Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman

Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman

Harlow G. Unger

Language: English

Pages: 334

ISBN: 2:00352238

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A compelling new biography of America's most powerful Speaker of the House, who held the divided nation together for three decades and who was Lincoln's guiding light
















multiple volumes]. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976. Johnson, David. John Randolph of Roanoke. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012. Jones, Edgar DeWitt. Influence of Henry Clay upon Abraham Lincoln. Lexington, KY: The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, 1952. Journal of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Frankfort: William Gerard, Printer to the State, 1809. Kaminski, John P. James Madison, Champion of Liberty and Justice. Madison,

47–48, 56, 119 foreign policy and, 77, 83 Gag Rule on abolitionist petitions and slavery in, 184–186, 191 Jefferson’s presidency decision by, 23 Missouri Compromise and, 89–93, 96–98, 97 (fig.), 190 presidential election (1824) decision by, 107, 110–113 regional differences in, 49 slavery and, 184–186, 191, 249–250 Tallmadge Amendment vote of, 90 war hawks of, 50–51, 57, 59, 60, 124 Whigs in, 214, 217, 219, 248 See also Congress; Speaker of the House Houston, Sam, 187 Hughes,

fourteen-year-old Theodore and thirteen-year-old Thomas, he sent them away to a boarding school so he could focus on his campaign. His wealth and new tastes had not dulled his wit, however. After a former supporter voiced his displeasure and said he would vote for Pope, Clay retorted, “Have you a good rifle, friend?” “Yep.” “Did it ever flash?” ”It did, once.” “And did you throw it away?” asked Clay. “No. I picked the flint, tried it again, and it was true.” “And will you throw me away?”

separation. Southerners decried Clay’s attack on Calhoun, while northerners were equally vocal in condemning Clay’s ownership of slaves and his hope that “our posterity will mingle” with that of South Carolinians “for ages and centuries.”3 But the darkest political cloud hovering over Henry Clay’s road to the presidency had darkened his way since President John Quincy Adams had appointed him US secretary of state. “You cannot escape the malignant attacks of an infatuated enemy,” warned a New

lost three runs for the presidency. Seen in the lower portrait of the badge is Clay’s running mate New Jersey Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen. (Library of Congress) When Clay set sail south on the Hudson River from Albany, crowds stood cheering on river banks and on the docks at Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and, finally, New York City. New York gave him the grandest reception since Lafayette’s visit in 1824, with thousands showering him with flower petals from every window as he rode up

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