate worth approximately $120,000.
Charles and George are still quite young and away at school. She tells them about James and Thomas, and urges them to be good. She praises Charles’ letter but criticizes his spelling.
Newspaper clippings showing particular interests of the two women.
Received of John C.J. Clay $555. John C. J. Clay was a son of James and Susan Clay. He died of typhoid fever in 1873 while still young
Using the legacy of Henry Clay, she asks for a military appointment for Thomas J. Clay.
Bain had asked for a photograph of Charles D. Clay and Susan sent it with a short biographical sketch. George Grantham Bain operated a news photo business. In pencil on back of letter is biographical information on James B. Clay.
Fragment. The first page of the letter is missing but content suggest it is around Christmas time. Susan talks about various gifts they have given and received. Mentions the destruction by fire of Willie McCow’s house. Apparently, he had a drinking problem and was left with no money and a large family.
Fragment. The last two pages of the letter contain family news. Jim and Eliza Clay are in New York for health reasons. Tom will be at home on Sept. 1 for a month’s leave.
After 1884 from contents. Written from Balgowan Susan chastises Charles for not writing. He will not have an old mother forever, she writes. On Easter Sunday she and Teetee went to the cemetery. She mentions dear Harry’s grave. Harry had been killed in Louisville in 1884. Describes their Easter activities then scolds him at end of letter.
Copy. Susan writes to Charles and George who are away at school. She tells them John and Harry have returned home from their trip [to Europe]. They brought Teetee gifts. Susan tells them to address mail to No. 55 East Walnut Street [Louisville]. That may be Aunt Matilda’s house that she intended to rent. A part of the letter of missing.
copy. She expresses her pleasure at receiving his letter but cautions him about his spelling. She mentions all the other children, Kate and Darwin Johnson, and John Jacob. She also mentions Aunt Matilda, Prather Hill, and Armstrong.
Copy. Charles is apparently in Racine. She notes how happy George was to see her but wanted to know why Charley did not come home too. There is some information on train travel and on a boy’s clothing needs.
Copy. Susan tells her son that she and Teetee are visiting Governor Stevenson and have attended the marriage of his daughter to W. L. Colston, a young lawyer who was a Confederate and lost an arm at Pea Ridge in Arkansas.
Susan informs Charles that his chances of getting an appointment in the army are poor. She also urges him to say nothing to anyone and not to mention it in Louisville. The letter enclosed is probably D. Davis, U.S. Senate, to Susan M. Clay May 7, 1881. The two letters were in an envelope together.
Susan expresses concern over an accident Charles has had and tells him he must keep her informed and hold nothing back. She then turns to money issues. She is vacationing in Maine and has drawn on her trust ahead of schedule, but she will tell her brother Charley Jacob to advance him some money. Charley Jacob managed the trust left by their father John J. Jacob and Susan expresses her belief that he has neglect. (His name has been torn out of the letter. Warns him to stay away from Kate Hunt and another young woman because it gets him in trouble. She asks what has happened to Lily Buckner who she thinks is a nice girl.
A short note from Kennebunkport to let Charles and Harry know that they were well. Teetee having a god time with a Miss Draper, Mr. Bullock and another man (name indecipherable). Mentions Charles’s knee injury.
Encloses Calendar and Rowse Real Estate to G.H. Clay St. Louis September 29, 1882. Describes property on Ashland Ave and Lexington Avenue and the estimated value of it. The company asks that his brother and sister write to the same effect as the contents of his postal so their actions are ratified. Susan encourages Charles to sell his lots like George and Teetee have decided to do. She plans to sell her Main St (Louisville) store and buy a farm. She encourages George, Teetee, and Charles to buy good thoroughbred stock. Believes there is good money in breeding and selling horses. There is some other real estate information.
Susan M. Clay writes a harsh letter about young men marrying for sentiments sake when they don’t have the money to live a quality life style. When poverty comes in the door love goes out the window, she writes. She claims that a man should marry a woman with money if he has none. She mentions several marriages in the family as examples of sentimentality —L_____ Wooley, Annie Haden, Dick Jacob, and Mary Nash. Tom Clay is needlessly pining over Maggie Martin. Mentions Aunt Etta, a relation on the Jacob side of the family.
Long letter blaming him for extravagance and cautioning him against marriage when he has no money. Says he can’t marry unless, like Wick Preston, he marries rich. Says she wrote same thing to son Tom a year ago. Very harsh letter. Charles was in the west in the wool business.
Relays news from Tom that he needs to apply for a military appointment because a number of civil appointments are soon to be made. She also urges him to study for the examination. Tells him to keep his intentions secret. She implies he talks too much and mentions and incidence involving the McDowell.
Susan begins the letter by chastising Charles for not writing. She turns to the weather, the most beautiful she has seen in Kentucky but dreads the winter. The Shanty, her name for Balgowan, is not a suitable winter home. She wants a nice home to leave to Teetee. She can’t bear to think of Teetee living in possibly second rate boarding houses. She says Charles, Tom and George can make it but a woman can’t live the independent life of a man. She mentions the marriage of Will McDowell to Alice Dudley, the marriage of Miss Sayre and Roger Williams. Maggie Martin (Tom’s love) gave a party of Roger Williams and his wife. Susan describes the party. George was invited but did not go. She tells Charley that young Henry McDowell is building a large law practice at Pound Gap (actually Big Stone Gap) and that his father is probably making a lot of money in his speculation there. In closing she lectures him about church and his duty to God.
