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Alexander S. Clay Papers

Alexander S. Clay Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Alexander S. Clay Papers
Creator: Clay, Alexander Stephens, 1853-1910.
Inclusive Dates: 1900-1951
Bulk Dates: 1901-1910
Extent: 3 box(es) (2.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL435
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Alexander Stephens Clay (1853-1910) was born near Powder Springs in Cobb County, Georgia on September 25, 1853. Clay graduated from Hiawassee College (Madisonville, Tennessee) in 1875, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1877. He practiced law in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia and served on the city council from 1880 to 1881. Clay was a member of the George House of Representatives from 1884 to 1887 and 1889-1890, serving as speaker pro tempore from 1886-1887 and 1889-1890; and a member of the Georgia State Senate from 1892 to 1894, serving as its president from 1892 to 1893. Clay also served as chairman of the Georgia State Democratic Executive Committee from 1894 to 1896. In 1896, Clay was elected to the United States Senate and served until his death in 1910. During his time in the U.S. Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Fifty-ninth Congress) and the Committee on Woman Suffrage (Sixty-first Congress).

Alexander Stephens Clay was married to Sara Frances White Clay (1861-1940) of Lithia Springs, Douglas County, Georgia. Together they had five children: Eugene Herbert Clay (1881-1923), Alexander Stephens Clay (1886-1934), Frank Butner Clay (1888-1920), Ryburn Glover Clay (1891-1955), and Lucius DuBignon Clay (1897-1978) [Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. Zone, Germany, 1947-1949]. Alexander Clay died in Atlanta, Georgia on November 13, 1910 and is buried in Marietta City Cemetery.

Scope and Content

The Alexander S. Clay Papers is one of the earliest collections of Congressional papers held by the Russell Library and documents the beginnings of modern, federal policy-making in the twentieth century. The collection consists of correspondence between Senator Clay and his constituents, government officials and public servants, members of his family, and others between 1900 and 1914. Most of the letters are incoming correspondence. Topics discussed in the correspondence include the appointment of postmasters and other civil servants, nominations for students seeking admission to the United States Military Academy (West Point) and Naval Academy (Annapolis), tariffs and international trade legislation, the opening of the Panama Canal, U.S. Supreme Court cases and justice appointments, women's suffrage, Prohibition, Georgia gubernatorial elections, the 1908 presidential election, expansion of rural postal delivery service, relations between the United States and the Philippines, and the 1910 federal census. Also included in the collection are letters received after Clay's death, a photograph, postage stamps, and U.S. Army records from the 31st Regiment of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry (which Clay's son, Frank Butner Clay, served in as a captain) that were collected by the Clay family.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers are arranged in two series: I. Correspondence and II. Military Records, Stamps, and Photograph.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation

Alexander S. Clay Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding Aid prepared by Brandon Pieczko and Agozie Onyirimba, May 2018.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Clay, Frank Butner, 1888-1920
Congressional records.
Governors -- Georgia -- Election.
Marietta (Ga.)
Military records.
Panama Canal (Panama)
Postage Stamps
Postal service -- Georgia
Presidents -- Election
Prohibition -- United States
Tariff -- United States
United States. Congress. Senate
United States. Supreme Court
Women -- Suffrage -- United States.

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Letters to Alexander Stephens Clay (1907-1908), Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Alexander Stephens Clay letter to Lawrence F. Bower(1896 December 22), Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Clark Howell family papers (1873-1946), Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series I. Correspondence, 1900-1914

