Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Hon. Clement Claiborne Clay

Hon. Clement Claiborne Clay

Male 1816 - 1882  (65 years)

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  • Name Clement Claiborne Clay 
    Sen. Clement Claiborne Clay
    Sen. Clement Claiborne Clay
    Title Hon. 
    Born 13 Dec 1816  Huntsville, Madison, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Political 1853 - 1861  Washington, District of Columbia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    United States Senator for Alabama. 
    Public Service
    Public Service
    Died 03 Jan 1882  Gurley, Madison, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • CLAY, CLEMENT CLAIBORNE, lawyer, U. S. senator, was born in 1817, at Huntsville, and died January 3, 1882, at Huntsville; son of Clement Comer and Susanna Claiborne (Withers) Clay (q. v.); brother of John Withers Clay (q. v.). He was graduated from the University of Alabama, B. A., 1834, A.M., 1837, and served as private secretary to his father during the letter's term as governor of Alabama, 1835-1837. Later he studied law in the University of Virginia, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and began to practice law in Huntsville; at the same time, becoming editor of the "Huntsville Democrat." He was elected to the State legislature in 1842, and was re-elected in 1844 and 1845. During the session of 1842, he offered resolutions instructing the senators and representatives in congress to vote for the bill refunding to Gen. Jackson the amount of the fine imposed upon him by Judge Hall, at New Orleans, in 1815, for establishing martial law in the city, under which the judge was imprisoned for discharging a member of the Louisiana legislature committed to prison by Gen. Jackson. During his last session in the legislature, Mr. Clay was elected judge of the county court of Madison County. He held that office for two years, resigning in 1848. In 1853, he was a candidate for the lower house of congress, but was defeated by Hon. W. R. W. Cobb, of Jackson. When the legislature met that winter, his party in that body nominated him for a seat in the U. S. Senate, and he was elected for a term of six years to succeed Col. Clemens. He at once took his seat in the senate and held it for nine years. He was re-elected in 1859, receiving every vote cast. In the senate, Mr. Clay was distinguished for bis advocacy of the doctrine of state sovereignty and for his adherence to the school of constitutional interpretation, of which Mr. Calhoun was a great champion. He advocated the admission of Kansas as a state under the Lecompton pro-slavery constitution. When Alabama dissolved her relations with the United States, he withdrew with his colleagues, January 1861. Upon the organization of the government of the C. S. A., a few months later, Mr. Clay was elected a senator, and was a member of the first congress of the Confederacy until 1863, when he was superseded by the Hon. Richard W. Walker. In April, 1864, he represented the C. S. A. in Canada, returning in January, 1865. When the surrender of the armies in Virginia and North Carolina took place, he started on horseback for Texas, but hearing that he was charged with complicity in the murder of President Lincoln, and that a reward was offered for his apprehension, he rode one hundred and fifty miles to surrender himself to the federal authorities at Macon, Ga. He was taken to Augusta, and placed on the same boat with Jefferson Davis, and confined with the latter in Fortress Monroe. He was held for twelve months without being brought to trial, and finally through the efforts of his wife, who had personal interviews with the president and the secretary of war of the United States, he was released, May, 1866. From that time until his death, he practiced law in Huntsville and planted in Jackson County. Married: February 1, 1843, at Tuscaloosa, Virginia Caroline Tunstall (q. v.), daughter of Dr. Peyton Tunstall, formerly of Virginia; a near relative of Mrs. Collier, wife of Chief Justice Collier of Tuscaloosa, at whose home she was married. After her husband's death, Mrs. Clay retained the possession of all his papers consisting of letters, manuscripts, diaries, and journals. She later married David Clopton (q. v.). Last residence: Huntsville. [1]
    Person ID I8464  Dickinson
    Last Modified 20 Feb 2012 

    Family Virginia Caroline Tunstall,   b. 16 Jan 1825, Nash County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1915, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 01 Feb 1843  Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2014 
    Family ID F2288  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 13 Dec 1816 - Huntsville, Madison, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 01 Feb 1843 - Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPolitical - United States Senator for Alabama. - 1853 - 1861 - Washington, District of Columbia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Clement Clay and Jefferson Davis
    Clement Clay and Jefferson Davis

  • Sources 
    1. [S336312] History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, 4 volumes, Thomas McAdory Owen, (Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921), vol. 3, 343.

    2. [S96] Early Settlers of Alabama, James Edmond Saunders and Elizabeth Saunders Blair Stubbs, (New Orleans: L. Graham and Sons, 1899), F 326 S25 1961., 288.