Susan apologizes for not writing more frequently. Most of the letter is about a quarrel between Jim and George. Jim owed money but could not pay it so George, who had loaned his brother money, had to sell one of his best mares. They were not speaking. Susan lamented the pain of family disputes and urged Charles not to mention it lest it become worse.
She scolds Charles for not writing often enough. Turning to family news she mentions going to Jim and Eliza Clay’s to get cherries to preserve. She mentions the need for a cook and that Eliza will help her find one. They went to Miss Rose’s for dinner (Rose was the daughter of Thomas Hart Clay) then visited Ashland. Notes engagement of Tom McDowell to Mary Goodloe and that H.C. McDowell will build them a cottage on the Ashland property. Tom doubts long term strength of their colt, Chevalier, but he has won $2300.
She writes of their health and cautions him about traveling when the weather is hot. Tom is in Chicago but his colt lost. George had a bad sale of his horses and their hope was in The Chevalier, another horse but it had been a great disappointment. She wishes she had a telephone that she could use to call him every morning to learn that he was well.
Susan describes a pouring rain that is keeping them from going to town. She mentions Garland Hale (he married a daughter of Thomas H. Clay) who was visiting and a visit from Dan Payne. She gives some news of Tom’s and George’s horses. Tom sold one and shared the money with family. She mentions that George devotes himself to Mary Payne exclusively but they have fights and George stays angry for weeks. They have no servants at the moment. She says they need to build a place for servants near the house. When that is done, she wants to try whites (presumably white servants).
Susan expresses her anxiety about not knowing where her son is. Mentions gloomy rainy weather and a visit from Margaret Martin and Jim Barr. Barr is going to New Mexico for his health but she fears he will die there or come home to die. He says he has malaria. Dr. Bullock says one lung is gone and the other nearly as bad. His brother Garland is very worried about him. She gives the menu she served for dinner. Marion Worley is visiting. (The Worleys lived on the Versailles Rd at the turn of the century.) Tom and George went to the fair. She mentions health of Uncle Tom. This would be Thomas P. Jacob of Louisville.
Charles has been on a march to Kearney, Nebraska and Susan are answering the letter he wrote from Omaha. She laments Tom’s impending departure, notes that Major Richards and Rutledge (Richards was a lawyer in Louisville) had visited him. She recounts the travels of Tom (Jacob) and informs Charles of the death of Aunt Mary, Tom’s cook of twenty-seven years.
Susan sent a note from Dr. Patterson, the President of Kentucky University, relative to Charles effort to head the military department at the school. She fears he won’t like our stupid town i.e. Lexington, but hopes he’ll help her with improvements at Balgowan. Mentions a visit by Teetee and Eliza Clay to Ashland to visit “the bride.’ They also saw Mary Clay, daughter of Thomas Hart Clay. Susan thinks she is near death. Rose Clay is also looking old and frail. John Jacob, a cousin, also visited during the wedding. She mentioned that Thomas P. Jacob’s health was about the same.
Chastises him about writing by comparing him to Tom, his brother. Charles is trying to get assigned to Kentucky University. Susan asks if he received a note from Dr. Patterson. Calls her home the Shanty but says she loves it more and more. The whole family invited to Rose Clay’s for Christmas dinner. She says he will get a small present this year. George had only four yearlings to sell and Bowman has backed out of buying their other place. A buyer (Lakeland) has also backed out of buying their horse Peg Woffington (Thomas C. McDowell buys the horse later.) Sam Jones is pressing them to pay a debt of $30000 and their horse Zorilla is nearly dead with pneumonia. She then apologizes for sending so much ill news.
Fragment. Portion of a letter is obviously that of Susan M. Clay from the contents. She is amazed that Charley, Teetee, George, and Tom have rheumatism because neither their father nor she had experienced it. She urges Charles to encourage Teetee to get out more when he returns home. She writes of gardening and health of family.
Fragment. Susan writes to tell him how they are at The Shanty, the name she uses for Balgowan. She describes some of the changes to the house. Jim, probably the servant they called Uncle Jim, was scraping the outside and had helped George cut weeds. Also mentions Uncle Daniel, another servant, and Jim, probably James B. Clay Jr. She mentions that George has sold his half in Essay, a thoroughbred, for $500 and hopes to sell Gardenia for $1500 which will help him pay some of his bank debt. Jim (Clay) has seen Saunders Bruce about selling Hypatia and Sister. Saunders Bruce was a descendant of several prominent Central Kentucky families.
Susan expresses her anxiety about a hunting trip Charles is planning. Mentions visits from Katie Johnson and her brother Tom and a pending visit from Nannie Gordon. George has gone out to shoot Brill Bats which Elizabeth Blanford defines as night hawks.
Susan tells him she is quite ill than chastises him for not writing. She tells Charles the Pan-American Delegates will visit Ashland tomorrow and Jim, Tom, George, Teetee, and Nannie have been invited to represent the family name. Nannie Gordon will stay with her. She then chastises him about his bills. She asks him if he sent a check to Barley Johnson for the whiskey he bought. The next day she adds four pages and thanks him for the letter he had written. She returns to the reception at Ashland. All agree that Henry McDowell is an elegant host. She says George says he fell desperately in love with Lillie Robinson. Lucy Woolfolk also attended; she is getting married. Charles’s friends Miss Sarah, Tommy Duke, and Belle Clay were at Ashland. Mrs. John Allen and Mrs. Wick Preston were the only married women there. She then talks about other social events in Lexington and mentions many local names.
After describing her health problems she mentions that Tom’s friend, Mr. Kitson is visiting. Tom, George, and Kitson have gone to the Swigert place. (Daniel Swigert was a highly respected horseman.) Tom’s leave will soon be over and she will then miss both her soldier boys.
