xt7wpz51gs2g https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7wpz51gs2g/data/mets.xml Sargent, Epes, 1813-1880. 1844  books b92-97-27765714 English Greeley & McElrath, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.Willis, Paul A. Willis, Barbara. Life and public services of Henry Clay  / by Epes Sargent. text Life and public services of Henry Clay  / by Epes Sargent. 1844 2002 true xt7wpz51gs2g section xt7wpz51gs2g 






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             OF NEW YORK.

             NEW  EDITION,
        BY THE AUTHOR.

             NEW  YORK:



  THE name of the Author having been associated with another "' Life of Clay," recently
issued from the Press, he takes this occasion to say, that the present is the only one, in the
preparation of which he has been, in the least degree, concerned.
  The first edition of this work appeared during the autumn of 1842, at which time there
was no published memoir of Mr. Clay (so far as the writer's knowledge extended), except
that by George D. Prentice, Esq. which terminates with the close of John Quincy Adams's
administration. To this eloquent biographical sketch, the Author takes pleasure in acknow-
ledging his indebtedness for a number of interesting facts.
  The new and improved edition of his "1 Life of Clay," now offered to the public, has been
carefully revised-some errors have been corrected-several omissions have been supplied-
and the Memoir has been brought down to the year 1844.
  Powerful and memorable as has been the influence which Mr. Clay has exerted upon the
legielat'on of the country during the last forty years, the crowning felicity of his public
career remains to be fulfilled and recorded. To his biographer of 1843 we leave the task of
chronicling that auspicious event, to which the People of the United States now look hops
fully forward as to the day-spring of a new era of prosperity in the government.

                                                                               E. S.

    NEW YORK, MARCH, 1844.

                      Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by
                           GREELEY  McELRATII,
      in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Unitel States, for the Southern District of New York.







C L A Y.

                 CHAPTER I.
Birth and Parentage-Ifis early dluy,-The Mill-boy of the
Sladihe-Studis 1w-leans Pltrick Henry-Removes to
Ketehky-D1ehut at a lDe-ating Society-13eeomes a suc-
te-sful Perinettioer-Canes in whidh hle distillguishes himself-
Hle advinwatca the piidw  uif grdualdly Eui`ancipai,,g the
hlavcs in Kentocky)-4)p1-se the Alien and Seliti.n Laws-
Is elected tx the General Assebly-Inistances of' his Elo-
qc nel -Atfi ir itli (Il l)nvies-APpuurs at the BIar tr
Aarol Burr-Subsequent Interview with Burr in New-York.
  EhENRY CLAY is a native of Hanover county, Vir-
ginia. lie was born on the 12th of April, 1777, in a
district of country familiarly known in the neighbor-
hood as the Slashes. His father, a Baptist clergy-
man, died during the revolutionary war, bequeath-
ing a small and much embarrassed estate and seven
children, of whom Henry was the filth, to the care
of an affectionate mother. The surviving parent
did not possess the means to give her sons a classi-
cal education; and the subject of our memoir re-
ceived no oilier instruction than such as could be
obtained in the log-cabin school-houses, still comn-
mon in the lower parts of Virginia, at which spell-
ing, reading, writing and arithmetic are taught.
  In 1792, his mother, who had become united, in a
second marriage, with Mr. Henry Watkins, removed
to Woodford county, Kentucky, taking all her chil-
dren, with the exception of Henry and his oldest
brother. It was always a subject of regret with MIr.
Clay, that he was deprived at so early an age of his
mother's counsel, conversation and care. She was
v woman of great strength of mind, and was tender-
ly attached to her children.
  He had been only five years old when he lost his
father; and, consequently, his circumstances in
early life, if not actually indigent, were such as to
subject himn frequently to hard manual labor.  He
has ploughed in conifields, many a sumtner day,
without shoes, and with no other clothes on than a
pair of Osnaburg trowsers and a coarse shirt. lie
has often gone to mill with grain to be ground into
meal or flour; and there are those who remember
his youthful visits to Mrs. Darricott's mill, on the
Pamunkey river.   On such occasions lie generally
rode a horse without a saddle, while a rope sup-

