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Lawyers and Poetry

Claybron W. Merriweather


C.W. Merriweather was a Hopkinsville, Kentucky lawyer, poet, and painter. He was born in Christian County, in Kentucky on May 7, 1869. He was educated in Louisville and took up the practice of law. At one time, he lived in Paducah where he founded the Paducah Bee. He was an active Mason.

Merriweather died in Hopkinsville, February 16, 1952 and is buried in Cave Spring Cemetry. At the time of his death, he was reputedly the oldest practicing lawyer in the state.

Merriweather was an African-American and some of his poetry made use of Negro dialect.

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database
University of Kentucky Libraries

"Claybron Merriweather was born in Christian County, KY, the son of John and Mary Gwynn Merriweather, both former slaves. The Merriweathers lived in extreme poverty. Claybron eventually saved enough money to attend school and later became a schoolteacher and founded three newspapers. He was also a painter, using water colors and oils for his paintings. He is author of Light and Shadows, published in 1907, it was his first book. Merriweather was also a poet and went on to publish five additional books. He promoted his poetry by giving readings in various cities; in 1940 he was in Chicago and was on his way to Cleveland to give a dramatic reading before the Mission Convocation of the First Episcopal District. Claybron Merriweather was also a practicing lawyer, and had studied with the Black Stone Institute, which offered a home study course. He began his practice in 1908. Claybron Merriweather was the husband of Rosa Morgan Merriweather (c.1874-1935), born in KY, she was a school teacher in Paducah and in Hopkinsville, KY. The couple last lived at 1103 Coleman Street in Hopkinsville." [Notable Kentucky African Americans]

Merriweather Obituaries

[Sources: Misc. internet websites, attribution to Merriweather obituaries in Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, Kentucky)( which according to one source, ran on the front page) and The Louisville Defender.]


Claybron W. Merriweather, Light and Shadows (Paducah, Kentucky: Evening Sun Job Print, 1907)

_____________________, The Voice of Beauty (Hopkinsville, Kentucky: Ferguson Print, [19__]

_____________________, The Voice of the Soul ([S.I.: s.n. 1923])

_____________________, The Pleasures of Life, Lyrics of the Lowly, Essays, and Other Poems (Hopkinsville, Kentucky: New Era Printing Co., 1931)

_____________________, Goober Peas (Boston: The Christopher Publishing House, 1932)

_____________________, Sun Flowers: Lyrics of Sunshine and Other Poems (Hopkinsville, Kentucky: New Era Printing Co., 1938