Fragment. The first page of the letter is missing. Susan notes how cold it has been in February and March. She notes birth of three fillies---Ace of Hearts, Bon Voyage and Thundercloud and describes them. Notes that Nannie McDowell had been sick with pneumonia and mentions that Madge had returned from New York where physicians had removed a large piece of diseased bone. (Madge McDowell had t.b. of the bone. In a series of operations the surgeons removed the foot and then portions of the leg.) Susan also relates the death of Charley Pope Junior at Norton Infirmary in Louisville. She suggests a drinking problem.
Susan writes a birthday letter several days late because she has been ill. Charles is 33 years old. Susan suggests it is time he and Tom start thinking about marrying. (Usually she wrote opposing marriage.) Mentions that Jim Clay had been seriously ill with La Grippe. Says the weather has been better than she had ever seen.
Accuses her son of extravagance and procrastination. Economic Concerns; Religion.
Susan relates news of George, Tom, and Teetee. She expresses concern over their financial situation. One paragraph about Charles’s friend may be about Ria.
newspaper clipping enclosed. Mrs. Clay begins the letter with family news. She read a sermon to Tom, George, and Teetee after supper. George is treating a mare — La Sorella — that has the cholic. She mentions the death of Rob Pepper. Teetee, Tom, and she had sent notes to the family. She also notes that she had sold a farm at $85 per acre — less than what they paid for it, but it relieved debt. Warns son about debt. Notes the uncertainty of counting on horses for income. She encloses in the letter a newspaper clipping about a fire at a shirtwaist factory that took a number of lives.
Fragment. Mrs. Clay expresses concern over finances but George and Tom have hope for the success of their horses. She expresses her pleasure with Ria. Eliza (Mrs. James B Clay Jr) had Sunday lunch with them and Jim Clay went to Mr. Viley’s. She relates information on Episcopal Church in Kentucky Bishops Dudley and Burton. She describes a meal and the various dishes.
Susan explains why she has not written as often. She praises Ria. Charley Voohies will lend Charley the money he needs. She wants him to bring her Colton’s Life of Henry Clay.
Susan writes that she has been sick and George has been sick. She describes George’s symptoms than says everyone knows he is sick because he is such a complainer. Teetee is also broken down because they have no servants and she is working too hard. They are looking forward to their visit to see Charles. She mentions Eliza and Jim (Clay).
Tells Charles he has to do his duty for the honor of his family. Gets very religious in hopes for his safety. Criticizes the weakness and vacillation of the U.S. President in regard to the war. Not a letter that would improve the recipient’s spirits. (She dates letter April 14, 1895 but envelope gives correct date.)
General news. Darwin Johnson and Katie are relatives on the Jacob side of the family. Darwin Johnson married Susan’s sister. Praises Christian spirit of Ria Clay. Informs Charles that Tom Clay is going to Washington trying to get a position in the war. (Tom Clay wanted to be the head of Kentucky volunteers. General (Nelson) Miles, Clay’s commander in the Geronimo campaign, had agreed to support his efforts. She says George planned to join the war effort himself, but that seems highly unlikely. As letter suggests, he was operating a significant horse farm. Willie Ingels lived in Lexington. Probably a relation of James B. Clay Jr.’s wife, Eliza
Comments on his photographs. (don’t do him justice) They are house cleaning, then hope to have Ria and Susan visit. Susan seems to hope the war will be won by the navy rather than risk her son. Includes a copy of a letter sent to the U.S. President by Hart Gibson. Urges President to appoint Tom Clay Brigadier General in command of the Kentucky Volunteer Troops. Heavy use of the Henry Clay name. Note in ink on envelope is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Mrs. Clay has been to see Ria and expresses pleasure at Ria’s Christian spirit and little Susan’s intellect. Tom Clay is helping Ria with her wheat crop.
Charles is in Cuba and Susan is worried about Yellow Fever. She wants to see baby Susan (Susan Jacob Clay b. 1897) and praises Ria, Charles wife. She tells Charles of death of Charles Jacob, her nephew. Note in hand of Elizabeth Blanford says Charles found his grave and made arrangements to ship the body home.
Letter in religious terms expressing her concern for his safety.
newspaper clipping enclosed. Happy he is well. Mentions death of Charles Jacob Jr., her nephew in Cuba. Died heroically of course. She wants Charles to write to his Uncle Charley (Charles Clay will make arrangements for the return of Charles Jacob’s body. Conditions between Susan Mariah Jacob Clay and Charles Jacob had been strained for some years. She believed his mismanagement of the trust fund established by her father had ruined her financially. The breach was healed to a degree by Charles’s actions.
The mention of a wound in first line of page 2 substantiates claim that letter was to Charles. Letter refers to the bequest of Charles Jacob if Mrs. Blanford is correct. He died in December 1898. Charles suffered his wound in 1899. Letter also mentions ill health of Major Henry Clay McDowell. He died in 1899.
Charles is at sea headed for the Philippines. Letter contains good character sketches of Teetee, Tom, and particularly George Clay. She relates their horticultural activities, which recalls memories of Henry Clay’s progressive agriculture. At end of the letter she becomes the worrisome mother.
Susan writes mainly of the cold weather. Last page of letter is badly smeared.
Fragment. Mrs. Clay is delighted with the speed of the cablegram. Becomes very religious as she laments the danger to her son. Mentions her garden and the horses of George, Tom, and Jim Clay.
Farming news; complains about not seeing grandchildren; Susan and Charley, grandchildren, remind her of her own Susan and Charlie.
