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Rep. James Brown Clay

Former Representative for Kentucky’s 8th District

Clay was the representative for Kentucky’s 8th congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1857 to 1859.

Legislators who enslaved Black people

Clay was among more than 1,800 legislators who enslaved Black people. The Washington Post compiled the first database of slaveholding members of Congress by examining thousands of pages of census records and historical documents. Clay was one of them.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Dec 1857 to Mar 1859, Clay missed 71 of 548 roll call votes, which is 13.0%. This is better than the median of 23.0% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Mar 1859. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: