Biography and History

Sidney P. Clay was born in Madison County, Kentucky, in 1800. He attended St. Thomas's College in Springfield, New York, but graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1821. In 1822, he married Nancy B. Keen, with whom he had one daughter, and they moved to Bourbon County. She died shortly thereafter, and he remarried Isabella E.J. Reed, with whom he had four children, Sidney R. G. Isabella E., Elias D., and Green. Sidney Clay died in 1834.

Henry Clay was an American statesman and orator who represented Kentucky in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He was a dominant figure in both the First and Second Party System and the founder and leader of the Whig Party. Henry Clay was also a leading advocate of programs for modernizing the economy, especially tariffs to protect industry, a national bank, and internal improvements to promote canals, ports and railroads. Clay was a war hawk and, and was very much responsible for the War of 1812. Although his multiple attempts to become president were unsuccessful, to a large extent Clay defined the issues of the Second Party System. He was a major supporter of the mercantile American System, and had success in brokering compromises on the slavery issue, especially in 1820 and 1850.

Source: From the finding aid for C0404