Sarah “Sally” Hall was born in Hull, England in either 1761 or 1770 and immigrated to Virginia with her brothers Thomas, Joseph, and Robert. They later relocated to Bourbon County, KY. In 1804, Sally was hired as a housekeeper by Lucretia Clay and moved into the Clay home in downtown Lexington. She later moved with them to Ashland and served as housekeeper for over 50 years. Sally never married or had children. As a working-class white woman without a spouse, housekeeping was one of the few acceptable means of earning a living. It also provided her a home at a time when it was considered unacceptable for a woman to live by herself.
As housekeeper, Sally would have managed the people enslaved to work in the house. Like the overseers on the farm, she might have punished or rewarded them. She would have worked for Lucretia who would have determined how the house was to be managed. Sally was paid for her work, although not regularly. In February of 1838 she received a lump sum payment for work from 1804 until March 1, 1838.
After Henry Clay died, Lucretia took Sally to her son John’s home, Ashland-on-Tates-Creek. Sally lived there the remainder of her life and died on September 2, 1854. Henry Clay’s son Thomas arranged for her funeral and she was buried in the Old Episcopal Burying Ground in Lexington