Olin Norwood


Clement Claiborne Clay, 1816-1886, was a son of Governor Clement Comer Clay of Alabama. He was a lawyer by profession, and in 1851 was a county judge. Two years later he was elected to the U. S. Senate, where he served until the outbreak of the Civil War. He declined to be the first Confederate Secretary of War, but was a Confederate senator from 1861 until 1863. In 1864 he undertook a highly secret mission to Canada on behalf of the Confederacy, the results of which are still not completely known. He was accused of participating in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, and spent over a year in solitary confinement at Fortress Monroe, Virginia. Through the efforts of his wife, Virginia Caroline (Tunstall) Clay, he was released by President Johnson in 1866. After his release from prison he retired from public life.