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Abolition/Abolitionists: Primary Sources in Special Collections: Primary Sources in Special Collections

This guide will help you find primary source material on Abolition and/or Abolitionists.

How to Use Primary Sources

For tips on how to conduct research using primary sources, click here.

Primary Manuscript Sources Without Online Finding Aids

Cassius Marcellus Clay Papers, 1843-1902. This is a collection of letters and papers of the famous emancipationist, Cassius M. Clay, son of the wealthy Kentucky slave owner Green Clay. More than twenty accessions make up this collection. Included are several items in which Clay expresses his antislavery views: two broadsides relating to the dissolution of Clay's newspaper The True American (Accession #56M89 and 60M92), letters to Pliny Warren in 1846 (Accession #55M8), and to Gerritt Smith regarding The True American in 1845 (Accession #60M91). Accession #59M350 (Reels 16 and 17) is a large and heterogeneous collection on microfilm, consisting mainly of letters to Clay. Included are letters from Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Samuel F. B. Morse, Leo Tolstoy, and other famous writers, reformers, and politicians. Also included are several speeches and newspaper articles by Clay, his scrapbook on slavery and a defense of Abraham Lincoln.

Henry Clay Papers, 1777-1852. Several hundred individual accessions make up the Henry Clay Papers. Clay served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1811-1821, and again from 1823-1824. He was appointed Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams, and ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1824. As a U.S. Senator, Clay authored the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the compromise of 1850 in his efforts to avoid the dissolution of the Union. Accession #64W1 pertains to the subject of abolition.

Subject Guide

Breckinridge Research Room
2nd Floor
Margaret I. King Library
Special Collections Research Center
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0039
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Abolition/Abolitionists Primary Sources Research Guide Table of Contents