plied the place of a bridle. But in the absence of a
more splendid equipment, a bag containing three or
four bushels of wheat or cormi was generally thrown
across the horse's back, mounted upon which the
future statesman would go to mill, get the grain
ground, and return with it home.
   At the age of fourteen, he was placed in a small
retail store, kept by Mr. Richard Denny, near the
market-house in the city of Richmond. lie re-
mnained here till the next year, (1792,) when lie was
- transferred to the office of the Clerk of the Thigh
Court of Chancery, Mr. Peter Tinsley.  There he
became acquainted with the venerable Chancellor
Wythe, attracted his friendlyattention, and enjoyed
the benefit of his instruction and conversation. The
Chancellor being unable to write well, in conse-
queiice of the gout or rheumatism iii his right
thumb, bethought himself of employing his young
friend as an amanuensis. This was a fortunate cir-
cumstance for the fatherless boy. His attention
was thus called to the structure of sentences. as he
wrote them down fiom the dictation of his empoy-
er; and a taste for the study of grammar was crea-
ted which was noticed and encouraged by the
Chancellor, upon whose recommendation he read
Harris's Hermes, Tooke's Diversions of Purley,
Bishop Lowth's Grammar, and other similarworks.
  For his handwriting, which is still remarkably
neat and regular, Mr. Clay was chiefly indebted to
Mr. Timisley. Chancellor Wythe was devoted to
the study of Greek. .He was at one time occupied
in preparing reports oh nis decisions, and comment-
ing pon those of the Court of Appeals, by which
some of his were reversed; and in this work lie was
assisted by his amanuensis. After the reports were
published], lie sent copies to Mr. Jefferson, John
Adams, Samuel Adains, and others. In these copies
lhe employed Henry Clay to copy particular passa-
ges fromt Greek authors, to whom references had
been made. Not utiderstanding a single Greekcha-
racter, the young copyist had to transcribe by imi
tation letter after letter.


Life of Henry Clay.

  Leaving the office of Mr. Tinslcy the latter part
of 1796, he went to reside with the late Robert
Brooke, Esq., the Attorney General, formerly Gov-
ernor of Vinr-inia. His only regular study of the
lw was during the year 1797, that lie lived with
rl. Brooke; but it was impossible that he should
nor, in the daily scenes he witnessed, and in the pre-
sence of the emiinent men whom he so often heard
and saw, be in the way of gathering much valuable
legal iniforination. During his residence of six or
seven vears in Richmond, he became acquainted
with nil or most of the eminent Virginians of the pe-
riod, who lived in that city, or were in the habit of
resortini_ to it-with Edmund Pendleton, Spencer
Roamme, Chief Justice Marshall, Bushrod Washing-
toin, Wickham, Call, Copeland, c. On two occa-
piols, he had the good fortune to hear Patrick Hen-
ry-monce, before the Circuit Court of the United
States for the Virginia District, on the question of
the payment of the British debts; and again before
the House of Delegates of Virginia, on a claim of
the supernumerary officers in the service of the
State during the Revolutionary War. Mr.Clay re-
members that remarkable man, his appearance and
his minanner, distinctly.  Tme impression of his elo-

that, notwithstanding his fine capacities, lie had some
native diffidence to overcome before they were fairly
tested. He had joined a debating society, and at
one of the meetings the vote was about to be taken
upon the question under discussion, when he re-
marked in a low but audible whisper, that the sub-
ject did not appear to hint to have been exhausted.
  " Do not put the question yet-Ntr. Clay will
speak," exclaimed a member, who had overheard
the half hesitating remark.
  The chairman instantly took the hint, and nodded
to the young lawyer in token of his readiness to hear
what he had to say. With every indication of ex-
treme cmbarrassmient, lie rose, and, in his confu-
sion, began by saying: " Gentlemen of the Jury"-
unconsciously addressing his fellow-members as the
tribunal, to which he had perhaps often made ima-
ginary appeals in his dreams of a successful debut
at the bar. His audience did not add to his agita-
tion by seeming to notice it, and, after floundering
and blushing for a moment or two, and stamniering
out a repetition of the words ` Gentlemen of the
Jury," he suddenly shook off all signs of distrust
and timidity, and launched into his subject with a
promptitude and propriety of elocution, which ex-

