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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 Family

Legacy of Family

(p.146) Chapter 8 Legacy of Family
The Family Legacy of Henry Clay

Lindsey Apple

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter describes one of the major legacies left by the patriarch and strengthened by the Clay myth. The blessings of being a Clay were preached to each generation sometimes to the point that a great gift became a burden. The genius of the Patriarch rested in their blood; each new member was taught the confidence inherent to the name and the duty to honor it by suitable behavior and contribution. Weaknesses were dismissed, cautioned against, or turned into virtues. At its worst the legacy helped enshrine the principles of the lost cause, created pressure on young minds, or inculcated a sense of entitlement. The Clays fought with each other but adopted a siege mentality when attacked from outside, even purging the papers to protect the family myth. At its best the legacy helped overcome inherited weaknesses, produced confidence, and insured a stream of contribution.

Keywords:   legacy of family, gift, Patriarch, genius, sense of entitlement, duty, weakness, siege mentality, contribution

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