There is news about the military and Charles is the only one of her children to have children. Mentions 11th Infantry and the slaughter of the 9th Infantry by the Chinese.
Talks about her failing health and pictures of the children that she enjoyed but also found something to criticize. Rather typical of her. Describes Balgowan and the flower beds she had designed. Note on envelope is by Elizabeth Clay Blanford
Susan has learned from Ria that Charles will probably retire. As usual, she has a great deal of advice for her son. Much of her character can be seen in the letter. She agrees that it would be good if he could attain the rank of major but the Clay star is not in the ascendancy just now. They have no influence in high places. She also writes affectionately of Anne (Nannie) Clay McDowell, Henry Clay Jr.’s daughter. H.C. McDowell purchased Ashland giving Anne, his wife, significant stature in the family. She will put a telephone in Susan’s house as a Christmas gift. Susan explains the difficulty of getting a doctor without transportation or communication.
an undated letter from Ria Clay to Susan M. Clay is enclosed. Susan M. Clay has now decided Charles must stay to receive his promotion to Major and advises him in her usual strong terms. Ria wrote in her letter thanking them for the gifts to the children but stated frankly that she did not agree with Mrs. Clay’s advice to Charles. They could meet the needs of the family with Charles’s retirement pay and her income until he could find something to do. These two letters must be read together.
Susan answers Charles’s letter of January 15. This letter hints at Charles’s protective nature. Susan, having read Charles’s letter to Ria about seeking retirement had advised him strongly against it. In his letter to her he described his condition in more graphic terms so she now approved his actions. Ria did not know the full story. Susan relates a remarkable explanation of the impact of a telephone in her home. She also notes the illness of Nannie McDowell (Anne Clay McDowell) and some rather frightening medical diagnosing. Tom Clay enclosed a note about Dr. Basson. Basson’s letter probably supported Charles’s request for medical retirement.
Susan sends a letter written by five year old Charley. Advises Charles to paper the walls of his house rather than calcimining them. Charles is on assignment with the army; Ria and children are living in Frankfort.
Susan writes to her daughter-in-law expressing the hope that she and Charles enjoy their first Christmas in their new home. There is a good deal of information about African American servants in the letter.
Mrs. Clay apologizes for failing to answer Ria’s letters. She admits to being a procrastinator and adds that Charles had inherited the trait. She mentions Ria’s visit to Washington. She asked Ria about a letter from Cliff Breckinridge and what Charles intends to do in the matter but no further information.
Mrs. Clay writes to express her pleasure that Ria has shared her secret. The secret is the birth of a child. Mrs. Clay notes that she had received an inkling of it through but not from Margaret Johnson. She expresses her pleasure in Ria as Charles wife and her pleasure that Ria got him to take communion with her on easter.
Letter praises Susan but does not mention Charley who was born in 1899. Expresses fear of an outbreak of small pox. Family news. Mentions obituary of George Clay, Thomas J. Clay, wedding of Thomas Hart Clay, William Sawitzky
Envelope contains Susan M. Clay’s letter to Ria dated April 18, 1898 and an undated note from the Easter season from Teetee to Charles D. Clay. Discussion of children’s health issues — whooping cough, croup, War news. April 18 letter notes Ria’s problems with nursing Susan and other medical issues. Teetee’s note is about Easter. Asks Charley to take candy eggs to Arabella and _____ Clarke.
Appreciative of Charles’s telegram on her 76th birthday but pure mother-in-law when she talks about Susan’s illness. Cannot imagine where she gets predisposition to colds — her children never had them. Gives a great deal of advice on parenting.
Returning Charles’s letters to Ria, Susan M. Clay speaks highly of Charles. She notes her pride in him, something she probably never did personally to him. Mentions Pinnie and Tom Smith, becoming more characteristically pessimistic toward the end of the letter.
Susan thanks Ria for sharing a letter from Charles. She does not believe Charles’s wound is serious. A note in the hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford says Charles told Ria the wound was not serious because she was expecting Charley Jr.
Philippine Insurrection. Mrs. Clay writes of her relief that Charles is back in the United States. Charles refused surgery in the Philippines and was transferred back to the U.S. with the bullet still in his body. Ria’s sister Pinnie, who had gone to the Philippines with her husband Tom Smith, returned with Charles to the U.S. that went back to the Philippines.
Mrs. Clay gives Ria details of Charles’s surgery. Tom and James Clay waited with him until and through surgery. Teetee planned to go soon. Dr. Barrow declared the surgery successful but not without danger. Describes effect of ether. Mrs. Clay wrote Tom has the bullet—a large lead bullet—keeping for Charles who will preserve it of course for Charley Jr. Excellent example of how sense of family duty was taught.
Susan writes in very religious terms about Charles. He is stationed in the Philippines. She has sent him several complimentary clippings from state newspapers.
Glad to hear that Charles has made it safely to San Francisco. Asked about the children. She mentions Susan, Charles, and Elizabeth. This is Elizabeth Smith. Hopes Ria will have snapshots of children made. Hungry to see them. Charles worked discharging soldiers returning from the Philippines.
Probably a practice letter; Mrs. Sammis and Mrs Weed were neighbors. Old Charley was a servant.
Susan is writing from Aunt Mary’s room in the Galt House. She tells George about his cousins and asks about his activities. She wants him to write. Letter suggests the unsettled conditions after the Civil War.
Copy. After a spelling lesson based on his last letter she gives him news of the family. Harry and John are sailing home [from Europe] on the Scotia. She gives news of her siblings and their children. She hopes to rent Aunt Matilda’s house. [Susan sold Ashland after the war and moved from relative to relative for a time.] She talks about John Jacob as if he has mental problems.
