Cassius M. Clay journal and papers

Abstract

The Cassius M. Clay journal and papers (dated 1826-1941, undated; 0.25 cubic feet; 1 box, 2 folders) primarily comprises a journal kept by abolitionist Cassius M. Clay to document financial and business transactions.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Cassius M. Clay journal and papers
Extent
0.25 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Agriculture -- Kentucky -- Madison County
Journals (bookkeeping)
Slavery, abolition, and emancipation
Slavery -- Kentucky -- Madison County
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Megan Mummey
Preferred Citation
2019ms040: [identification of item], Cassius M. Clay journal and papers, 1826-1941, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Cassius Marcellus Clay was born in 1810 in Madison County, Kentucky. He was the son of Green Clay, a Revolutionary War general. Clay attended Yale University and was anti-slavery, although he advocated gradual emancipation. In 1845, Clay began the True American an anti-slavery paper, and later followed this with another anti-slavery paper The Examiner. Clay served in the Kentucky Legislature from 1835-1840, and was minister to Russia twice (1861-1862; 1863-1869). During the period of his recall, 1862-1863, Clay served as a Union Major General in the Civil War. He married Mary Jane Warfield Clay in 1833 and divorced her in 1878. They had six children who lived to adulthood, including suffragists Mary Barr Clay and Laura Clay. He married Dora Richardson, the fifteen year old sister of one of his tenants, in 1894; they divorced in 1898. Cassius Clay died on July 22, 1903.
Scope and Content
The Cassius M. Clay journal and papers (dated 1826-1941, undated; 0.25 cubic feet; 1 box, 2 folders) primarily comprises a journal kept by abolitionist Cassius M. Clay to document financial and business transactions. Additionally, the journal occasionally documents Clay's farm as well as his family and personal life. The journal contains numerous entries detailing his transactions buying and selling livestock; selling land; settling the estate of his father Green Clay (1757-1826); his financial relationship with his brother Brutus Clay; and the buying and leasing of slaves. Though Clay was a famed abolitionist, he leased enslaved people to work his farm from his brother Brutus and others. Additionally, he purchased enslaved persons, some of whom he later freed. The journal details the financial arrangement concerning the operation of Clay's Ferry on the Kentucky River as well as the acquisition of Weddle's Mill. It contains details and entries on the moving of his abolitionist newspaper True American from Lexington to Cincinnati in 1845. Additionally, it mentions lands and funds Clay gave to John G. Fee, the founder of Berea College. The journal also makes mention of several familial relationships and conflicts in his life, including tensions in his marriage to his first wife Mary Jane Warfield Clay and his marriage to and divorce from Dora Richardson. Additionally, a section in the rear of the book contains handwriting practice and a note from Clay indicating that it was written before Dora Richardson was drugged by her sister Hoody Vanderpool and brother-in-law Abe Vanderpool. This is connected to allegations he made during their divorce proceedings.
The collection also contains some photographs and newspaper clippings gathered for a biography of Clay by his grandson, Green Clay (1871-1962). The collection contains drafts of a newspaper article concerning Cassius Clay written by Green Clay as well as photographs of the outlaw Kit Carson and a cigar box lid.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Cassius M. Clay journal/daybook, 1826-1861, 1885-1901

  • Box 1, folder 1
To top

Cassius M. Clay article drafts, by grandson Green Clay (article published in the Louisville Courier-Journal on 1942 January 1), circa 1941

  • Box 1, folder 2
To top

Cassius M. Clay portrait prints, 1845-1860, undated

  • Box 1, folder 3
To top

Cassius M. Clay photographs , 1888-1901, undated

  • Box 1, folder 4
To top

Photographs of Richmond, Kentucky, and surrounding areas, most relating to Cassius M. Clay or other family, 1890s-1937, undated

  • Box 1, folder 5
To top

Photographs of mostly unidentified people, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
  • Box OS-20, folder 1
To top

Lithographic prints of Russian nobility, 1864-1865, undated

  • Box 1, folder 7
  • Box OS-20, folder 2
To top

Photographs of Kit Carson and New Mexico, undated

  • Box 1, folder 8
To top

Cigar box lid - Lexington Cigars - depicting Ashland, the home of Henry Clay, undated

  • Box 1, folder 9
To top

Newspaper clippings regarding White Hall, Cassius M. Clay, and Richmond, Kentucky, undated

  • Box 1, folder 10
To top

The Special Collections Research Center has transitioned to online delivery of library services. For updates and more information about remote services and resources, visit the UK Libraries COVID-19 Updates page.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

The Special Collections Research Center has transitioned to online delivery of library services. For updates and more information about remote services and resources, visit the UK Libraries COVID-19 Updates page.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Requests

No items have been requested.