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A fine quarter-plate daguerreotype portrait of Henry Clay while a Senator from Kentucky  is attributed to the Washington DC studio of Jesse Whitehurst based on the imprinted mat. Whitehurst’s studios were known for their portrait of important Americans and for the quality of their images.

Henry Clay (1777-1852) of Kentucky had one of the most superlative political careers in American history. A lawyer by training, Clay served in almost every level of government possible in the 19th century, serving in the House of Representatives twice and also as its Speaker, as Secretary of State and as a Senator twice. His last term was from 1849 to 1852 and it was likely during this term in Washington that this image was taken. 4 ¼” x 3 3/8”.