Lot #245
Henry Clay Letter Signed

This lot has closed

Estimate: $400+


LS signed “H. Clay,” one page, 7.5 x 9, August 9, 1827. Letter to Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton, in part: "I have received your letter of the 6th instant enclosing one from Mr. Boyd Smith which requested you to procure from him a protection from this Department. As the document attached to Mr. Smith's letter affords the evidence of his naturalization and his letter does not intimate any intention of going beyond the limits of the United States, it seems to me that any other document than the certificate of the Court would be superfluous. In compliance, however, with your request, I enclose, herewith, a passport the only document of this nature granted by this office." Clay adds the final words, "which I request you to do," in his own hand. In fine condition, with light show-through at the corners from old mounting remnants on the back.

Norton was a physician and agronomist (1791-1842), who is widely credited with developing the ‘Norton Grape,’ a standard of American wine-making. Following the death of his wife Elizabeth, he channeled his energy into experiments attempting to create a disease-resistant grape that could be used to create a uniquely American wine. This was especially desirable as disease had ravished the vineyards of Europe. After many failures while working at his home estate, ‘Magnolia Farm,’ he eventually was able to graft different plants to create a new grape that could thrive in varied conditions and avoid the diseases then plaguing the wine industry. Most of the Norton grape plants in the United States were pulled up during Prohibition. Since the 1960s, the grape has made a comeback in North America and is again widely planted.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Sports
  • Dates: #614 - Ended August 11, 2021

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