Correspondence , 1900
11Correspondence, A-Z, 1900
Correspondence , 1901 Feb-April
12Correspondence, A, 1901 Feb-April
13Correspondence, C, 1901 Feb-April
14Correspondence, D, 1901 Feb-April
15Correspondence, E-F, 1901 Feb-April
16Correspondence, G, 1901 Feb-April
17Correspondence, H-J, 1901 Feb-April
18Correspondence, K-L, 1901 Feb-April
19Correspondence, M, 1901 Feb-April
110Correspondence, N-O, 1901 Feb-April
111Correspondence, P-Q, 1901 Feb-April
112Correspondence, R, 1901 Feb-April
113Correspondence, S, 1901 Feb-April
114Correspondence, T-V, 1901 Feb-April
115Correspondence, W, 1901 Feb-April
116Correspondence, Y-Z, 1901 Feb-April
Correspondence , 1901 April-Dec
117Correspondence, A, 1901 April-Dec
118Correspondence, B, 1901 April-Dec
119Correspondence, C, 1901 April-Dec
120Correspondence, D, 1901 April-Dec
121Correspondence, E, 1901 April-Dec
122Correspondence, F, 1901 April-Dec
123Correspondence, G, 1901 April-Dec
124Correspondence, H, 1901 April-Dec
125Correspondence, J-L, 1901 April-Dec
126Correspondence, M, 1901 April-Dec
127Correspondence, N-O, 1901 April-Dec
128Correspondence, P-Q, 1901 April-Dec
129Correspondence, R, 1901 April-Dec
130Correspondence, S, 1901 April-Dec
131Correspondence, T-V, 1901 April-Dec
132Correspondence, W-Z, 1901 April-Dec
Correspondence , 1901 June-Sept
133Correspondence, A, 1901 June-Sept
134Correspondence, B, 1901 June-Sept
135Correspondence, C, 1901 June-Sept
136Correspondence, D, 1901 June-Sept
137Correspondence, E-F, 1901 June-Sept
138Correspondence, G, 1901 June-Sept
139Correspondence, H-J, 1901 June-Sept
140Correspondence, K-L, 1901 June-Sept
141Correspondence, M, 1901 June-Sept
142Correspondence, N-O, 1901 June-Sept
143Correspondence, P-Q, 1901 June-Sept
144Correspondence, R, 1901 June-Sept
145Correspondence, S, 1901 June-Sept
146Correspondence, T-V, 1901 June-Sept
147Correspondence, W-Z, 1901 June-Sept
Correspondence , 1902
148Correspondence, A, 1902
149Correspondence, B, 1902
150Correspondence, C, 1902
151Correspondence, D, 1902
153Correspondence, G, 1902
154Correspondence, H-J, 1902
155Correspondence, K-L, 1902
156Correspondence, M, 1902
157Correspondence, N-O, 1902
158Correspondence, P-Q, 1902
159Correspondence, R, 1902
160Correspondence, S, 1902
161Correspondence, T-V, 1902
162Correspondence, W-Z, 1902
Correspondence , 1907
21Correspondence, A, 1907
22Correspondence, B, 1907
23Correspondence, C, 1907
24Correspondence, D, 1907
25Correspondence, E-F, 1907
26Correspondence, G, 1907
27Correspondence, H-J, 1907
28Correspondence, K-L, 1907
29Correspondence, M, 1907
210Correspondence, N-O, 1907
211Correspondence, P-Q, 1907
212Correspondence, R, 1907
213Correspondence, S, 1907
214Correspondence, T-V, 1907
215Correspondence, W-Z, 1907
Correspondence , 1908
Topics discussed in correspondence from this year include the 1908 presidential election between William Howard Taft and William Jennings Bryan, the defeat of Hoke Smith in the Georgia gubernatorial election, the 1910 U.S. Census, taiffs, immigration, and the Supreme Court case Weems v. United States (217 U.S. 349 1910).
216Correspondence, A, 1908
217Correspondence, B, 1908
218Correspondence, C, 1908
219Correspondence, D, 1908
220Correspondence, E-F, 1908
Contains correspondence concerning the impact of the Digley Act tariffs on baryte mining operations in Murray County, Georgia.
221Correspondence, G, 1908
222Correspondence, H-J, 1908
223Correspondence, K-L, 1908
224Correspondence, M, 1908
Includes letters of opposition from labor unions and others constituents to a proposed increase in immigration and calls for increased inforcement of existing immigration laws and a letter from the Secretary of the Comte de Libre-Cambio in Manila concerning free trade between the U.S. and the Philippines.
225Correspondence, N-O, 1908
Contains correspondence concerning the planning of the 1910 U.S. Census (includes a letter from the director of the Bureau of the Census).
226Correspondence, P-Q, 1908
Topics include the 1908 presidential election between William Howard Taft and William Jennings Bryan and proposed changes to the government structure for the District of Columbia (establishing one district leader instead of three commissioners).
227Correspondence, R, 1908
228Correspondence, S, 1908
Includes correspondence with Furniford McLendel Simmons, U.S Senator from North Carolina (1901 to 1931).
229Correspondence, T-V, 1908
Contains correspondence concerning the use of jute fabric for bagging cotton.
230Correspondence, W-Z, 1908
Contains correspondence with Paul A. Weems, associate editor at The Colonial and Philippines Monthly Review in Manila and plantif in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Weems v. United States (217 U.S. 349 1910). In the letters, Weems is requesting a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case concerned the "cruel and unusal punishment" Weems was sentenced to by a Philippines court after being convicted of falsifying documents while working as a distributing officer at the Bureau of Coast Guard and Transportation.
