The Margaret Sanger Papers


Clayton, Jr., Henry DeLamar (1857-1929)

Alabama lawyer, Congressman and judge. Married Virginia Ball Allen (1882) who died in 1883; married Bettie Davis (1911). Born into a wealthy slave-owning family, Clayton practiced law before entering Democratic Party politics. He was elected to the Alabama legislature in 1890, where he served until his 1893 appointment as US Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Elected to Congress in 1896, Clayton is best known for introducing the Clayton Anti-Trust Act which was passed in 1913. In May of 1914 he was appointed a Federal District Judge and was one of several federal judges representing underpopulated regions who were asked to preside over the New York's overburdened Southern District Court during the summer months. In addition to being the judge who was to have heard Sanger's Woman Rebel case, Clayton presided over the landmark Abrams case which defined the parameters of free speech in the United States.
References: "Henry De Lamar Clayton," Biographical Dictionary of the Federal Judiciary ed. Henry Chase (1976), Richard Polenberg, Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, The Supreme Court, and Free Speech (1987); Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography (1938).