qutint powers remaining on his mind is, that their cited general surprise.
charm consisted mainly in one of the finest voices  To those familiar with the perfect self possession
ever heard, in his graceful gesticulation, and the va- of Mr. Clay's manner in after life upon all occasions,
riety and force of expression which he exhibited in the moat trying and unexpected, this instance will
his bilce.                                       I present an amusing contrast; for the evidence is
  Hlenry Clay quitted Richmond in November, 1797, not on record of his ever having failed for an instant
his eldest brolher having died while lie yet resided in his resourcesof repartee or of argument in debate.
in that city. Bearing a license from the Judges of  Shortly after this early essay in public speaking,
thie Virginia Court of Appeals to practise law, he he was admitted as a practitioner before the Fayette
entablihed himself in Lexington, Kentucky. He Court of Quarter Sessions, a court of general juris-
was without patrons, without the countenance of in- diction. Business soon poured in upon him, and
fluenitial friends, and destitute of the means of pay- during the first term he had a handsome practice.
jng his weekly board. '1 1 remember," says he, in His manners and address, both in personal inter-
his spcuthi of June, 18-1l, at Lexington, "how corn- course and before a jury, were unusually captivat-
fortalie I thought I should be, if I could make pound;100 ing. Frank in avowing his sentiments, and bold
Virginia money per year; and with what delight I and consistent in maintaining them, he laid the foun-
received the first fifteen shilling fee  My hopes dation of a character for sincerity and honor, Which
wereinurethan realized. limmediatelyrushedinto amid all the shocks of political changes and the
a lucrative practice."                           Iscurrility ofpartizan warfare, has never been shaken
  Before assuming the active responsibilities of his or tainted. In the possession of these attributes,
profession, he devoted himself with assiduity several beyond the reach of cavil or of question, is to be
months tol his legal studies. Even at that period the found the secret of that inalienable attachment
bhrof Lexington was eminentfor its ability. Among among the vast body of his friends, which has fol-
its metimbers 'Aere George Nicholas, James Hughes, lowed him throughout his career.
John Breckeaibridge, Jamnes Brown, William Mur-! One of the most important cases, in which Mlr.
ray, arid others, whose reputation was sufficient to Clay was engaged during the first three or four
discourage the most stout-hearted competition. But years of his professional life, was that in which he
true genius is rarely unaccompanied by a conscious- was employed to defend a Mrs. Phelps, indicted for
ness of its power; and the friendless and unknown murder. This woman was the wife of a respectablo
youth from Virginia fearlessly entered the field, farmerand until the timeoftheactforwhich she was
Which, to a less intrepid spirit, would have seemed arraigned, had led a blameless and correct life. One
pre-occupied. He soon commanded consideration day, in her own house, taking some offence at a Miss
and respect. lie was familiar with the technicali- Phelps, hersister-in-law, she levelled a gun, anid shot
ties of practice; and early habits of business and her through the heart. The poor girl had only time
application, enabled him to effect an easy mastery of to exclaim, I Sister, you have killed me,' and expired.
the caCes entrusted to his charge. His subtle ap- Great interest was excited in the case, and the Court
prniciation of character, knowledge of human nature, was crowded to overflowing on tle dav of trial. Of
anil faculties of persuasion, rendered him peculiarly the fact of the homicide there could be no doubt.
successful in his appeals to a jury; and he obtained It was committed in the presence of witnesses, and
great celebrity for his adroit and careful manage- the only question was to 'Ahat class of crimes did
ment of criminal cases.                           the offence belong. If it were pronounced murder
  An anecdote is related of him about the time of in the first degree, the life of the wretched prisoner
his first entrance upon his profession, which shows would be the forfeit; but, if manslaughter, she



Mr. Clay as an Adzvocate-Slavery.

