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  Clay, Cassius M.
NameCassius M. Clay
Madison County, Kentucky , United States
Born October 19, 1810
DiedJuly 22, 1903 (92 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Nov 28, 2015 09:01pm
InfoCassius Marcellus Clay was born on his father's plantation, Clermont, in Madison County, Kentucky, October 19, 1810, the son of Revolutionary War veteran General Green Clay and Sally Lewis.

Clay fought for the abolishment of slavery, becoming one of Kentucky's greatest anti-slavery crusaders in the years before the Civil War. While attending Yale University, Clay had been deeply influenced by a pro-emancipation speech of William Lloyd Garrison. Clay became one of the most prominent American abolitionists and statesmen, and was a proponent of Henry Clay's American System. He rejected extreme measures pertaining to slavery and advocated gradual emancipation. In 1845 he founded a leading anti-slavery newspaper the True American, an anti-slavery weekly. When his printing equipment was seized by local opposition, he continued to publish the paper from Cincinnati, Ohio. Later, changing its name to the Examiner, he moved the operation to Louisville, Kentucky.

Clay served three terms in the Kentucky Legislature, from 1835-1840. He helped found the Republican Party in 1854, and gave his support to its' Presidential tickets in 1856 and 1860. He was named Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia in 1861, during the Lincoln Administration, returning home for a brief period when he received a commission from the Lincoln Administration to serve as a Major General for the Union Army. Clay returned to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1863, to continue his diplomatic service as Minister to Russia until 1869.

In his late years, he wrote an autobiography: The Life of Cassius Marcellus Clay: Memoirs, Writings, and Speeches. As health failed due to advancing age, Clay confined himself more and more to his estate, White Hall, the remodeled estate built upon the original estate house structure of Clermont. Cassius Marcellus Clay died July 22, 1903, in the older section of the house, where he had been born ninety-three years earlier.



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Son Brutus J. Clay 1847-1932
Daughter Laura Clay (Crenshaw) 1849-1941
Father Green Clay 1757-1828
Grandfather Charles Clay 0000-
Uncle Matthew Clay 1754-1815
Brother Brutus J. Clay 1808-1878

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