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Clay, Henry (1777-1852) to Caesar A. Rodney

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05265 Author/Creator: Clay, Henry (1777-1852) Place Written: Lexington, Kentucky Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 10 June 1820 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written as Speaker of the House. Acknowledges Rodney's letter of 22 May 1820. Rodney asked Clay to hold off on retiring from the House of Representatives, but Clay is adamant, saying "I have reasons, altogether of a private nature, for retiring from the H. of R. which if it were worth while to trouble you with them, I think you would admit justifys my resolution." Says he believes in the maxim of one belonging to his country, but says now is not the time to sacrifice himself since he predicts the country will be at peace for the short term. Believes there is interesting matters to take care of in the House "but I have not the vanity to suppose that my presence there is at all necessary to a right disposition of them." Is gratified by the House voting to recognize the rebel governments of South America. He hopes the president will come to support their position by the next session. Says the revolution in Spain will probably lead to revolution in Mexico also. Clay retired in 1821 to recoup financial loses he suffered during the panic of 1819. He returned to a private law practice and two years later returned to the Speakship free from debt.

People:

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: American Statesmen, Congress, Latin and South America, Rebellion, Global History and Civics, Foreign Affairs, President, Finance

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform