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The Death of Henry Clay's Daughter

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The body was later exhumed and removed to the family burial ground at "Ashland" in Lexington, Kentucky. Nothing remains of the monument in the old Baptist Graveyard.

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The Grave of Henry Clay’s Daughter

A few days ago we paid a visit to the grave of the daughter of Henry Clay. We had long known that a daughter of the great American statesman lie buried in one of our adjacent burying-grounds of Lebanon, but had neveer [sic] before visited the place. It is situated in what is known as the Old Burying ground, lying west of town, and now, sad to say, bearing unmistakable evidence of neglect, and rapidly going to decay.

As we stood by the grave of little Eliza H. Clay, our mind wandered back to the days when her father, the great sage of Ashland, lived and filled such a prominent place in the political circles or our land – one of the great and good men of the period – a man of rare talent, who devoted hand and heart to the welfare of his country. A sage indeed was Henry Clay, and in his day and generation, yea, even to day, is his name loved and revered, and so will it continue for ages to come, or as long as the memory of the American Government shall last.

In the year 1825, and during the administration of John Adams, Henry Clay, it will be remembered, filled the responsible position in the Cabinet of Secretary of State. At that time railroads were unknown. No other mode of travel was offered the public except the stage. The principal line of stages from the Southern country extended through this place. All travel from the South, toward Washington, or the East, or a large portion of it, came by way of the stage line from Cincinnati, by way of Lebanon, Xenia and Columbus, striking the National road at or near Springfield. It was a slow and tiresome way of traveling, yet it was the best the times offered. Henry Clay started for Washington during the fore part of August, accompanied by several members of his family, and upon reaching this place his little daughter Eliza sickened and despite all medical skill and the tender care and solicitude of fond parents, died. Business of great importance demanded the presence of Clay at Washington – his daughter was buried in what was then the best burying-ground adjacent to this place, and he and the balance of his family proceeded, heart-stricken, on their tiresome journey. The remains of Eliza H. Clay were never removed from their first resting place, and a massive stone, afterward placed at the grave, now marred by time, marks the place where lies the daughter of one of the noblest of men – long since departed, also – that ever emanated within the borders of the grand old State of Kentucky, or, in fact, in the borders of the Union. The following lines are still legible upon the stone marking the grave of little Eliza Clay:

daughter of
who died on the 11th day of August
aged 12 years,
during a journey from their residence
-?- in Kentucky,
To Washington City,
Cut off in the bloom
of a promising life,
her parents,
Who have reared this monument,
Console themselves with the belief
That she now abides in Heaven.

- [Lebanon Patriot.

Source: The Miami Gazette, Wednesday August 3, 1870, [copy obtained from microfilm available at the Warren County Genealogical Society]

Image by
Chuck Griffen
Transcription by
Arne H Trelvik
13 February 2007

FOOTNOTES: [email an additional information or comments that you might want to submit to Arne H Trelvik]

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This page created 13 February 2007 and last updated 21 March, 2011
© 2007 Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved