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Henry Clay memorial on the Capitol grounds, 1865
Henry Clay memorial on the Capitol grounds, 1865

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The Day Henry Clay Died
June 29, 1852

Had Texas (a slave-holding state) been allowed into the Union, it would have upset the balance of slave-holding and free states. (Texas was eventually admitted into the Union in late 1845.) In his famous speech on February 6, 1850, Clay argued for the preservation of the Union. Clay prayed, "I implore, as the best blessing which Heaven can bestow upon me upon earth, that if the direful and sad event of the dissolution of the Union shall happen, I may not survive to behold the sad and heart-rending spectacle." His prayer was granted when he died in 1852, nine years before the start of the Civil War. Even though he could not prevent the war, do you think Henry Clay still deserves his reputation as a great compromiser?
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