would be punished merely by confinement in the
gaol or penitentiary. The legal contest was long
and able. The efforts of the cotunsel for the prome-
cution were strenuous and earnest; but Mr. Clay
succeeded not only in saving the life of his client,
but so mnoved the jury in her behalf by his eloquence,
that her punishment was made as light as the law
would allow. fie gained much distinction by the
ability he displayed in this case, and thenceforth it
was considered a great object to enlist his assistance
in all criitritial suits on the part of the defendant.
It is a singular fact, that in the course of' a very
extensive practice itn the courts oferininiial jurispru-
denee, and in the defence of a large number of indi-
viduals arraigned for capital offences, he never had,
one of his clients sentenced to death.
  Another case, in which he acquired scarcely less
celebrity, was shortly afterward tried in Harrison
County. Two Germans, father and son, hai been
indicted for murder. The deed, of killing was proved
to the entire satisfaction of the Court, and was con-
sidered an aggravated murder. Mr. Clay's efforts
were therefore directed to saving their lives. 'l'he
trial occupied five days, and his closinig appeal to
the jury was of the most stirring and pathetic de-
scription. It proved irresistible, for they returned a
verdict of' manslaughter. Not satisfied with this sig.
nal triumph, he moved an arrest of judgment, and,
after another day's contest, prevailed in this also.
The consequence was, that the prisoners were dis-
charged without even the punishment of the crime,
of which the jury had found them guilty.
  An amusing incident occurred at the conclusion
of this trial. An old, withered, ill-favored German
woman, who was the wife of the elder prisoner, and
the mother of the younger, on being informed of the
success of the final motion for an arrest of judg-
ment, and the consequent acquittal of her husband
and son, ran toward the young advocate, in the ex-
cess of her gratitude and joy, and throwing her arms
about his neck, kissed hitt in the eves of the crowd-
ed court. Although taken wholly by surprise, and
hardly flattered by blandishments from such a
source, young Clay acquitted himself upon the oc-
casion, with a grace and good humor, which won
him new applause from the spectators.  All great
emotions claim respect; and in this instance so far
did the sytnpaties of the audience go with the old
woman as to divest of ridicule an act, which, in the
recital, may seem to have partaken principally of
the ludicrous.
  Notwithstanding his extraordinary success in all
the criminal suits entrusted to him, the abilities dis-
played by Mr. Clay at this period in civil cases
were no less brilliant and triumphant. In suits
growing out of the land laws of Virginia and Ken-
tucky, he was especially distinguished; rapidly ac-
quiring wealth and popularity by his practice. It
is related of him, that on one occasion, in conjunc-
tion with another attorney, he was employed to ar-
gue, in the Fayette Circuit Court, a question of
great difticulty-one in which the interests of the
litigant parties were deeply involved. At the open-
ing of the court, something occurred to call hitn
away, and the whole matiagetnent of the case de-
volved on his associate counsel. Two days were
spent in discussing the points of law, which were to
govern the instructions of the Court to the jury, and


