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Clement Claiborne Ton (December 13, 1816 – January 31, 1882 ) is a United States Senator from 1853 to 1861 and a Confederate States Senator from 1861 to 1863. His portrait appears on the one dollar notes ( 4 th Edition ab) issued by the Confederates.
Believed to be involved in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, he and his wife Virginia Clay-Clopton were imprisoned at Fort Monroe in 1865, where they remained prisoners for about a year.
Before the war
Clement Claiborne Clay is the eldest son of Clement Comer Clay, a former Senator and Governor of Alabama. In 1843 he married Virginia Tunstall, later known as Virginia Clay-Clopton.
Clay was educated at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, where he graduated in 1834. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a law degree in 1839 and was appointed to the Alabama Bar in 1840.
He was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives in 1842, 1844, and 1845. He then became a judge in Madison County, Alabama, serving from 1848 to 1850. He then ran for election to the United States Congress in 1850 and was not elected.
On the other hand, he was elected to the United States Senate, serving from November 29, 1853 to January 21, 1861. He is known for his moderate positions on the Southern Right. Nonetheless, his speech before the Senate on Kentucky’s entry into the United States as a slave state gains national attention. During his time in the Senate, he became friends with Jefferson Davis.
He left the Senate when his state ceded Alabama during the Civil War. He declined the post of Secretary of War in, argue health problems. He was then elected Senator to the First Confederate States Congress from 1862 to 1864. However, his refusal to support the increase in the number of soldiers cost him his seat in the 1863 election.
Jefferson Davis sends him to Canada as a secret envoy, but gets no results. He participated with other Confederate agents in developing anti-Union actions, including the raid from St. Albans, Vermont. Clay is then implicated in the theft of $200,000 and the death of a townsman. He was then expelled from Canada.
He returned to Richmond on during the evacuation of the city. ThatHe learns that he is being charged in connection with the investigation into President Lincoln’s assassination. He surrendered to federal authorities and was imprisoned at Fort Monroe at the date the charges against him will be dropped.
After the war
He died in Madison County, Alabama, in 1882 and is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.
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