Copy. She tells them of a trip to Lexington. Mary Mentelle Clay met them at the station and they went to Mansfield. She calls Thomas Hart Clay an invalid (He died March 8, 1871). Mentions Louise and Rose, T.H. Clay’s daughters. Mag Beck to marry Cochran of Washington D.C. (She died shortly thereafter) Annie Wilson to marry a man from Nashville. Willie McCord reached Lexington with his bride. Mentions relatives Eppie Prather, Kate and Darwin Johnson; also Jennie Hamilton and Norine McKay. She wrote about bring Jack home.
Susan writes to the two boys to tell them what the others are doing. Mentions Harry, Jim, Tom, and Teetee but not John. She tells them Harry got her a book of Bret Harte’s poems.
Susan is visiting in Louisville. She writes about the Jacob home but it is missing the family members. She laments the separation from her children and the death of her son John who died of typhoid on September 15, 1872.
She expresses her relief at hearing from him, and can not hide her concern for his safety on the Arctic expedition.
Susan sends news of home. She says letters from George and Charley are included but they are not with this letter.
She chastises both for not writing though she is on vacation in Kennebunk, Maine. She asks about a knee injury suffered by Charley and instructs him on precautions. He is to visit Dr. Yandell, a Louisville surgeon. Mentions walking with a Mrs. Hanna and a Mr. McCormick. Mrs. Hanna is the sister of Mr. Ellison of Louisville. Describes a regatta where the ladies rowed their boats.
Lucy visiting in Louisville
Letter dated from contents. Susan learned Lucy had the measles. Letter of May 28, 1857, notes the fact but much more calmly.
Lucy with Aunt Kate in Louisville. Mentions a slave family; Mentions a visit to Mrs, Lucretia Clay; Discusses music; discusses purebred stock arriving at Ashland.
Lucy visiting In Louisville; had measles. Sewing machines new to Lexington.
Lucy in Louisville with her Aunt Kate and other Jacob family members. Mostly social news and health issues. Tuberculosis describes James as coughing and spitting up a good deal of blood. Probably an early indication of the tuberculosis that killed James in January 1864.
Letter describes her life and Christmas with the children. Original of letter is in Henry Clay Family Papers, Box 42 Library of Congress.
Susan visiting Newport, R.I. Harry and Tommy are younger sons.
Lucy visiting Jacobs in Louisville. Describes a thunderstorm.
encloses lock of hair of Mrs. John I. Jacob, their mother . Mentions illness of Lucy. This is a Lucy in the Jacob family, not Susan’s daughter. Notes death of Jim Prather (probably a relative of Henry Clay Jr.’s wife) Mentions their sister Matilda and a daguerreotype of Teetee (Susan’s daughter Lucretia Hart Clay).
(Copy) Original in Library of Congress Henry Clay Family Papers Box 42. Letter praises Lucretia as a second mother and speaks of her kindness.
C.D. Jacob, still a young boy, writes to his sister. He described ice skating on the frozen Ohio River and Christmas gifts within the family. On the other pages Thomas Jacob writes to James B. Clay about the renting of a slave, Jane, and the prices charged. He also notes a shipment of goods to James that should have arrived in St. Louis before the river froze. He has paid the overage on costs Susan had charged in Louisville. James is farming in St. Louis at the time.
Account of James’s funeral in Lexington. Susan was still in Canada. Urges her to return to Louisville to live. Civil War — Richard Pindell and wife were banished from Lexington for pro-Southern sentiments. Pindell was Lucretia Clay’s brother-in-law. He was supposed to be a pallbearer at James’s funeral.
Claims price she wants for Ashland is too high. Bowman later purchased the estate for Kentucky University. Kentucky University; Purchase of Ashland
Purchase of a carriage
Concerns effort to get Charles a job. She consistently wrote to businessmen, senators, even presidents seeking positions for Thomas, Harry, and Charles.
Howgate informs her of the likelihood of another expedition being sent out. He promises to keep her informed.
Replying to two letters from Susan M. Clay he expresses regret that he has not been able to help her son (Charles) with an appointment to the army. He has spoken with Secretary Lincoln to no avail.
He mentions the illness of his mother and the concern of Kate Johnson about a disaster in Johnstown. Some family members are there. The major topic of the letter is his effort to secure a portrait of Henry Clay from a Mrs. Shirley. He thought she wanted to give it to the family but she wants to sell it. He asks Susan Clay’s help getting out of an embarrassing situation.
The Thomas Jacob Clay series comprises letters, a biographical sketch, and newspaper clippings concerning the life and military service of Thomas Jacob Clay. The series mainly consists of letters written to his brother Charles D. Clay, sister-in-law Mariah Pepper Clay, and mother Susan M. Clay and concern his military service during the Geronimo campaign and the particulars of wheat farming, such as prices, threshing, and planting. Notable items include a letter to Susan M. Clay about his time in Geronimo's camp (Box 44, Folder 55), a letter to Colonel C. B. Gatewood about the Geronimo campaign (Box 44, Folder 61), and a letter written to Charles during the Spanish American war concerning his attempts to revive his military career (Box 44, Folder 38).
Drawing of James B. Clay’s house while emissary to Portugal by Thomas Clay and one of Cicero by Harry Clay
On back of an envelope dated 1922 or 27 addressed to Thomas J. Clay is a quotation attributed to Dr. Holley.
Contains information of Tom Clay’s army career. Contains an error — Clay was not held by the Apaches for six weeks.
