Papers of Clement Claiborne Clay, 1861 - 1903, report the efforts of a prominent Confederate official
and his female relatives to maintain their Madison County, Alabama, plantations during and after the Civil War. Clement Claiborne
Clay fought to reclaim his lands and status through ill-health, debt, and bureaucratic red tape. Wartime correspondence reveals
the chaotic conditions facing planters such as Clements mother, Susanna Claiborne (Withers) Clay, who
used appeals to tradition and loyalty to implore liberated slaves to remain faithful to the plantation.
Through the postwar years Clement, his wife, Virginia Caroline (Tunstall) Clay, and his sister-in-law wrote
regularly on the travails of planters resorting to economic suasion with former slaves in the face of labor shortages and
uncertain markets. Plantation receipt books document financial relations with freedmen and provisioning. The Clay women were
also recipients of letters from relatives throughout the South who reported on episodes of interracial violence and financial
Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration
A. Selections from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University Part
1: Alabama and South Carolina Plantations
35mm microfilm (23 reels) with printed guide. ISBN 1-55655-835-X.
Microfilm and guide available now.