Thomas Todd

Henry Clay enslaved Thomas Todd at Ashland from about 1830 until his death on or about June 5, 1844. Tom was married to a woman named Jane who was also enslaved at Ashland. They had at least one child, a son.


Most sources state that Tom was a shoemaker and some sources indicate Henry Clay hired him out. At least one source says he grew his own hemp plot to earn money.


On or about June 5, 1844, Tom Todd died by suicide at Ashland. One source relates that Todd hung himself in a corn crib only later to be found by other enslaved people. Most sources suggest he had become morose, depressed, or despondent. Several reasons are given for Tom’s mental state. Some sources say he received a severe whipping not long before taking his own life. One source says he came to Lucretia Clay to report that money he had been saving had been stolen from his bureau. Apparently, she made no effort to help him.


According to Henry Clay, Tom Todd’s wife remained enslaved at Ashland after his death. She re-married and became a cook for the Clays.

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