“Henry Clay and the Struggle for the Union,” a documentary on Henry Clay and his role in the events that led up to the Civil War, is airing this month on Kentucky’s PBS affiliate, KET. The hour-long program was written and is hosted by Kent Masterson Brown, a 1974 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law and a well-known historian.
Kent is in private law practice in Lexington, Ky., but continues to research and write on Civil War topics. Not only he is the founder and former editor in chief of The Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society, but he also has won numerous awards for his books, which include Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander, and The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State.
The new documentary aired for the first time on Monday night (June 13) but has numerous other air dates coming up this month. And for those who can’t see it on TV, the DVD is also available for purchase online at www.witnessinghistoryonline.com.
In a news release announcing the program, Kent describes it as exploring “the impact of slavery on the westward expansion of the nation and how the conflict between North and South was, in the end, irrepressible. History is nothing but lessons and there is much we can glean from Clay’s political career and the Compromises of 1820, 1833 and 1850.”
The documentary was produced by Witnessing History L.L.C., which was founded in 2007 by Ken and producer-director Douglas High. In addition to producing documentaries and publishing books, the company hosts guided tours of Civil War battlefields.