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rank at a bar, which even at that early period could number among its members such men as George Nicholas, Joseph Hamilton Daviess, James Hughs, John Breckenridge and William Murray. It may be mentioned as a remarkable fact in connection with his career as an advocate, that he was successful in every criminal trial for a capital offence in which he appeared for the accused party. During his whole political life he was frequently engaged in important cases before the Courts of Kentucky, and before the Supreme Court of the United States. No member of the American bar was more efficient in the presentation of the merits of a case to a jury; while the many important decisions in favor of his clients, from the highest tribunal known to our law, upon questions of great public importance, and involving principles of constitutional law, bear ample testimony to his professional acumen, his profound research, and his thorough mastery of legal principles. We have the authority of Mr. Justice Story for saying, that as a jurist of extensive attainments and profound ability, Mr. CLAY was regarded by Chief Justice Marshall,--the highest authority to which we can appeal--as second to no lawyer in this country.

After a prosperous and distinguished career as a lawyer and local legislator in the State, among whose generous and gallant sons he had cast his lot for life, he was elected to a seat in the Senate of the United States, to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of the Hon. John Adair. His election was only for the fraction of a term; but we find in his speeches, and in the resolutions presented by him during that brief period, the germ of that great system of Internal Improvement, of which he was afterwards the ablest and most eloquent advocate. On his return to Kentucky, he was again elected by the citizens of Fayette County to represent them in the Legislature of the State, and at the next session was chosen Speaker of the Assembly. He however participated in all the important debates which arose in the body of which he was the presiding officer, and continued actively and with great distinction to serve the State as one of her local representatives, until 1809, when he was again elected to the Senate of the United States.


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