CLAY, James Brown (1817-1864)

CLAY, JAMES BROWN, (son of Henry Clay; relative of John Fleming), a Representative from Kentucky; born in Washington, D.C., November 9, 1817; pursued preparatory studies; attended Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., and Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; clerk in a countinghouse in Boston 1832-1834; studied law at Lexington Law School; was admitted to the bar and practiced with his father in Lexington; Charg? d'Affaires to Portugal from August 1, 1849, to July 19, 1850; was a resident of Missouri in 1851 and 1852, when he returned to Lexington, Ky.; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1859); was not a candidate for renomination in 1858; declined the appointment by President Buchanan to a mission to Germany; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; during the Civil War identified himself with the Confederacy; died in Montreal, Canada, January 26, 1864, where he had gone for his health; interment in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1853, 1 letter.
Letter of James B. Clay, 1853.

Papers: Henry Clay Family Papers, 1732-1927, 30 linear feet.
Persons represented include James B. Clay. A finding aid is available in the library. The collection is also available on microfilm.


Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: 1849-1850, 62 items.
Papers of James B. Clay while serving as the Charge d'Affairs to Portugal including correspondence and financial statements. Letters from the United States comment on the "radical" constitution in Kentucky and other events of the time.

  • Clay, James B. Speech of J.B. Clay of Kentucky on our foreign policy, delivered in the House of Representatives, Feburary 7, 1859. Washington: Lemuel Towers, 1859.
  • ------. Speech of Hon. James B. Clay, of Kentucky, on the neutrality laws; delivered in the House of Representatives, January 13, 1858. Washington: Printed at the Congressional Globe Office, 1858.
  • Pearce, James Alfred. Old line Whigs for Buchanan & Breckinridge. Letters from Hon. James Alfred Pearce, and Hon. Thomas G. Pratt, to the Whigs of Maryland. Speeches of Hon. J. W. Crisfield, of Maryland, and Hon. James B. Clay, of Kentucky. [N.p., 1856].