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Slaves of Henry Clay, Indian Trader
Posted by: Ned Boyajian Date: July 09, 2001 at 16:54:22
  of 4042

Hi, Terry,

I hope the following keeps you busy for a while longer ;-)

The Rev. John Clay was the father of Statesman Henry Clay. Let me back up and sort out this branch of the Clays a little bit for you.

John Clay [traditionally styled "Captain" and/or "the Grenadier" though no documentation supports these titles.] The Immigrant. Arrived in Jamestown, VA, in 1612/13.
m. 1) Anne _____
m 2) Elizabeth _____
Known Issue of John and Elizabeth:

2. Charles Clay 1638-1686
m. Hannah Wilson. Issue included:

3. Henry Clay 1672-1760
m. Mary Mitchell. Issue included:

4. William Mitchel Clay, Sr. 1710-1774
4. Henry Clay b 9/3/1711
4. Martha Clay b @1715
4. The Rev. Charles Clay b 1/31/1715/16
4. John Clay 1718-1762
m. 1. Sarah Watkins Issue included:

5. The Reverend John Clay, was born in Henrico 1741. Moved in 1777 to Hanover County and d. there 1781; He was a Baptist minister; m. Elizabeth Hudson 1750-1829.
Issue included:
6. Henry Clay 1777-1852, the Statesman

m 2.Mary Bass
5. Jeremiah Bass/Clay

4, Amey Clay b 1720
4. Mary Clay b 1722


You might have a bit of trouble finding Jeremiah Clay. He was born out of wedlock to the first John Clay and Mary Bass. Eventually, John married Mary (as his second wife) and legitimitized (if that's the word) Jeremiah. I've read that Jeremiah used Bass and Clay as his surname at different times. When he made his will in 1780, he had not received the slaves that had been bequeathed to him. You can read the whole sorry story in an article called "Martha (Clay) Bass and Her Daughter Mary (Bass) Clay of Henrico and Chesterfield Cos, VA" by Peggy Carswell Peacock in The Virginia Genealogist. I'm sorry that I don't have the full citation.

One other point of interest. In a paper delivered in 1995 to the Jamestowne Society, a noted Clay Family genealogist named Robert Young Clay wrote: "[Charles Clay] married Hannah Wilson, daughter of John Wilson, Sr., an Indian trader who lived on the north side of the Appomattox River near the present Petersburg. Charles also was involved in the Indian trade as were several of his sons."

Since it may be of broader interest, I'll post the Rev. John Clay's will separately.

Now here's the scoop on Phillis, from Peggy Peacock's article. The whole of the following passage is from her article. Words in quotes are what she quotes from CLAY V. WOOLRIDGE (Chesterfield Co, VA, Dead Papers, 1775, Virginia State Library). Words in the brackets are mine.

The cause of the lawsuit was a difference of opinion between John Clay [that's the Rev.]... and his step-mother, Mary, now that she had married Thomas Wooldridge, over the clause in John [sr.]'s will giving her the Negro Phillis.... William Bass... deposed that "... about 12 years ago, his daughter Mary Clay..." asked him for assistance "...for that the help she had was unable to do the business of the house..." He "... could not spare any other Negro than Phillis ..." and her child, Nancy, "... but did not intend it as a gift and expected they would be returned to him again but they never had."


Regards,

Ned


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