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Henry Clay Statue - Pottsville, PA

Henry Clay was born in 1777 in Virginia. He became a lawyer in Virginia in 1797. Henry then moved to Kentucky and was a slave owner. Reportedly he inherited the slaves and married into a family that also had slaves. Upon his death in 1852 he freed all the slaves he owned and paid for some of their future endeavors.

He lost 3 presidential elections to John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. Over his political career as a Senator, Speaker of the House, US Representative, etc. he was known as The Great Compromiser and the Great Pacifier.

As a Senator, Mr. Clay pushed through tariffs on foreign coal and iron which made a lot of people in Pottsville rich. The tariffs forced more iron to be produced in the United States which caused a greater demand for anthracite coal.

Samuel Silliman, a local mine owner, conceived the idea for the monument. The cast iron statue is 15 feet tall atop a 51 foot cast iron column, weighing almost 30 tons and took 3 years to build. It was dedicated July 4, 1855. A staircase to the monument was proposed but never built.

The statue is located in Pottsville, PA on Bunker Hill. We had a hard time finding where to park to get a good photo of the statue.

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