Henry Clay
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Sneakin Deacon
N 38° 03.447 W 084° 30.456
16S E 718671 N 4215122
Quick Description: Congressman, Senator, Presidential Canidate, and one of Kentucky's most famous citizens, Henry Clay was known as "The Great Compromiser."
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 7/5/2006 4:02:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMGGQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 48

Long Description:
Henry Clay was born in Hanover County, Virginia and migrated to Kentucky in 1797. He first served in the Kentucky Legislature before being elected to the United State House of Representatives where he served as the Speaker of the House on a number of occasions. He also served in the United States Senate on a number of occasions and it was here late in his senate career that her earned the reputation as the Great Compromiser or the Great Pacifier when he was able to shape the Compromise of 1850. He was a candidate for President in 1824, 1840 and 1844, but was never able to realize his dream. The U. S. House of Representatives decided the election of 1824 in which Clay had to vote for one of his rivals. In 1840 his party nominated William Henry Harrison over Clay and in 1844 he lost the election to President James K. Polk. Henry Clay died on June 29, 1852 in Washington, D.C and after a funeral in Washington his body was retuned to Lexington, Kentucky and he was buried in Lexington Cemetery.

A 120-foot tall Corinthian column with a statue of Clay at the top marks the final resting place of “The Great Compromiser.” The remains of Clay and his wife Lucretia rest in two marble sarcophagi on the floor of a vaulted chamber at the base of the monument. The monument is by fall the largest in the cemetery and visitor will have no trouble locating it.
Henry Clay was born on April 12, 1777 in Hanover County, Va. With limited Schooling Clay managed to meet and read law under George Wythe and Robert Brooke and with their help he was licensed to practice law in 1797. Henry Clay moved to the area around Lexington, Kentucky in 1797 and gained a wide reputation as a lawyer and orator. He served in the Kentucky Legislature from 1803 – 1806 and was a professor of law at Lexington’s Transylvania University from 1805 – 1807. In 1810 Clay was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House from 1811-1814. As a spokesman of Western expansion, Clay was an out spoken advocate for the War of 1812. In 1814 he resigned from Congress to aid in the peace negotiations leading to the Treaty of Ghent. Following the war Clay again was elected to the United State House, serving as Speaker from 1815 – 1820. In 1821 Clay managed to push the Missouri Compromise through the House and for the final time served as it speaker from 1823 – 1825. Henry Clay was a candidate for the presidency in 1824 and garnered the 4th largest number of electoral votes. With no candidate having received a majority the election went to the House of Representatives where the three candidates with the highest number of votes were presented to the House for a vote. It was Clays duty as Speaker and a Member of the House to vote for one of his Rivals. The two top candidates were Andrew Jackson (a favorite of the Kentucky Delegation) and John Quincy Adams. Clay dislike for Jackson was so strong that he went against the Kentucky Legislatures direction and voted for Adams. President Adams immediately appointed Speaker Clay, Secretary of State, which further alienated “Old Hickory.” In the election of 1828 Clay once again supported Adams who this time lost to Jackson. With Jackson as President, many thought that this would be the end of Clay’s Political Career but in 1831, he was elected to the United States Senate, where he and President Jackson clashed bitterly over a number of policies. Refusing to run for President in 1836, Clay continued his opposition tactics against President Martin Van Buren. In 1840, Clay lost the Whig nomination to William H. Harrison, who was elected President and offered Clay the post of Secretary of State, but he chose to stay in the Senate. Harrison’s death brought Vice-President John Tyler to the presidency and his vetoes of Clay's bills caused Clay to resign his Senate seat. In 1844 he ran against James K. Polk, an avowed expansionist, but lost the election largely because he opposed the annexation of Texas, and his Presidential ambitions we quashed for good when his party refused to nominate him in 1848 Clay was reelected to the Senate in 1849 as the country faced the slavery question in the territory newly acquired following the Mexican War. Clay denounced the extremists in both North and South, asserted the superior claims of the Union, and was chiefly instrumental in shaping the Compromise of 1850. It was the third time that he saved the Union in a crisis, and thus he has been called the “Great Pacificator” and the “Great Compromiser.” Henry Clay died on June 29, 1852 in Washington, D.C. He lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol and his funeral service was held in the Chamber of the United States Senate. Following his funeral in Washington, Henry Clay was returned to Lexington, Kentucky and laid to rest in the Lexington Cemetery.

Date of birth: 04/12/1777

Date of death: 06/29/1852

Area of notoriety: Politics

Marker Type: Monument

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

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