on all of these points, Mr. Clay's colleague was
foiled by his antagonist.  At the end of the second
day, Mr. Clay re-entered the Court.  Ile bad not
heard a word of the testimony, and knew nothing of
the course which the discussion hld taken; but, af-
ter holding a very short consultation with his col-
league, lie drew up a statement of the forum ill which
lie wished the instructions of the Court to be givc nx
to the jury, and acconpatried his petition wvith a f'e v
observations, so entirely novel and satisfactory, that
it was granted without the least hesitation. A cor-
responding verdict wvas instantly returned; and thus
the case, which hald been on the point of being de-
cided against NMr. Clay's client, resulted in his fiivor
in less than half an hour after the young lawyer had
entered the Court-house.
  For an enumeration of the various cases in which
Mr. Clay was about this time engaged, and in a hich
his success was as marked as his talents were obvi-
omis, we mnust refer the curious reader to the records
of the Courts ofKentuckv, and hasten to exhibit the
subject of our memoir on that more extended field,
where his history began to be interwoven with the
history of his country, and a whole nation hailed
him as a champion worthy of the best days of the
  As early as 1797, when the people of Kentucky
were about electing a Convention to form a new
Constitution for that State, M1r. Clay mav he said
to have Xcomtnenced his political career. Ilis first
efforts were made on behalf of human liberty, and
at the risk of losing that breeze of popular tavor,
which was wvafting on his bark bravely toward that
haven of worldly prosperity and renown.
  The most important feature in the plan for a new
Constitution, submitted to the people of Kentucky,
was a provision for the prospective eradication ot
slavery from the State by means of a gradual eman-
cipation of those held in bondage. Against this
proposal a tremendous outcry was at once raised.
It was not to be questioned that the voice of the ma-
jority was vehemently opposed to it.  But voung"
Clay did not hesitate as to his course. In that spi It
of self-sacrifice, which he has since displayed on so
many occasions, in great public emergencies, with-
out stopping to reckon the disadvantages to himnsef;
he boldly arrayed himself on the side of those
friendly to emancipation. In the canvass, which
preceded the election of members of the Convention,
lie exerted himself with all the energy of his nature
in behalf of that cause, which he believed to be the
cause of truth and justice. With his voice and peti
he actively labored to promote the choice of Dele-
gates who were pledged to its support.  lie failed
in the fulfilment of his philanthropic intentions, and
incurred temporary unpopularity by his course.
Time, however, is daily making more apparent the
wisdom of his counsel.
  Mr. Clay has not faltered in his views upon this
great question. They are now what they were in
1797.  In maintaining the policy of this scheme or
gradual emancipation he has ever been fearless and
consistent. Let it not be imagined, however, that
lie has any sympathy with that incendiary spirit
which would seem to actuate some of the clamorers
for immediate and unconditional abolition at the
present time.  His views were far-sighted, states-
man-like and sagacious. He looked to the general


Lje of Itenry Clay.

good, not merely of his contemporaries but of pos-
terity; and his plan stretched bevonl the embarrass-
ments of the present hour into the future. A more
just, practicable and beneficent scheme than his, for
the accomplishment of a consummation so devoutly
to tie wished by humanity at large, could not have
been devised.
  It resembled that adopted in Pennsylvania in the
vear 1780 at the instance of Dr. Franklin, according
to which, the generation in being were to remain in
bondage, but all their offspring, born after a speci-
fled day, were to be free-at the age of twenty-eight,
and, in the mean time, were to receive preparatory
instruction to qualify themn for the enjoyment of
freedom. Air. Clay thought, with many others, that
as the slave States had severally the right to judge,
escry one exclusively for itself, in respect to the in-
stitution of domestic slavery, the proportion of
slaves to the white population in Kentucky at that
time was so inconsiderable, that a system of gradu-
al emancipation might have been adopted without
any haz ird to the security and interests of the comn-
  Recently a charge was made by the principal op-
po'itioIl paper at the South, that Mr. Clay had join.
ed tile Atbolitionists; and the ground of the charge
was the averment that he had written a letter to Mr.
Giddings, of Ohio, approving the leading views of
that party. Upon inquiry, it appeared, however,
that the letter was written by Cassius M. Clay, a
namesake. In noticing the erroneous statement,
Mr. Clay remarked, in a letter to a friend-"I do
not write letters for different latitudes. I have but
one heart, and one mind; and all my letters are but
copies of the original, and if genuine, will be found
to conform to it, wherever they may he addressed."
  Would that every candidate for the Presidency
might say this with equal sincerity and truth !
  Notwithstanding the failure of his exertions in ar-
resting the continuance of negro servitude in Ken-
tacky, Mr. Clay has never shrunk from the avowal
of his sentiments upon the subject, nor from their
practical manifestation in his professional and poli-
tical career. For several years, whenever a slave
brought an action at law for his liberty, Mr. Clay
volunteered as his advocate: and he always suc.
ceeded in obtaining a decision in the slave's favor.
Oppression in every shape would seem to have
roused the most ardent sympathies of his soul, and
to have enlisted his indignant eloquence in behalfof
its unfriended object. The impulses, which urged
him at this early day to take the part of the domes-
tic bondsmen of his own State, were the same with
those, by which he was instigated, when the ques-
tions of recognizing South American and Grecian In-
dependence were presented to the consideration of
a tardy and calculating Congress.
  During the administration of John Adams, in 1798-
9, the famous alien and sedition laws were passed.
Trhe popular opposition with which these extraordi-
nary measures were received, is still vividly remem-
bered in the United States. By the "1 alien law,"
the President was authorized to order any alien,
whom " he should judge dangerous to the peace and
safety" of the country "1 to depart out of the 4erri-
tory within such time" as he should judge proper,
upon penalty of being "1.imprisoned for a term not
exceeding three years." c.

