Processed by: staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Bonnie Cox
Henrietta Clay Collection
Transylvania University Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40508 USA
Open to researchers.
[Identification of item], Henrietta Clay Collection, 1793-1975, MSC 10,Special Collections, Transylvania University, Lexington.
2.5 cubic ft.
Henrietta Clay, a long-time resident of Lexington, Kentucky, was the great-granddaughter of Henry Clay, and the third daughter of Thomas Hart Clay and Anna Gratz Clay. Her mother was the daughter of prominent Lexington businessman, Benjamin Gratz and his second wife, Anna Shelby Gratz. Benjamin Gratz's first marriage having been to Maria Gist, daughter of Nathaniel Gist, Henrietta Clay was thus related to several of the most prominent families in the early history of Lexington and central Kentucky. These included Francis Preston Blair and his sons, Montgomery Blair and Francis Preston Blair, Jr., the elder Blair having married a sister of Maria Gist Gratz.
This collection is comprised of papers of Henrietta Clay and various relatives. The latter included members of the Blair, Clay, Gist, Gratz, and Hart families. Gratz family materials (1763-1884) include correspondence and business papers which detail various personal, financial, and legal concerns of family members. The papers relate principally to Benjamin Gratz of Lexington; to his brothers in Philadelphia, Hyman, Jacob, Joseph, and Simon Gratz; to his sister, Rebecca Gratz; and to Benjamin's family in Lexington. Letters from Gratz's brothers often relate to common business interests such as land investments in Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, and to family matters. Letters from Rebecca Gratz to her brother Benjamin, his wife, and children, are present, several of which relate to the death of Gratz's son, Cary, a Union soldier killed during the Civil War. Also included are letters (1856-1881) of Montgomery Blair to Gratz written from Washington, D.C. where Blair practiced law and was postmaster general during the Lincoln administration. Letters detail business and political matters. Financial and legal records relating to the Gratz family include miscellaneous depositions, indentures, copies of deeds, surveys, properties inventories, and related correspondence. Materials detail a variety of individual and family investments with which Benjamin Gratz was concerned; many relate to his efforts to recover from the federal government losses sustained when a hemp warehouse in Lexington was destroyed by fire during the Civil War. Also of interest are papers relating to the United Illinois and Wabash Land Companies, an enterprise in which several Gratz brothers were apparently partners. Other materials present include fragmentary papers from a wide variety of Henrietta Clay relatives. These include miscellaneous letters to and from Thomas Hart (1787, 1794-?); Thomas Gist (1826); Ann E. Gist [Hart] (12 letters from childhood friend Maria Von Phul, 1803-1809); Thomas Hart Clay, son of Henry Clay (1850s); Thomas Hart Clay, grandson of Henry Clay (1870s-1890s); Anna Gratz Clay (1870-1921), and others. There is also information on the Forty-Second Regiment of the Kentucky Militia (1807-1812). Also present are personal papers of Henrietta Clay including correspondence (1930-1975), genealogical notes and manuscripts, financial records, a photograph album of the launching of the submarine, U.S.S. Henry Clay (ca. 1962), and other miscellaneous family photographs. Condition of material: fair (acid damage).
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