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A gifted politician, Henry Clay (1777 - 1852) famously used to ship barrels of whiskey from the Oscar Pepper Distillery to the Willard Hotel on each journey to Washington for use in his diplomatic efforts. After his death, the Henry Clay Distillery was built in Lexington, Kentucky in 1869, only to be destroyed by fire a few years later. The distillery was later acquired and rebuilt by the then famed distiller, Col. James E. Pepper, the son of Oscar, and renamed the James E. Pepper Distillery. Although renamed, the distillery continued to also bear the original name of the Henry Clay Distillery and produced Henry Clay Rye Whiskey. Known as "The Great Compromiser, " Henry Clay was a skilled statesman and orator who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. Clay was an important national figure from 1811 until his death in 1852. Abraham Lincoln, who was a great admirer of Clay, said he was " my ideal of a great man " and "In the effective power to move the heart of man, Clay was without an equal. " Clay's tomb and estate, maintained and operated as a museum today, are located in Lexington, KY.
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