Kentucky Clay

Kentucky Clay
Kentucky Clay

Kentucky Clay

Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty
By Katherine R. Bateman


256 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Cloth, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

ISBN 9781556527951

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Nov 2008)


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A lively exploration of both family and country from a Clay daughter's perspective 

Eleven generations of a founding American family are examined in this sweeping history that traces the Clays of Kentucky, a true Southern dynasty. The Clays of Virginia and the Cecils of Maryland were second sons of the English aristocracy who gambled on the New World. Some of the most well-known members of this clan include Henry Clay, who ran for president against James K. Polk; his cousin, Cassius Marcellus Clay, prominent abolitionist and Lincoln’s advisor against slavery; and the matriarch Kizzie Clay, who buried the family silver and escaped by flatboat to avoid marauding Union soldiers. The history of the early colonial period in America—from the time of their arrival in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1613 and St. Mary’s, Maryland, in 1634 through the trek across Virginia to the Appalachian Mountains, their eventual intermarriage in 1800, and their move across the mountains to Kentucky—comes to life through this well-researched family saga that heralds the adventures and accomplishments of the men in the family, as well as reveals the stories and nontraditional roles of the strong, selfish, and headstrong women.


"With wit and candor, Bateman reveals her lifelong struggle to avoid the disturbing patterns of [her family's colorful] legacy, while mining the emotional gifts passed on to her."  —Nancy Horan, author, Loving Frank

"With storytelling skill, historical research, and a questioning imagination, Katherine Bateman follows her family's odyssey in America since the seventeenth century."  —Jean B. Lee, professor of history, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This riveting book is at once a journey into centuries of the American past and a deeply personal family saga, coupling the author’s meticulous historical research with her passionate curiosity and vivid imagination."  —Ronne Hartfield, author, Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family

"A most readable family history."  —The Decatur Daily

"Beautifully printed and well-illustrated."  —

"A rich narrative."  —Blue Ridge Country

"Sweeping…well-researched."  —Southern Seasons

"Fascinating . . . deeply felt and deeply personal."  —California Literary Review

Author Biography

Katherine Bateman is the author of The Young Investor. She is a former professor of art history at both Berea College in Kentucky and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.