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Clay, Henry (1777-1852) to Thomas Robinson Hazard

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05721 Author/Creator: Clay, Henry (1777-1852) Place Written: Lexington, Kentucky Type: Letter signed Date: 22 July 1851 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope : free frank ; 25 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Clay writes from Ashland, his estate, to Hazard, the noted reformer. Declines an invitation to visit Hazard in Rhode Island, relating that he will not be able to leave home this summer due to ill health. Also due to his health, this letter is written by an amanuensis. Notes that though the climate and sea bathing of Rhode Island would aid his health, "the journey, the cities, the crowds, and the company which I should encounter would neutralize any advantage that I should derive from visiting Newport." Agrees with Hazard on African colonization, remarking, "Its success and prosperity are among the objects nearest my heart... The greatest obstacles to it, at present, are the cross fires from the abolition batteries at the North and the secession batteries at the South. It is so wonderful that, with such opposite views in regard to the African race, they should both unite in denouncing African Colonization." Expresses surprise that members of the Society of Friends are opposed to colonization, noting this opposition is likely limited to the Hicksite branch of Quakerism. Thanks Hazard for sending him two publications, one being "The Christian Philosopher."

Background Information: Clay served in various Congressional seats between 1802 and his death in 1852.

Full Transcript: [draft] [excerpt]
"My health continues feeble, as you may judge from this letter being written by an amanuensis, and I think I shall derive more benefit by remaining in such ...quiet as I can enjoy at home. The fine bracing climate of your island and the delightful sea bathing, I am sure, would be a great service to me, if I could transport myself there by a wish, without any intervening obstacles. But the journey, the cities, the crowds, and the company which I should encounter would neutralize any advantage that I should derive from visiting Newport. I agree with you in all that you say upon the subject of African Colonization. Its success and prosperity are among the objects nearest my heart, and you may rely that if my life and health are spared I shall continue to commend it to public favor. The greatest obstacles to it, at present, are the cross fires from the abolition batteries at the North and the seccession batteries at the South. It is wonderful that with such opposite views in regard to the African race, they should both unite in denouncing African Colonization. It has been, with extreme regret, that I have seen heretofore that some of the Society of Friends have been also opposed to it. Such a course is utterly at war with their moderation, their benevolence, and their wisdom. I believe the number of them who now oppose the scheme is diminished and confined chiefly to the Hicksite portion of the fraternity ... "See More

People: Clay, Henry, 1777-1852
Hazard, Thomas Robinson, 1797-1886

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: American StatesmenPoliticsReform MovementHealth and MedicalTravelAfricaColonizationAbolitionSecessionAfrican American HistorySlaveryReligionChristianityQuakers

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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