Lot #169
Henry Clay Autograph Letter Signed

Clay on his 'unexpected defeat' by Polk in 1844
This lot has closed

Estimate: $800+


Clay on his 'unexpected defeat' by Polk in 1844

ALS signed “H. Clay,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, December 2, 1844. Handwritten letter to Dudley Selden, despairing over being “unexpectedly defeated” by James K. Polk in the 1844 presidential election. In part: "I am happy to receive a letter from you, conveying an assurance that, altho' we have been most unexpectedly defeated, all our friends manifested solidarity to one cause. I had no reason to doubt that such was the fact…We have failed, in consequence of the most extraordinary of circumstances. I suppose that no alternative is left to us but that of submission as well as we can, adherence to our principles and to one organization, and to exert one utmost endeavor yet to save our country." In fine condition. Democratic nominee James K. Polk won by a mere 5,106 votes out of 470,062 cast in New York, and only 3,422 out of 52,096 votes in Michigan. Had enough of these voting blocks cast their ballots for the anti-annexationist Clay in either state, he would have defeated Polk.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021

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