In an attempt to be named commander of volunteers Tom Clay notes to Senator Elkins the family contributions to the nation in wars from the revolution to the present. He hopes Elkins will speak to the president for him.
New York Press Club to sing My Old Kentucky Home in honor of Clay at a dinner for Governor Wilson. Wilson was governor from 1907 to 1911.
Probably for Hermann Hagedorn who was writing a biography of Leonard Wood. Clay and Wood were with Henry Ware Lawton’s soldiers when Geronimo was captured or surrendered.
Copy. Clay had served with Gatewood’s father in the Geronimo campaign. Clay says Gatewood never got the credit he deserved. Those who got the credit did not deserve it.
Thomas J. Clay died in New York.
copy. Away at school Thomas writes to his brother describing his day. The family is still separated in the aftermath of war. Teetee is their sister and the other boys would be Harry and John.
Thomas gives Charles advice on seeking an appointment to the military. He urges him to get as many letters from prominent people as he can and send them to Willis (Kentucky senator or representative. He notes that the president (Chester A. Arthur) was an admirer of grand pa (Henry Clay).
Spanish American War. Notes Charles’s safe arrival in Tampa; Mrs. Susan M. Clay is much relieved by news and sends inevitable advice — he must keep his blood cool and avoid stimulants in such a hot climate. General Nelson Miles (T.J. Clay’s commander in the Geronimo campaign) advises him to go to Washington about appointments as Adjutant General or Inspector General of Volunteers. Clay will ask _______Elkins to go with him to see the President. Notes that rumors abound; doubts truth of them.
Spanish American War. Thomas had good meeting with President re possible appointment as Adj. General or Inspector General of Volunteers, but learned Senate had refused President the authority to use retired officers. General Miles helped him. Miles trying to advise President. Wrote of dangers of Yellow Fever.
Congratulates him on appointment to adjutant. Says he has heard nothing from President on his request. Describes Charles’s wheat field. Clipping he speaks of from Teetee is not in the letter.
Enclosed is a letter from Susan M. Clay to Charles Clay, July 1, 1898 Susan’s pessimism is obvious because as she says she has had so much sorrow — death of husband and 5 children, loss of Ashland, etc. Praises Ria’s faith. Tom’s letter notes their mother’s anxiety, tells of his trip to New York where he sold 4 colts, and informs Charles about the wheat crop.
Tom urges him to write. Family is concerned after a battle. Expresses dismay that Leonard Wood was promoted. He knows nothing about military or handling troops. Everything is favoritism and politics. He has little hope of being named commander of a Ky. brigade.
Informs Charles of particulars regarding the wheat crop. Complains of favoritism in Washington. Says appointment of Wood (Leonard Wood) to Brigadier was silly and preposterous. He knows nothing of the art of War, but he was the President’s doctor. Thomas J. Clay had served with Leonard Wood in the Geronimo campaign.
Tom writes about the property in Missouri. Curran Pope, a Louisville relative spoke to Mr. William (Lawyer) in St. Louis. Tom says Grand Pa Jacob, Susan’s father, wrote the will so that his grand children would benefit by it but they had received nothing. He gives further information on the history of the property,
Thomas acting as agent in possible renting of Charles’s farm.
Thomas handles Charles business affairs but warns him that he is low on funds. Urges Charles to use a little economy.
Needs Certificates of Registration for his horses the Lady Balgowan filly and the Avon filly. Other horse business.
Most information about sale of horses. Charles’s horses did not sell well. Tom says he won’t do well until he comes home and cares for them himself.
Tom asks for reimbursement of expense incurred by Waltz, caretaker of Charles Clay’s farm. Tom in financial need.
Asks whether she wants to sell her wheat in advance or wait until it is thrashed. Advises the latter. Thinks prices will go up. Says Jim Clay’s wheat looks very good. Also suggest she get the advice of Mr. Macklin. Macklin raised crops for Ria and her mother.
Thomas had received her letter announcing Charles’s departure for Cuba. Mentions nervousness of Mrs. Clay regarding Charles and war. Tom tries to set Ria’s mind at ease. Santiago was much healthier than Havana and there would be only a little fighting. Mrs. Clay and Teetee plan to take train to visit Ria. All want to see baby Susan.
Sends news about wheat prices and other financial issues (Thomas handled farming and financial issues for Ria and Charles while he was away); says he sent Charles paper so he would have no excuse about writing,
second page missing. Tom complains about not receiving mail and expresses concern about the boredom of the winter at Fort Bradley, Michigan. He is seeking a transfer to the Ute or Apache regions and he wants his mother to sell his property. He asks when Charley (brother) will be going west. (Charley worked in the wool industry during this period.)
Assigned to an artillery unit, Tom describes some of his activities.
Writing from Fort Huachucu Arizona, he expects to leave soon. He will be riding a good mule but is concerned about the rain.
Thomas asks mother to keep a bridle he has sent her. (The family later claimed an Indian bridle was given to the Arizona Historical Society by Clay, but the Society has no record of it.)
Thomas describes his first and last prize fight in less than flattering terms. Boxing is supported by solid citizens but he thinks it barbaric. He writes about Clay horses, Ballyhoo and Escapade. He alludes to some misfortune that has befallen Uncle Tom (could be Thomas Hart Clay or Thomas P. Jacob)
Williams believes part of the 323 areas can be recovered and perhaps the whole tract. The land appears to be in St. Louis. Says they can recover some of the old orchard. This may be land purchased for James in the 1850s.
