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He was the youngest son of General Green Clay and Sally Lewis Clay.Although raised by one of the wealthiest landowners and largest slaveholders in Kentucky, Cassius did not approve of the institution of slavery. Clay was very well educated for the time, attending both Transylvania University and Yale University, earning a Law degree.This marriage lasted only four years and did not result in any children. Clay continued to fight for the equal rights of African Americans to the end of his life.Clay passed away on July 22, 1903, and as a testament to his antislavery work, mourners at his death included both the white and African-American population.It was while he was at Yale that Clay heard the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison speak. Afterwards Clay devoted a great portion of his life to speaking out against the "peculiar institution" and fought for the gradual emancipation of slaves, freeing the slaves that he legally owned in 1844.Clay's opinions regarding slavery did not meet with much approval; however he did not let widespread opinion deter him.Clay served in the General Assembly on three separate occasions and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1851. Clay's military career was impressive; he served honorably as a captain in the Kentucky Militia in the Mexican-American War. His group, called the Clay Battalion, protected the White House until federal troops arrived. Clay's first wife was Mary Jane Warfield Clay, to whom he was married to for forty-five years and had ten children with.
From every humble Negro cottage along the roadside and at every cross roads, the mothers and large children carrying those who were too little to walk, the Negroes were lined up to pay their last respects to the man whom they honored as the Abraham Lincoln of Kentucky."Because of his outspokenness against slavery in a pro-slavery area, his willingness to fight for those beliefs, and scandal within his own personal life, Clay had been one of the most controversial Kentuckians of his time; yet, his support of Lincoln and of the Union helped to preserve the United States. A unique set of Emancipation papers for a slave family freed by Cassius M. Three separate emancipation papers 8" X 10" all written on vellum.All are dated January 13th, 1845 and finalized the next day January 14th, 1845.All datelined at Fayette County, Lexington, KY.[a] Manumission paper for the Negro man belonging to C. Clay named DAVID aged 31 years of age about 6 foot in height and of dark complexion and a stout person.This paper formally declared DAVID to be a free man of color and a certificate of freedom is granted to him.A 0 penalty sum was paid by Clay to complete the manumission.[b] Manumission paper for the Negro woman named LOTTY belonging to C. Clay aged 25 years of age about 5'3" of dark complexion and "tolerably likely".