Public Dinner for Henry Clay

The Private Correspondence of Henry Clay, ed. by Calvin Colton, LL.D. (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1855), pp. 147-48


LEXINGTON, August 2,1826.

MY DEAR SIR, - My visit home has been altogether highly gratifying. Far from any abatement, there is an increase in the number and ardor of my friends, who have given me the strongest testimonies of their attachment. From Missouri I learn that Scott's prospect of re-election is promising. Cook's is unattended with any doubt. Senator Reed writes me from Mississippi in great confidence of his re-election, upon the distinct ground of supporting the Administration. In Ohio and Indiana things could not look better. I think we may assume, first, that the Western States, whose delegation voted for Mr. Adams, will continue to support him; and secondly, that Mississippi will probably be added to the number. You will have heard of Gurley's re-election, and rumor says that Brent has also succeeded.

I shall set out on the 11th for Washington via Kanawba [sic]. I go that route to take advantage of the Virginia Springs, to improve my health, which just begins to feel the benefit of absence from my office. Mrs. Clay will probably go through Ohio to see James, and we shall meet at Washington, where we are very anxious again to join our friends. I may halt a few days at the White Sulphur Springs, and therefore shall not probably reach Washington till early in September.

You will have seen the tragical end of Beauchamp and his unfortunate wife. We live in an age of romance. Ask Mrs. Johnston if the story might not be wrought up into a fine popular tragedy, one similar to George Barnwell?

Mrs. Clay joins me in the communication of cordial regards to Mrs. Johnston; and I add assurances of my sincere friendship to yourself, etc.


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, Va., August 24, 1826.

MY DEAR SIR, - I arrived without accident the day before yesterday, and after remaining about a week at it, for the use of the mineral waters, I propose resuming my journey about the 1st of September, and hope to reach the city the 10th or 12th. My health has improved on the journey, although I have not been able to secure all the tranquillity and abstraction from crowds which is necessary to its re-establishment; for they have invited me to a public dinner at Lewisburg, and not being able to assign any sufficient reason for declining it, I have accepted it. The administration has many friends in this quarter of Virginia.

There is much company at this place, but it shifts as frequently as the dramatis personae of a theater. It is chiefly from the Southern States.

I am driving a gig-horse, which, though not so fine or showy as your finest carriage-horse, I am inclined to think might answer as a tolerable match for him.

With my best regards to Mrs. Johnston, and the hope of seeing you both very soon, I am truly your friend.

P. S. Mrs. Clay was to leave Lexington on the 22d inst., to proceed to the city, by the Ohio route, and I expect will reach you about the time that I shall.

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