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Young Clay sues for payment of debt owed him just before he goes into public office.
Autograph Document Signed: "H. Clay pp" and "Henry Clay" twice in text, 1p, 7½x12½. Fayette Circuit, 1807 August 22 (from docket on verso). In full: "Henry Clay plaintiff states that he holds a note on the defendant John South in substance as follows: 'On or before the first day of May next I promise to pay to Henry Clay for value received Two hundred dollars with interest from the date. Witness my hand & seal this 2d day of Nov. 1806. John South. Teste. Thomas C. Graves.' Yet the said debt remains unpaid. Wherefore the Plaintiff prays Judgment for his debt & damages for the detention of the same together with his Costs &c." Docket on verso in Clay's hand: "Clay vs South filed Augt 22nd 1807 Copied and sums dssd." John Adair served as U.S. Senator from Kentucky from 1805 until November 18, 1806, when he resigned after losing a reelection bid to John Pope. The 29-year-old Henry Clay was then elected to the U.S. Senate to complete Adair's term and served from November 19, 1806 until March 3, 1807. Clay's 30th birthday was on April 12, 1807, so his service was rendered in contravention of the 30-year age requirement in the Constitution. He returned to the Senate, serving from 1810-1811, 1831-1842 and 1849-1852 (death). He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1811-1814, 1815-1821 and 1823-1825. Except for 1821, Clay was Speaker of the House the years he served in that chamber. In 1814, Clay was one of the commissioners who negotiated the end of the War of 1812, signing the Treaty of Ghent. He was John Quincy Adams' Secretary of State from 1825-1829 and unsuccessfully ran for President in 1824, 1832 and 1844. Shaded at folds. Slightly worn edges. Pinhead-size holes at blank cross folds. Vertical fold touches the "H" in signature. Fragile, but overall, fine condition.

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Born: April 12, 1777 in Hanover County, Virginia
Died: June 29, 1852 in Washington, District of Columbia

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