Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BURNETT, Henry Clay, lawyer, born in Essex County, Virginia, 5 October, 1825; died near Hopkinton, Kentucky, 1 October, 1866. He received a classical education, removed early to Kentucky, where he entered upon the practice of law, and was in 1851-'3 clerk of the circuit court of Trigg County He was elected to congress as a democrat in 1855, 1857, 1859, and 1861, but was expelled, for his open sympathy with secession, on 3 Dec, 1861. He had presided over a Kentucky southern conference held at Russellville on 29 October, 1861, and called a sovereignty convention at Russellville on 18 November, of which also he was president, and which passed an ordinance of secession and organized a state government. He was a representative from Kentucky in the provisional Confederate congress, serving from 18 November, 1861, till 17 February, 1862, and a senator in the Confederate congress, serving from 19 February, 1862, till 18 February. 1865. After the downfall of the Confederacy he exerted himself to restore the peace democrats to the ascendancy in his state.
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