  The " sedition law" was designed to punish the
abuse of speech of the press. It imposed a heavy
pecuniary fine, and imprisonment for a term of years,
upon such as should combine or conspire together
to oppose any measure of Government: upon such
as should write, print, utter, publish, c., "lany
false, scandalous and malicious writing against the
Government of the United States or the Presi-
dent," c.
  Mr. Clay stood forth one of the earliest champions
of popular rights in opposition to these memoriable
laws. Kentucky was one of the first States that
launched their thunders against them; and though
many speakers caine forward to give expression to
the indignation which was swelling in the public
heart, none succeeded Fo well in striking the re-
sponsive chord as our young lawyer. lie was soon
regarded as the leading spirit of the opposition party;
and it was about this time that the title of "1 THE
GREAT COMMONER" was bestowed upon him.
  A gentleman, who was present at a meeting where
these obnoxious laws were discussed, describes the
effect produced by Mr. Clav's eloquence as difficult
adequately to describe. The populace had asscm-
bled in the fields in the vicinity of Lexington, and
were first addressed by Mr. George Nicholas, a die4-
tinguished man, and a powerful speaker. The speech
of Mr. Nicholas was long and eloquent, and he was
greeted by the most enthusiastic cheers as he con-
cluded. Clay being called for, promptly appeared,
and made one of the most extraordinary and impres-
sive harangues ever addressed to a popular assen-
bly. A striking evidence of its thrilling and effec-
tive character may be found in the fact that when
be ceased, there tas no shout-no applause. So
eloquently had he interpreted the deep feelings of
the multitude, that they forgot the orator in the ab-
sorbing emotions he had produced. A higher com-
pliment can hardly be conceived. The theme was
a glorious one for a young and generous mind, filled
with ardor in behalf of human liberty-and he did it
justice. The people took Clay and Nicholas upon
their shoulders, and forcing them into a carriage,
drew them through the streets, amid shouts of ap-
plause. What an incident for an orator, who had
not yet completed his twenty second year!
  Four years afterwards, when Mr. Clay was absent
from the County of Fayette at the Olympian Springs,
he was brought forward, without his knowledge or
previous consent, as a candidate, and elected to the
General Assembly of Kentucky. He soon made
his influence fllt in that body. In 1804, Mr. Felix
Grundy, then an adroit and well-known politician,
made an attempt in the Legislature to procure the
repeal of a law incorporating the Lexington Insu-
rance Office. He was opposed at every step by Mr.
Clay; and the war of words between the youthful
debaters drew to the hall of the House throngs of
spectators. Grundy had managed to secure before
hand a majority in his favor in the House; but the
members of the Senate flocked in to hear Clay speak,
and so cogently did he present to their understand-
ings the impolicy and unconstitutionality of the
moasure under discussion, that they refused to sanc-
tion it after it had been passed by that other branch.
and a virtual triumph was thus obtained.
  It is recorded of Mr. Clay, that, in the course of
the legislative seFsion of 1805, he made an effort t



Col. Daviess-Aaron Burr.

