The Lion of White Hall Cassius Clay
William H. Townsend
Address to the Civil War Round Table
October 17, 1952
William Townsend (1890-1964) was an author, lawyer, Lincoln scholar, speaker, and lifelong President of the Kentucky Civil War Round Table. A lifetime defender of the downtrodden, Townsend always had a clear idea of right and wrong, and would staunchly defend his position, even in the face of extreme opposition. He could also spin a rich tale, and often said that he would "never let the truth get in the way of a good story."
One of Townsend's greatest joys was speaking about Kentucky legend Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903). A fiery mix of brains, temper and nerve, Clay was born into a slave-owning family and spent his lifetime opposing slavery and working for its end. Clay was also a lawyer, duelist, publisher, and a Lincoln appointee as ambassador to Russia. Highly skilled with a knife, Clay's famous pearl-handled Bowie knife was still with him, under his pillow, even as he exhaled his last breath.
Here is Townsend's famous address on Clay before a meeting of the Civil War Round Table in Chicago in 1952. Recorded without his prior knowledge, this lecture has been widely acclaimed for its droll humor, satire, and historical value. This has been called one of the greatest addresses of the 20th century.
Available for the first time on CD, Townsend's knowledge and "feel" for Clay are brought to life once again.