Correspondence , 1909
Topics discussed in correspondence from this year include a visit by President Taft to Georgia (as reported by W.N. Ainsworth, president of Wesleyan Female College in Macon); international tariffs on agricultural products from the U.S. (including potash salts exported to Germany); Clay's support for the appointment of Horace H. Lurton to the U.S. Supreme Court; and a proposed bill (44th Congress, Session 1, H.R. 10762) that would reduce rates, improve service, and increase revenue for the postal service.
231Correspondence, A, 1909
232Correspondence, B, 1909
233Correspondence, C, 1909
Contains a letter from the Library of Congress that includes a list of books checked out by Senator Clay, a letter from the White House secretary of the president acknowledging Clay's support for the appointment of Horace H. Lurton to the U.S. Supreme Court, and correspondence concerning the employment of African Americans as census enumerators and postal service mail carriers.
234Correspondence, D, 1909
235Correspondence, E-F, 1909
236Correspondence, G, 1909
237Correspondence, H-J, 1909
Topics include legislation proposing the prohibition of alcohol in the Territory of Hawaii (S.B. 1862).
238Correspondence, K-L, 1909
Contains letters letters of support, written in English and the Hawaiian language, for a Senate bill that would prohibit alcohol in the Territory of Hawaii (S.B. 1862).
239Correspondence, M, 1909
240Correspondence, N-O, 1909
241Correspondence, P-Q, 1909
242Correspondence, R, 1909
243Correspondence, S, 1909
Topics include a proposed ammendment to the Constitution of Alabama to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and possession of alcohol in the state.
244Correspondence, T-V, 1909
245Correspondence, W-Z, 1909
Topics include an outbreak of Typhoid fever at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia and a proposal to hold a National Exposition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Correspondence , 1910
Topics discussed in correspondence from this year include civil service appointments (especially postmasters) and military academy references, the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909, Georgia gubernatorial and state legislature campaigns, women's suffrage, and the opening of the Panama Canal.
246Correspondence, A, 1910
247Correspondence, B, 1910
Contains a letter from Georgia state representative and mayor of Sparta, William H. Burwell, about his desire to become speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives and the support he received from Hoke Smith.
248Correspondence, C, 1910
249Correspondence, D, 1910
250Correspondence, E-F, 1910
Contains correspondence concerning a bid by the city of New Orleans to host the Panama Exhibition commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal.
251Correspondence, G, 1910
252Correspondence, H-J, 1910
Topics and correspondents include the National Women's Suffrage Convention and Henry S. Jackson (president of the State League of Taft Clubs of Georgia).
253Correspondence, K-L, 1910
Topics include the election of Hoke Smith as governor and New Orleans's bid to host the Panama Exhibition.
254Correspondence, M, 1910
Topics include the National Guard of Georgia and a hearing held by the Congressional Committee on Women's Suffrage.
255Correspondence, N-O, 1910
256Correspondence, P-Q, 1910
Topics include San Francisco's bid to host the Panama Exhibition and a Congressional Committee on Women's Suffrage meeting held on April 19.
257Correspondence, R, 1910
31Correspondence, S, 1910
Topics include New Orleans's bid to host the Panama Exhibition, a bill proposing the establishment of a federal department of public health and a secretary of public health as a cabinet position, the Panama Canal and its impact on trade with Latin America, the gubernatorial race between Joseph M. Brown and Hoke Smith, and a hearing held by the Congressional Committee on Women's Suffrage (includes letters written by women from around the country requesting a copy of the report from Senator Clay).
32Correspondence, T-V, 1910
33Correspondence, W-Z, 1910
Correspondence , 1911
34Correspondence, A-Z, 1911
Correspondence , 1913
35Correspondence, A-Z, 1913
Correspondence , 1914
36Correspondence, A-Z, 1914
Correspondence , undated
37Correspondence, A-Z, undated

Series II. Military Records, Stamps, and Photograph, 1905-1951

38[U.S Army Georgia 31st Volunteer Infantry Records], 1914
39[Postage Stamps], circa 1910-1951
310[Unidentified Photograph], 1905 September