Slator Clay

patriot silouhette

DAR Ancestor Number: A022865
Service: Clerk of the Council of Delaware
Prisoner captured by the British
Residence: New Castle, DE
Birth: 1 Oct 1753, New Castle, New Castle Co., DE
Married: Hannah Holstein Hughes 31 Dec 1786
Death: 25 Sep 1821, Upper Providence Twp., Montgomery Co., PA
Proven children: Ann, George, Jehu, Charles

Slator Clay's Biography

Slator Clay was the son of Slator and Ann Curtis Clay of New Castle, DE. Slator, the son, was sworn in as Clerk of the Council for the State of Delaware at age 22 on 30 Oct 1776. [1] [2] [3]   Slator was admitted to the bar about 1779-80 at the age of 23.  Then Slator went to the West Indies with a friend, where they were shipwrecked.  They were captured by the British who were blockading the colonies trade with Bermuda’s, so he taught school there for six years, returning to Philadelphia in 1786 [4].  He was ordained Deacon by Bishop White on 23 December 1787 and served as assistant rector of the United Congregations in Upper Merion, Montgomery Co., PA.

Slator married Hannah Holstein 31 Dec 1786.[5]  They had four children: Ann b 16 Mar 1788, George b 5 Feb 1790, Jehu b 3 Feb 1792, Charles b 6 Nov 1794.[6]

There is a tradition that the Negro slaves of Mrs. (Hughes) Clay resented her second marriage, and that one of them put poison in Mr. Clay’s food.  When he and his wife discovered the culprit and reprimanded her, the slave begged forgiveness.  She was then permitted to say in the household.[7]

The custom of serving liquor at funerals was distasteful to Slator and he gave notice that he would not attend funerals if liquor was served.  He was very fond of his dog. On the dog’s collar he had these lines inscribed: “If I from home should change to stray, My owner’s name is Slator Clay.  In upper Merion I do dwell. May name is Mars, for I fight well.”[8]

Slator Clay died 25 Sep 1821 at age 67. The epitaph on his tombstone reads: For nearly 35 years rector of St. James Church Perkiomen St Peters Great Valley and Swedes Church Upper Merion who departed this life 9/25/1821, aged 67 years[9].

[1] History of Christ Church (Old Swedes), Upper Merion, 1760-1960, image 21 & 22.

[2] U.S. Compiled Rev. War military Service Records, 1775-1783

[3] Minutes of the Council of the State of Delaware from 1776-1792.

[4] Find a Grave Memorial ID: 99691524.

[5] PA U.S., Compiled Marriage Records 1700-1821.

6 Probate PA Wills U.S. and Records 1683-1993, image 661 & 662.

[6] PA U.S., Compiled Marriage Records 1700-1821.

[7] History of Christ Church (Old Swedes), Upper Merion, 1760-1960, image 21 & 22.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Find a Grave Memorial ID: 99691524.