John M. Clay son of Henry Clay

In 1844 John M. Clay, of Lexington, the youngest son of the great orator and statesman, was challenged by a Philidelphian named Hopkins, and both proceeded to Maysville to fight. Clay had a letter from his father to Mitchell, who at once proceeded to put him in training. The next morning Clay remarke'd to Mitchell that were it not for his age and probable unwillingness to participate in such an affair, that he would prefer him as a second to any one living.

"Oh, no," said Mitchell, firing under his left leg and peeling a two- inch sapling at twenty yards, "By Gad, sir, not too old yet to enjoy life." This idea of enjoying existence was quite a novel one to young Clay, whose blood ran cold at the suggestion. Hopkins withdrew his challenge, and the fight did not come off.

In his later years he was sent to the legislature from Mason County and served one term. He died in June, 1861, of heart disease. He rwas a strong Union man, and his last days were spent in lamenting that 'he was not at Fort Sumter with Major Anderson and been buried bet ,neath the ruins. He wanted to die amid the storm and whirlwind of battle instead of on a bed of a painful and lingering disease.

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