Henry Clay 1777-1852
Henry Clay was born in 1777 at Clay Spring, his family home, located just east of Ashland in the area known as “the slashes of Hanover County”. After law school in Virginia, Clay moved to Kentucky and rose to be a state and federal legislator and U.S. Secretary of State in 1825. He was three times a candidate for President. He was the author of the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 which delayed the start of the Civil War. When he became a politician, his biographers referred to his Hanover roots as the “Mill boy of the Slashes,” to stress his humble start when his family relied on him to carry grain to a mill near what became Ashland. By the time he died in 1852, he was known as one of the greatest orators and statesmen of his era.