About this Famous Person
American lawyer, politician and skilled orator
Source : Tim DOWLING
Henry Clay was born at the Clay homestead in Hanover County, Virginia, in a story-and-a-half frame house. It was an above-average home for a common Virginia planter of that time. At the time of his death, Clay's father owned more than 22 slaves, making him part of the planter class in Virginia (those men who owned 20 or more slaves).
Henry was the seventh of nine children of the Reverend John Clay and Elizabeth Hudson Clay. His father, a Baptist minister nicknamed "Sir John," died four years after his birth (1781). The father left Henry and his brothers two slaves each, and his wife 18 slaves and 464 acres (188 ha) of land. Henry Clay was a second cousin of Cassius Marcellus Clay, who became an abolitionist in Kentucky.
The widow Elizabeth Clay married Capt. Henry Watkins, who was an affectionate stepfather. Henry Watkins then moved the family to Richmond, Virginia. Elizabeth had seven more children with Watkins, bearing a total of sixteen.