Henry Clay Whitney was a United States lawyer who was a close friend of President Abraham Lincoln, and later a biographer of the president.
Whitney, Henry Clay was born on February 23, 1831 in Detroit, Maine, United States. Son of Alfred M. and Lucinda (Ring) Whitney.
He received a classical education at Augusta College, Kentucky and at Farmer's College, Ohio, and then studied Law at the Cincinnati and Chicago law schools.
In 1854 he moved to Urbana, Illinois, where he entered the practice of law. Around the time when he first appeared at the bar, Whitney met Lincoln, whom he found unselfishly helpful. Whitney became one of Lincoln's friends and political allies, helping him on the Illinois circuit.
On 5 August 1857 Whitney married Sarah Ann Snyder, then aged 16. They had five children, two boys and three girls, born between 1858 and 1868. On 6 August 1861, at the start of the American Civil War, Whitney was appointed Assistant U.S. Paymaster, holding this office until 13 March 1865.
While in this office, $11 million passed through his hands. After the war, he settled in Kansas, where he practiced the law, engaged in politics and edited a newspaper. Later he returned to Chicago, where he continued to practice the law.