A Judge (James W.)Williams has suggested that Tom’s property is worth several millions of dollars though it appears to be contested by a court case. Williams believes he can recover it. Williams wants a retainer fee of $500 and 1/3rd of the property recovered. (Curran Pope is a relative.)
The Elizabeth Prudence Pinnie Clay series consists of letters written to her daughter Mariah Pepper Clay, Charles D. Clay, and various grandchildren. The letters concern child rearing and family news.
Elizabeth Blanford’s note says she thinks the letter was to Susan. The letter gives a detailed description of Clay Hatchitt and Lena, Ria Clay’s half-sister. They normally lived on a Scott County farm but now spent the winters in Frankfort because Governor Wilson had appointed him to the Equalization Board.
She writes to say Ria had sprained her ankle slightly and this would delay the preserves and pickles she planned to send to him. Ria had received a letter from Teetee (Charles’s Sister) that pleased her very much.
Description of a farm. Elizabeth Blanford wrote on the envelope that it may relate to the farm her parents purchased. Mentions getting advice of Mr. Macklin and Mr. Chinn, advisors to the Peppers on farming and finances.
Ria is ill — problem involves breast feeding Susan. Sister Pinnie is with her and Lissie could come if needed. Notes breastfeeding of children at 9 and 10 months old
Nice note from a mother-in-law; promises to take care of his girls.
Charles had agreed to purchase some items for Mrs. Pepper. She is sending him instructions. Also mentions his children going sleigh riding with Henry (probably a servant). She notes that with servants there are 16 people in the house. (She lived in Frankfort across from the Presbyterian church. The home was demolished to make way for a business.)
Expresses her lonesomeness for Ria and her family, the family is planning the wedding of sister May and Fritze Goedecke, an officer in the 17th Infantry. Mrs. Pepper describes the wedding plans, the dress, and the food to be served at the wedding dinner. Mentions — Sam Johnson, Emma Saffell, a Mrs. Folger. Mentions that Tom Smith and Lizzie Pepper had been ill. Mary Jackson might go to help Ria (She was Susan’s nurse when Susan was a baby.)
Lizzie Pepper was Ria’s sister.
Ria’s mother thanks them for the letters that mean so much to them. In local news she mentions that a local man, Fayette Hewitt, is dying in Florida. Mentions a number of other people — Frank Cannon, Thomas Averill, a Mr. Wilson, Mr. Marks, and Mr. Burnham. There are two Mr. Wilsons, a Henry Clay Wilson, and the artist, writer Robert Burns Wilson. Robert Burns Wilson came to see Aunt Laura but according to tradition he proposed to Lizzie Pepper, one of Ria’s sisters. The Cliffs was the Pepper’s summer home. Notes birth of a son to Harry Bush. Relates other news of local people Charles and ria would know.
Discusses Susan playing with her cousins Lyne and Elizabeth (Smith). Christine may be Christine Reynolds, a young woman from Frankfort who had been engaged to Robert P. Pepper Jr. before he died. Mrs. Pepper chastises Ria for being overly protective. Letter suggests it was written sometime after birth of Charley. Bud is Charley’s nickname. Mentions several family members — Lizzie, Lena. Much about health and healthy practices.
Mrs. Pepper was Mariah Pepper Clay’s mother. The babies probably refer to Susan and Charley born 1897 and 1899 respectively.
Mrs. Pepper claims she has been upset by politics. She thinks they are on the verge of a riot in Frankfort and longs to get to the Cliffs, their summer home near Thorn Hill. (She is referring to the aftermath of the Goebel assassination on January 30, 1900)
Mrs. Pepper is writing for Mary Jackson who wants to come back to work because she misses Ria’s children, Susan and Charles (she had helped with the children since Susan’s birth). The letter mentions Sally. Mrs. Blanford’s note explains relationship. Mrs. Pepper mentions that Pinnie had not been able to gain passage on the Grant so was waiting for the Sheridan. (She was travelling to the Philippines to be with her husband.
Chatty letter with family news. Mentions a bumper crop of flowers and her crocheting during the winter. Her daughters spent the winter reading. Mentions a letter from Pinnie, Ria Clay’s sister, and news of Tom Smith’s recovering health. Pinnie’s husband, Smith was an officer in the 17th Infantry. Also mentions half-sister Lena and the poor health of her husband, Clay Hatchett.
Chatty letter with family news. Charley Clay has had problems teething and she asked about it. Describes a German, a small party given by Lizzie Pepper and Mr. Shackelford and a larger one given by Miss Stedman of Cincinnati. Two gentlemen, a Mr. Burnham, and Mr. Shackelford seem interested in Lizzie. Mrs. Pepper also notes the improvement in Mr. Hatchett’s health.
Envelope addressed to Mrs. Clay but contains two letters to Charles. Letter dated July 23, 1901 mentions that she believes Tom and Pinnie Smith are returning on the Meade. Letter describes a vacation at Estill Springs in Irvine, Kentucky. [The Kentucky Encyclopedia entry for Estill County (p. 298) says that Henry Clay owned the Estill County springs.] The Peppers usually went to The Cliffs, a rustic cabin on the outskirts of Frankfort for the summer. She notes some of the people vacationing there---Mary and Nannie Clay, probably members of the Paris Clay branch, Mr. Shackelford, Mr. Burnam.
Long letter about home and friends. She notes visits by Harriet Crittenden and James Starling, the death of a Mrs. Ganard, and a visit by Miss Margaret Barret (Banet). She notes the illnesses of Lizzie Pepper and Susan Clay. Lena had visited a sanatorium suggesting that she might have tuberculosis. The letter also reveals the concern on the home front for men in military service.
