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  Clay, James Brown
NameJames Brown Clay
, Kentucky , United States
Born November 09, 1817
DiedJanuary 26, 1864 (46 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 09, 2011 09:07pm
InfoJames Brown Clay (November 9, 1817 – January 26, 1864) was a Democratic Party member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky.

Born in Washington, D.C., while his father, Henry Clay, was serving in the United States Congress, James Brown Clay was named for the husband of his maternal aunt, James Brown. His brothers were Henry Clay, Jr. and John Morrison Clay. Clay attended a boys’ school associated with Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio (founded by family friend Bishop Philander Chase). Later, Clay attended Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. He worked at a countinghouse in Boston from 1832 to 1834 before studying law and being admitted to the bar. He practiced law with his father in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1843, Clay married Susan Maria Jacob, sister of a three-time mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, Charles Donald Jacob. The couple eventually had ten children.

Clay served as chargé d’affaires to Portugal from August 1, 1849, to July 19, 1850. He farmed in Missouri in 1851 and 1852 before returning to Lexington. Clay had been a life-long member of the Whig Party — the party of his father. But when the Whig Party disintegrated following Henry Clay’s death, James B. Clay joined the Democratic Party. In fact, he was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1859). Clay did not run for renomination in 1858 and declined an appointment by President James Buchanan to a mission to Germany. Clay served as a member of the Peace conference of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., an attempt to prevent the impending American Civil War. During the Civil War Clay supported the Confederacy and was commissioned to raise a regiment. His ill-health from tuberculosis prevented him from doing so. Clay died in Montreal, Canada, where he had gone for his health. He is interred at his family plot in Lexington Cemetery.


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Importance? 7.00000 Average

Father Henry Clay 1777-1852
Sister Henrietta Clay 1800-1801
Brother Theodore Wythe Clay 1802-1870
Brother Thomas Hart Clay 1803-1871
Sister Susan Hart Clay Duralde 1805-1825
Sister Ann Brown Clay Erwin 1807-1835
Sister Lucretia Hart Clay 1809-1823
Brother Henry Clay, Jr. 1811-1847
Sister Eliza H. Clay 1813-1825
Sister Laura Clay 1815-1817
Brother John Morrison Clay 1821-1887
Mother Lucretia Hart Clay 1781-1864

  02/01/1861 Washington Peace Convention - Delegate Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  08/03/1857 KY - District 08 Won 50.48% (+0.97%)
  08/01/1849 US Ambassador to Portugal Won 100.00% (+100.00%)