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CLAVIJO Y FAJARDO—CLAY, HENRY

CLAVIJO Y FAJARDO, JOSÉ (1730–1806), Spanish publicist, was born at Lanzarote (Canary Islands) in 1730. He settled in Madrid, became editor of El Pensador, and by his campaign against the public performance of autos sacramentales secured their prohibition in 1765. In 1770 he was appointed director of the royal theatres, a post which he resigned in order to take up the editorship of the Mercurio histórico y politico de Madrid: at the time of his death in 1806 he was secretary to the Cabinet of Natural History. He had in abundance the courage, perseverance and gift of pungent expression which form the equipment of the aggressive journalist, but his work would long since have been forgotten were it not that it put an end to a peculiarly national form of dramatic exposition, and that his love affair with one of Beaumarchais’ sisters suggested the theme of Goethe’s first publication, Clavigo.


CLAY, CASSIUS MARCELLUS (1810–1903), American politician, was born in Madison county, Kentucky, on the 19th of October 1810. He was the son of Green Clay (1757–1826), a Kentucky soldier of the war of 1812 and a relative of Henry Clay. He was educated at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, and at Yale, where he graduated in 1832. Influenced to some extent by William Lloyd Garrison, he became an advocate of the abolition of slavery, and on his return to his native state, at the risk of social and political ostracism, he gave utterance to his belief. He studied law, but instead of practising devoted himself to a political career. In 1835, 1837 and 1840 he was elected as a Whig to the Kentucky legislature, where he advocated a system of gradual emancipation, and secured the establishment of a public school system, and a much-needed reform in the jury system. In 1841 he was defeated on account of his abolition views. In 1844 he delivered campaign speeches for Henry Clay throughout the North. In 1845 he established, at Lexington, Kentucky, an anti-slavery publication known as The True American, but in the same year his office and press were wrecked by a mob, and he removed the publication office to Cincinnati, Ohio. During this and the earlier period of his career his zeal and hot temper involved him in numerous personal encounters and several duels, in all of which he bore himself with a reckless bravery. In the Mexican War he served as a captain of a Kentucky company of militia, and was taken prisoner, while reconnoitring, during General Scott’s advance on the City of Mexico. He left the Whig party in 1850, and as an anti-slavery candidate for governor of Kentucky polled 5000 votes. In 1856 he joined the Republican party, and wielded considerable influence as a Southern representative in its councils. In 1860 he was a leading candidate for the vice-presidential nomination. In 1861 he was sent by President Lincoln as minister to Russia; in 1862 he returned to America to accept a commission as major-general of volunteers, but in March 1863 was reappointed to his former post at St Petersburg, where he remained until 1869. Disapproving of the Republican policy of reconstruction, he left the party, and in 1872 was one of the organizers of the Liberal-Republican revolt, and was largely instrumental in securing the nomination of Horace Greeley for the presidency. In the political campaigns of 1876 and 1880 he supported the Democratic candidate, but rejoined the Republican party in the campaign of 1884. He died at Whitehall, Kentucky, on the 22nd of July 1903.

See his autobiography, The Life, Memoirs, Writings, and Speeches of Cassius Marcellus Clay (Cincinnati, 1896); and The Writings of Cassius Marcellus Clay (edited with a “Memoir” by Horace Greeley. New York, 1848).


CLAY, CHARLES (1801–1893), English surgeon, was born at Bredbury, near Stockport, on the 27th of December 1801. He began his medical education as a pupil of Kinder Wood in Manchester (where he used to attend John Dalton’s lectures on chemistry), and in 1821 went to Edinburgh to continue his studies there. Qualifying in 1823, he began a general practice in Ashton-under-Lyne, but in 1839 removed to Manchester to practise as an operative and consulting surgeon. It was there that, in 1842, he first performed the operation of ovariotomy with which his name is associated. On this occasion it was perfectly successful, and when in 1865 he published an analysis of 111 cases he was able to show a mortality only slightly above 30%. Although his merits in this matter have sometimes been denied, his claim to the title “Father of Ovariotomy” is now generally conceded, and it is admittted that he deserves the credit not only of having shown how that operation could be made a success, but also of having played an important part in the advance of abdominal surgery for which the 19th century was conspicuous. In spite of the claims of a heavy practice, Clay found time for the pursuit of geology and archaeology. Among the books of which he was the author were a volume of Geological Sketches of Manchester (1839) and a History of the Currency of the Isle of Man (1849), and his collections included over a thousand editions of the Old and New Testaments and a remarkably complete series of the silver and copper coins of the United States. He died at Poulton-le-Fylde, near Preston, on the 19th of September 1893.


CLAY, FREDERIC (1838–1889), English musical composer, the son of James Clay, M.P., who was celebrated as a player of whist and a writer on that subject, was born in Paris on the 3rd of August 1838. He studied music under W. B. Molique in Paris and Moritz Hauptmann at Leipzig. With the exception of a few songs and two cantatas, The Knights of the Cross (1866) and Lalla Rookh (1877),—the latter of which contained his well-known song “I’ll sing thee songs of Araby,”—his compositions were all written for the stage. Clay’s first public appearance was made with an opera entitled Court and Cottage, the libretto of which was written by Tom Taylor. This was produced at Covent Garden in 1862, and was followed by Constance (1865), Ages Ago (1869), and Princess Toto (1875), to name only three of many works which have long since been forgotten. The last two, which were written to libretti by W. S. Gilbert, are among Clay’s most tuneful and most attractive works. He wrote part of the music for Babil and Bijou (1872) and The Black Crook (1873), both of which were produced at the Alhambra. He also furnished incidental music for a revival of Twelfth Night and for the production of James Albery’s Oriana. His last works, The Merry Duchess (1883) and The Golden Ring (1883), the latter written for the reopening of the Alhambra, which had been burned to the ground the year before, showed an advance upon his previous work, and rendered all the more regrettable the stroke of paralysis which crippled his physical and mental energies during the last few years of his life. He died at Great Marlow on the 24th of November 1889.


CLAY, HENRY (1777–1852), American statesman and orator, was born in Hanover county, Virginia, on the 12th of April 1777, and died in Washington on the 29th of June 1852. Few public characters in the United States have been the subject of more heated controversy. His enemies denounced him as a pretender, a selfish intriguer, and an abandoned profligate; his supporters placed him among the sages and sometimes even among the saints. He was an arranger of measures and leader of political forces, not an originator of ideas and systems. His public life covered nearly half a century, and his name and fame rest entirely upon his own merits. He achieved his success despite serious obstacles. He was tall, rawboned and awkward; his early instruction was scant; but he “read books,” talked well, and so, after his admission to the bar at Richmond, Virginia, in 1797, and his removal next year to Lexington, Kentucky, he quickly acquired a reputation and a lucrative income from his law practice.

Thereafter, until the end of life, and in a field where he met, as either friend or foe, John Quincy Adams, Gallatin, Madison, Monroe, Webster, Jackson, Calhoun, Randolph and Benton, his political activity was wellnigh ceaseless. At the age of twenty-two (1799), he was elected to a constitutional convention in Kentucky; at twenty-six, to the Kentucky legislature; at twenty-nine, while yet under the age limit of the United States constitution, he was appointed to an unexpired term (1806–1807) in the United States Senate, where, contrary to custom, he at once plunged into business, as though he had been there all his life. He again served in the Kentucky legislature