Letter concerns Mrs. Clay’s surgery which occurred in 1908. The children were staying with Mrs. Pepper but Charles has returned. He was not present for the surgery. Clay took children to visit their Aunt Teetee.
Sends Christmas money; describes fun Susan is having; Susan stays first with Pinnie Smith and then with May and Granny. No person her age but Allen Van Olsdale (spell) likes her. Fritz (Goedecke) and Tom (Smith) are kept very busy. (Both in 17th Infantry); describes relationship of the baby and Fritz.
Letter about Christmas from Ria Clay’s mother in Frankfort. Note in blue ink is in hand of Elizabeth Clay Blanford.
Telegram. Have Sawitzky meet bus. Telegram about a return trip from Lexington
After Sawitzky’s death in 1947 Susan became interested in spiritualism. She corresponded for a time with Arthur Ford.
Mentions Millie (Lawson) Susan asked Millie for cooking lessons on one of her trips to her home in Lexington.
Probably a self sketch of Susan Clay Sawitzky; beneath it is the drawing of a man’s face with the features of William Sawitzky.
A drawing of a young girl.
A chart in Susan Clay Sawitzky’s hand dealing with various matings and the possibility of abnormal offspring.
practice letter. Susan explains to Vail the work she is trying to do. She has stopped working on Moulthrop and is trying to complete her husband’s work on Ralph Earl.
Note of explanation on envelope by Elizabeth Clay Blanford. Hair is that of Sawitzky’s son.
Envelope stamped from Fort McPherson. Susan visited Aunt Pinnie Smith there in 1912. Bud is nickname for Charley. Describes military activities at the base.
Clippings include Saturday Children’s Program Organized by Woman’s Club (2 copies); Seasons’ Buds’, Nodding on Bough, Shortly to Spread Social Fragrance; Luxurious Furs Keep One Beautifully Warm; Gray Ghosts Frown in Disdain.
Reading list from a class in the mid-1920s at the University of Kentucky. Found in Susan Clay Sawitzky papers.
Includes a very old picture of Sawitzky dated Riga 1906.
Sawitzky-Clay marriage announcement. The clipping is a special to the New York Times. Mentions wedding and in last paragraph notes the age difference.
Pictures of churches, the German ship Deutchland. Sawitzky took Susan to Europe shortly after their marriage in 1927 and again around 1930. Notes about history, culture, etc. 8 postcards
dates of two Europe trips
Mentions Emma (Vassili’s sister)
Though the couple eloped and a series of harsh letters were exchanged as a result the Clays sent a formal announcement of the wedding to friends and acquaintances.
A photograph of New York City upon which Susan has marked where she and Vassili live and Central Park. (Notes are in Susan’s handwriting.
Susan Clay Sawitzky to Col. and Mrs Charles D. Clay. Olga and Jane (Vassili’s sisters; Bronte sisters; Yorkshire;
Barely legible practice letters to her parents, Uncle Tom, Aunt Lizzie, and Mrs. Sandifer. Given the subject matter it appears she frequently refined the letters and sent them.
Probably a practice letter but very similar to one she sent. Her uncle, George Clay, died in June 1934. Susan talks about youthful rebellion and later longing for kinship and tradition.
Susan blames the difficult financial times for her failure to write and apologized for their inability to send money to them. Referring to Franklin Roosevelt, she says the “willful American people” have submitted to a much needed Dictator and hope is reviving. She explains decisions forced on them by the depression — a move into the real country, eating in small restaurants, etc.
Says she loves members of Sawitzky’s family. Glad Alice’s children are getting settled. Note in pencil about daughter’s efforts to find her calling.
Writes of a lecture William Sawitzky (she calls him Vassili) gave before the New York Historical Society. Also writes of the New York winter.
Susan writes to thank Alice for Christmas gifts. She mentions distressing family and losing friends because of her tardiness at writing letters.
Hortense King and her husband Wyncie had lived in New York where they became friends of Susan and William Sawitzky.
Susan says she cannot visit due to financial difficulties. Mentions planning a bird expedition with Lucy Clay (Boyajian) and the death of Bill’s mother.
Critique of King’s poetry.
She refuses repayment of a loan because she had received a $6000 grant. Susan applied for grants from the Ford foundation and the Carnegie foundation.
Record shows bequests to Elizabeth Blanford (sister), Lucy Boyajian (niece), and Susan Disharoon (niece)
Elizabeth Blanford wrote numerous sketches about family members and family homes.
The Circling Thread was a book of Susan Clay’s poetry edited by Dr. Woodridge Spears.
Postcard –dated after 1947 Susan Clay Sawitzky moved to New Haven after the death of her husband. She began to sell family heirlooms to meet her expenses. Thomas Jacob Clay created a trust for his two nieces, Susan and Elizabeth.
Sends her a cutting from a plant. It is in the envelope. Describes their trip from Ohio to New York after their marriage. Mentions the painter Willard Metcalf; descriptions of Ohio and N.Y. landscapes; erotic description of Lake Erie. Mentions several pets at end of letter.
Writes about books she is reading and wants Elizabeth to read with her. Anglo Saxon Chronicle, Canterbury Tales, Bede, and Stanley’s Historical Memorials of Canterbury. Asks Elizabeth (Metzie) to return a library book for her.
Discusses Elizabeth’s poetry and negro dialect stories, Harper’s Magazine, the unfortunate fate of pets, particularly cats, during the depression, and the theatre. She likes the Civic Repertory Theatre created by Eva Le Gallienne. Reading Emily Dickinson. Compares her to Blake.
Letter about a costume; Elizabeth visiting Bob and Mary Martha Clay.