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The Family Legacy of Henry ClayIn the Shadow of a Kentucky Patriarch$
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Lindsey Apple

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134109

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134109.001.0001

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Legacy of Risk

Legacy of Risk

(p.186) Chapter 9 Legacy of Risk
The Family Legacy of Henry Clay

Lindsey Apple

University Press of Kentucky

Henry Clay had channeled the gambling spirit of his sons, and himself, into acceptable venues, and the Clays continued to do so. Though gambling continued to entice some members of the family, the Clay saga, or myth, turned the patriarch's gambling into a virtue, even as it provided examples from family history of the dangers of Henry Clay's “fickle goddess.” Sharing the patriarch's enthusiasm for risk, family members made major contributions in the riskiest of professions, the breeding and racing of horses, but also contributed in banking, railroad building, and land development. Later generations entered the professions—law, education, and even the ministry—providing a level of leadership required not just in Washington D.C. but at state and local levels and in the professions.

Keywords:   gambling spirit, Clay saga, risk, horses, banking, railroad building, land development, law, education, leadership

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