12.28.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, Pg. 507-516



December 28, 1810

Henry Clay addresses a speech on the occupation of West Florida to the President. West Florida is considered the region lying between the Mississippi and Rio Perdido. Clay traces the occupational history of this region and claims that the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 included the territory.

“By the act of the 24th of February, 1804, for laying duties on goods imported into the ceded territories, the President is empowered, whenever he deems it expedient, to erect the bay and river Mobile, &c. into a separate district, and to establish therein a port of entry and delivery. By this same act the Orleans territory is laid off, and its boundaries are so defined as to comprehend West Florida.”

Clay addresses the potential fear that occupying West Florida will incite a conflict with Spain by proposing that a conflict with Spain shies in comparison to the loss of the territory to another power and, consequently, the weakening of the Union.

“Whether this be the fact or not, it cannot be doubted, that if you neglect the present auspicious moment—if you reject the proffered boon, some other nation, profiting by your errors, will seize the occasion to get a fatal footing in your southern frontier. I have no hesitation in saying, that if a parent country will not or cannot maintain its authority in a colony adjacent to us, and there exists in it a state or misrule and disorder, menacing our peace, and if moreover such a colony, by passing into the hands of any other power, would become dangerous to the integrity of the Union…”

The Papers of Henry Clay, Pg. 507-516

8.06.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 481



August 6, 1810

In a letter to Caesar A. Rodney, Clay expresses his views on France and Great Britain. He refers to the confiscation of property in France as an act of infamous treachery or even open robbery. However, the only injury that France could inflict on America would be an invasion, which would precipitate war with France. Clay is more concerned with redressing the injuries from Britain, and asserts that the Federalists focus on the potential war with France while disregarding British aggressions, which is “perfectly consistent with the uniform tenor of their conduct.”

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 481

5.31.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, Pg. 473



May 31, 1810

Clay informs Adam Beatty that he is no longer a candidate for the Senate. In a previous letter to Caesar A. Rodney (472), Clay claims that this decision is chiefly upon the advice of Rodney and his friend Burwell. Clay also contemplates serving out the term for which he is already appointed in the Senate, but doesn’t want to risk partial representation of his State. In offering for the House of Representatives, Clay says that he was influenced by a “partiality for the station, and by the wishes of some of his friends.” A few months later, Clay writes a letter to James Monroe, which he expresses his partiality to the nature of House of Representatives rather than the Senate, “preferring the turbulence (if I may be allowed the term) of a numerous body to the solemn stillness of the Senate Chamber, it was a mere matter of taste that lead me, perhaps injudiciously, to my station. I shall however continue in the Senate this Session.” (498)

The Papers of Henry Clay, Pg. 473

5.14.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 471



May 14, 1810

In his pursuit to represent the Fifth Congressional District, Clay makes the following statement to his electors: “I am not vain enough to suppose that, in the event of receiving your approbation, I shall carry with me into the House of Representatives the ability to advance in any material degree the interests of my country. All that I dare promise is, that those political principles, which have hitherto directed me, shall continue to be my guide; and that in honest zeal to promote the welfare of the nation I yield to no one.”

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 471

4.23.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 470



April 23, 1810

Henry Clay shows his concern for American industry in a letter to Adam Beatty on the subject of foreign affairs. He reports that a bill to augment the duties fifty percent has passed the House of Representatives, but fears that it won’t be concurred in by the Senate. If it passes, the bill will encourage manufactures. The bill is also temporary, and Clay would prefer a smaller augmentation that is durable.

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 470

4.07.2010

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 467-8



April 7, 1810

Resolution for Land Grants to Promote Emigration to Orleans Territory
This resolves that it is expedient to make provision by Law for encouraging emigration to the Orleans Territory of American Citizens, by making a suitable donation of certain portions of the public lands.

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 467-8