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    Henry Clay Autograph Document Signed "H. Clay p.q.," one page, 6.5" x 8". Woodford County, Kentucky, c. 1800-1801. In part, "To wit John Long complains of Lewis Craig Jun in Custody &c of a plea that he render to him the sum of £50 Kentucky Currency which to him he owes and from him unjustly detains..." On May 30, 1799, Craig signed a promissory note for fifty pounds which he promised to pay Long on December 25, 1799. Clay continues, "Nevertheless the said deft, although often required, the said sum of £50 or any part thereof to the said plt hath not paid; but the same to him to pay hitherto hath refused & still doth refuse to the damage of the plt £ and therefore he brings suit &c." Clay has written "Pledges J Doe & R Roe" at the lower left. It had once been necessary to find pledges or sureties to prosecute a suit and the names of the pledges were added at the foot of the document. It later became unnecessary and the pledges were merely nominal persons. J[ohn] Doe and R[ichard] Roe are used in this document as they are still used today, to designate persons unknown. The letters "p.q." after Clay's signature stands for "pro querente," representing the plaintiff. Filing notes on verso in Clay's hand: "1801 March contd Decl/Apl Decl fild/C O r Deft & secy." Twenty-year-old Henry Clay was admitted to the bar in 1797 and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1803. In 1806, Clay was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Adair and served from November 19, 1806 to March 3, 1807, despite being younger than the constitutional age limit 30. He didn't turn 30 until April 12, 1807; no one objected. Lightly soiled, uniformly tanned. Fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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