Henry Clay, Sr.

Burial Location Visited Speaker Grave #
Lexington, Kentucky April 21, 2010 3rd Visited


Renowned politician Henry Clay is                                                              In fact, the tomb is so tall that
interred in this giant tomb in                                                                     it is nearly impossible to take a
Lexington Cemetery.                                                                                photograph of the entire tower.
                                                                                                             In order to get this angle, my
                                                                                                             dad was forced to lie down on
                                                                                                             the hill the tomb is perched on.


As we suspected, the entrance to Clay's creepy                            The Kentuckian's sarcophagus.
crypt was locked. Little did we know that, at
the same time, we were being locked inside
the cemetery.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* During his half-century political career, Clay played many different roles in the government. He started out as a member of the Kentucky State Legislature, later becoming a U.S. Senator and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. On three separate occasions, he served as the speaker of the House. He also served as John Q. Adams' secretary of state from 1825 to 1829.

* All throughout his political career, Henry Clay fought against slavery. He played a major role in instituting the Missouri Compromise, an agreement from 1820 that allowed Maine to enter America as a free state and Missouri to join as a slave state. Though it is true that this deal allowed slavery in Missouri, it temporarily kept the peace between the abolitionists in the Northern states and the slave holders in the South. He tried to implement a similar deal in 1850, although it failed to get passed. After it was tweaked by some of Clay's fellow senators, it was approved and became what was known as the Compromise of 1850.
* Clay ran for the office of the president three times, and three times he fell short. His first attempt at the presidency took place in 1824, and despite the fact that he lost, Clay certainly altered the course of history. That year, Clay was among four candidates for president, the others being William Crawford, (who was the secretary of the Treasury), Secretary of State John Q. Adams, and General Andrew Jackson, the hero of New Orleans. When election time came and all of the votes were counted up, Andrew Jackson came in first place with 99 electoral votes, although he was short of the 131 votes required in order to win the election. Thus, the decision went to the House of Representatives. However, due to the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, only the top three candidates were allowed to be chosen from. This meant that Clay, who came in fourth with 37 electoral votes, was out of the running. But, as speaker of the House of Representatives, Henry Clay held a lot of power. Coming to the conclusion that most of his views were similar to Adams', Clay decided to support him over Jackson and Crawford. Many congressmen followed Clay's leadership and voted for Adams, turning the election around and stealing the presidency from Andrew Jackson.

* After being declared the winner of the 1824 election, John Q. Adams named Henry Clay his secretary of state. Appalled, Andrew Jackson concluded that there had been a "corrupt bargain" between the two, and held a grudge against them for the remainder of his life.

* Upon leaving the presidency in 1837, Andrew Jackson stated that he had only two regrets: "that I have not shot Henry Clay or hanged John C. Calhoun." As you can see, Jackson was not one to forgive and forget.

Spouse: Lucretia Hart Clay (1781-1864)

Political Party:
Democratic-Republican Party
                         National Republican Party
                         Whig Party

Last Words:

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