procure the removal of the seat of Government from
Frankfort; and his speech on the occasion is said to
have been an inimitable specimen of argument and
humor. Frankfort is peculiar in its appearance and
situation, being sunk, like a huge pit, below the sur-
rounding country, and environed by rough and pre-
cipitous0 ledges. "' We have," said Air. Clay, " the
model of an inverted hat; Frankfort is the body of
the hat, and the lands adjacent are the brim. To
change the figure, it is nature'sgreat penitentiary ;
and if the imemibers of this House would know the
bodily condition of the prisoners, let him look at
tivaee poor creatures in the gallery."
  As he said this, lie pointed with his finger to halfa
dozen figures that chanced, at that moment, to be
moving about in the gallery, more like animated
skeletons than respectable compounds of flesh and
blood. The objects thus designated, seeing the at-
tention of the whole assembly suddenly directed to-
wards them, dodged, with ludicrous haste, behind
the railing, and the assembly was thrown into a con-
vulsion of merriment. This argunsentum ad homi
nme proved irresistible. The members of the House
agreed that it was expedient to remove the seat of
Government, but it was subsequently found impos-
sible to decide upon a new location, and the Legis-
lature continues to hold its sessions at Frankfort.
  It was an early resolution of Mr. Clay, that no
litigants, rich or poor, should have occasion to say
that for the wart of counsel they could not obtain
justice at every bar where he could appear for thern.
Col. Joseph Hamilton Daviess, at that time United
States District Attorney, and a man ofinfluence and
distinction, [ail committed an assault and battery
at Frankfort on Mr. Bush, a respectable citizen, and
a tavern-keeper at that place. The bar of Frank-
fiirt declined instituting an action for the latter
against Col. D. Bush finally appealed to Henry
Clay, who promptly undertook the case, and
brought the suit in Lexington. In the argument of
a preliminary question, Mr. Clay felt it his duty to
aniniadvertwith some severity upon the conduct of
Col. Daviess; whereupon the latter, after the ad-
journment of the Court, addressed a note to him,
remonstrating against his course, and expressing a
wish that it should not be persevered in. Mr. Clay
immediately replied that he had undertaken the
cause of Mr. BHush from a sense of duty; that lie
should submit to no dictation as to his management
of it, which should be according to his own judge.
ment exclusively; but that he should hold himself
responsible for whatever he did or said, in or out of
Court. A challenge ensued; Mr. Clay accepted it,
anti proceeded to Frankfort for the hostile meeting.
There, by the interposition of mutual friends, the
affair was accotnmodated in a manner honorable to
both parties.
  In the autumn of Itt06, the celebrated Aaron Burr
was arrested in Kentucky, on a charge of being en-
gaged in an illegal warlike enterprise. The saga-
city and penetration of that extraordinary man were
never more clearly evinced than in his application
to Mr. Clay to d, fend him  Mr. Clay believed, and
It was generally believed in Kentucky, that the pro-
secution was groundless, and was instituted by Col.
Daviess, whom we have already mentioned, who
was a great admirer of Col. Hamilton. anti who dis-
liked Burr because he had killed Hamilton in a

duel, and was moreover, his opponent in politics.
Mr. Clay felt a lively sympathy for Col. Burr, on
account of his being arrested in a State distant from
his own, on account of his misfortunes, and the di8.
tinguished stations he had filled. Still he declined
appearing for him, until Burr gave him written as-
surances3 that hl was engaged in no enterprise for-
bidden by laws, and none that was not known and
approved by the Cabinet at Washington. On i-
ceiving these assurances, Mr. Clay appeared for
him ; and thinking that Burr ought not to be dealt
with as an ordinary culprit, he declined receiving
from him any fee, although a liberal one was ten-
  Burr wais acquitted. Mr. Clay shortly after pro-
ceeded to Washington, and received from Mr. Jef-
ferson an account of the letter in ciptter, which had
been written by Burr to General Wilkinson, to-
gether with other information of the criminal designs
of Burr. Mr. Clay handed the written assurances
above mentioned to M1r. Jefferson at the request of
the latter.
  On his return from Ghent, Mr. Clay made a brief
sojourn in the city of New-York, and visited, among
other places of interest, the Federal Court, then in
session, escorted by his friend, the late Mr. Smith,
then Marshall, formerly a Senator front New-York.