Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty by Katherine R. Bateman

By Katherine R. Bateman

This sweeping heritage lines 11 generations of the Clays of Kentucky, a founding American relatives and Southern dynasty whose individuals comprise Henry Clay, who ran for president opposed to James okay. Polk; his cousin Cassius Marcellus Clay, a sought after abolitionist and Lincoln’s consultant opposed to slavery; and matriarch Kizzie Clay, who buried the kinfolk silver and escaped by means of flatboat to prevent marauding Union infantrymen. The background of the early colonial interval involves existence, starting with the arriving of the Clay family members in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1613 and the Cecil kin in St. Mary’s, Maryland, in 1634, carrying on with via their trek throughout Virginia to the Appalachian Mountains, resulting in the households’ eventual intermarriage in 1800 and their flow around the mountains to Kentucky and beyond. Drawing from unique resources corresponding to Civil struggle files, land deeds, wills, and letters, and during her personal dogged detective paintings and backbone to split truth from exaggeration to appreciate the advanced legacy she has inherited, Katherine Bateman unearths the adventures, accomplishments, and shortcomings of the lads in her kinfolk, along the deep-rooted tales and nontraditional roles of its robust, occasionally egocentric, and proud ladies.

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Henry Clay, now deceased, told [her] that he took these Indians, to wit a Boy and a Girl, from their own Nation unbeknown to their friends & relations and, nigh as [she] remembers, he, the said Clay, told her that he hid underground for about a fortnight for fear the Indians should take away his Indians and knock him in the head. On May 4, 1773, a General Court jury in North Carolina— where the branch of the Clay family that now owned the two Family Reunion  31 Indians lived—found for the plaintiffs.

Still, rather than describe the event the way it was told to me—as a stern admonition against unacceptable behavior “even if he was a Clay”—I will use the eyewitness account of the sheriff, Josiah Simmons, which I recently found: Richmond, Kentucky, November 14, 1894 Judge John C. Chenault, Dear Judge, I am reporting about the posse like you said I had to. Judge, we went out to White Hall but we didn’t do no good. It was a mistake to go out there with only seven men. Judge, the general was awful mad.

She is forty-four. She has five under-age children. To make it worse, her father, John Wilson Senior, had died less than eighteen months before Charles’s untimely death. She was not prepared to grieve again so soon. Hannah inherited property on Swift Creek from her father’s estate, yet she continued to live in Westover Parish. Sometime before October 1, 1687, Hannah married Edward Stanley—a marriage that lasted for the next twenty years. Hannah Wilson Clay Stanley died in the summer of 1706. ” Although I cannot be certain, I think it is then that Henry Clay, Charles and Hannah’s fifth child and third son, inherited his mother’s property on Swift Creek.

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