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CLAY, Clement Comer

CLAY, Clement Comer
Library of Congress


CLAY, Clement Comer, (father of Clement Claiborne Clay, Jr.), a Representative and a Senator from Alabama; born in Halifax County, Va., December 17, 1789; moved with his parents to a farm near Knoxville, Tenn.; attended the public schools and graduated from the East Tennessee University in 1807; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1809; moved to Huntsville, Ala., in 1811, and commenced practice; served in the war against the Creek Indians in 1813; member, Territorial council of Alabama 1817-1818; elected a judge of the circuit court in 1819 and chief justice in 1820; resigned in 1823 and resumed the practice of law; member, State house of representatives 1827-1828, and served as speaker; elected to the Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third Congresses (March 4, 1829-March 3, 1835); chairman, Committee on Public Lands (Twenty-third Congress); Governor of Alabama 1836-1837; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John McKinley and served from June 19, 1837, until his resignation on November 15, 1841; chairman, Committee on Engrossed Bills (Twenty-fifth Congress), Committee on Militia (Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses); associate judge of the State supreme court in 1843; codified the laws of Alabama in 1842 and 1843; died in Huntsville, Ala., September 7, 1866; interment in Maple Hill Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: 1818-1866. 4 inches. Congressional, business, and personal papers, newspaper articles, speeches, photograph, and a portrait. In addition, gubernatorial papers include administrative files (1829-1841); extraditions and requisitions (1836-1837); appointments (1835-1837); militia files (1835-1836); pardons, paroles and clemency files (1835-1837); reward files (1837); and correspondence (1821-1865).
Additional Papers: In James Dellet papers, 1775-ca. 1870.

Duke University
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: In Clay family papers, 1811-1925. 8,541 items and 37 volumes. Political and personal correspondence, clippings, and writings.

Knox County Public Library
McClung Historical Collection

Knoxville, TN
Papers: Correspondence in Septimus D. Cabaniss papers, 1805-1887.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1832, 1834. 2 letters.

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
Special Collections

Huntsville, AL
Papers: 1811-1986. 17 boxes. The Clay Collection encompasses the Clay family’s personal papers, business papers, political papers, writings, scrapbooks, ledgers, journals, photographs, paintings, artifacts, Bibles and books from the family library. Pieces pertaining to Clement Comer Clay include personal papers, business papers, political papers, correspondence, writings, a ledger, and an oil portrait. A finding aid is available in the repository.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: January 21, 1831; January 9, 1836; April 17, 1837; October 12, 1844. 4 letters.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1818. 1 letter (typed copy).

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas Hartley Crawford papers, 1827-1862.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Nuermberger, Ruth Ketring. The Clays of Alabama: A Planter-Lawyer-Politician Family. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1958.

Watson, Elbert L. "Clement Comer Clay." In Alabama United States Senators, pp. 37-41. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1982.

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