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The Clays of Alabama, The Clays of Alabama, 0817351256, 0-8173-5125-6, 978-0-8173-5125-0, 9780817351250,

The Clays of Alabama
A Planter-Lawyer-Politician Family
by Ruth Ketring Nuermberger

Quality Paper
2005. 352 pp.
978-0-8173-5125-0
Price:  $39.95 s

The story of a 19th-century aristocratic Alabama family
 
Of unique interest to the student of nineteenth century America is this account of the Alabama Clays, who in their private life were typical of the slaveholding aristocracy of the old South, but as lawyer-politicians played significant roles in state and national politics, in the development of the Democratic party, and in the affairs of the Confederacy.
 
In the period from 1811 to 1915, the Clays were involved in many of the great problems confronting the South. This study of the Clay family includes accounts of the wartime legislation of the Confederate Congress and the activities of the Confederate Commission in Canada. Equally interesting to many readers will be the intimate view of social life in ante-bellum Washington and the story of the domestic struggles of a plantation family during and after the war, as revealed through the letters of Clement Claiborne Clay and his wife Virginia.
 
Ruth Ketring Nuermberger received the her PhD from Duke University, where she served as curator of manuscripts at the university library from 1930 to 1941
“This volume gives evidence of many years of careful research and reflection. It is a sound study of the influence of the landowning southern aristocracy in state and national affairs. Members of the Clay family, like many others of the antebellum period, combined law, agriculture, and politics. They lived the ‘good life’ of the planter class and struggled to defend what they considered southern rights. The Clement C. Clays, father and son, both distinguished themselves in the U.S. Senate [and] the latter also served in the Confederate Senate.”
Mississippi Valley Historical Review
 
“The history of one of Alabama’s most distinguished families. . . . The author succeeds in the difficult task of making the past come alive again, and she does it by the skillful employment of a multitudinous number of sources.”
—Alabama Review

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