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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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Building Legacies

Building Legacies

(p.43) Chapter 3 Building Legacies
The Family Legacy of Henry Clay

Lindsey Apple

University Press of Kentucky

Recognizing in his sons his own fascination with risk, Clay sought to channel their gambling spirit into acceptable outlets. With the aid of strong daughters-in-law he involved his sons in “meaningful” work through a family conglomerate called here the Clay Corporation. It proved to be a local American System, a “multi-faceted” economic system based largely in agriculture and the southern market. Partnering in a complex web of ownership, the Clays contributed greatly to the thoroughbred horse industry, but also produced mules, purebred cattle, and hemp, and invested in manufacturing, banking, and transportation. The financial success allowed Henry Clay to encourage the political ambitions of son Henry Jr. and secure for son James a diplomatic post, thus assuring a second generation of service.

Keywords:   risk, gambling, work, Clay Corporation, American System, thoroughbred industry, political ambitions, diplomatic post, horses

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