Chapter

Legacy of Family

Lindsey Apple

in The Family Legacy of Henry Clay

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780813134109
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813135908 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813134109.003.0009
Legacy of Family

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This chapter describes one of the major legacies left by the patriarch and strengthened by the Clay myth. The blessings of being a Clay were preached to each generation sometimes to the point that a great gift became a burden. The genius of the Patriarch rested in their blood; each new member was taught the confidence inherent to the name and the duty to honor it by suitable behavior and contribution. Weaknesses were dismissed, cautioned against, or turned into virtues. At its worst the legacy helped enshrine the principles of the lost cause, created pressure on young minds, or inculcated a sense of entitlement. The Clays fought with each other but adopted a siege mentality when attacked from outside, even purging the papers to protect the family myth. At its best the legacy helped overcome inherited weaknesses, produced confidence, and insured a stream of contribution.

Keywords: legacy of family; gift; Patriarch; genius; sense of entitlement; duty; weakness; siege mentality; contribution

Chapter.  14523 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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