Facts and Events
Patrick Henry, an American Founding Father
"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" (from his Liberty or Death Speech, 23 Mar 1775)
Some Biographical Material for Patrick Henry
Family and Descendants
Patrick Henry at Wikipedia
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Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was an attorney, planter and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.
Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 and is remembered for his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech. Along with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, he is regarded as one of the most influential champions of Republicanism and an invested promoter of the American Revolution and its fight for independence.
After the Revolution, Henry was a leader of the anti-federalists in Virginia. He opposed the United States Constitution, fearing that it endangered the rights of the States as well as the freedoms of individuals; he helped gain adoption of the Bill of Rights. By 1798 however, he supported President John Adams and the Federalists; he denounced passage of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions as he feared the social unrest and widespread executions that had followed the increasing radicalism of the French Revolution.
As a married man, Henry was an expanding landowner. By 1779, along with his cousin and her husband, Henry owned a plantation known by the name of Leatherwood. He is also recorded to have purchased up to 78 slaves. In 1794 he and his wife retired to Red Hill Plantation, which had in Charlotte County that was also a functioning tobacco plantation.
Records of Patrick Henry in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records4:
- Vol. 1 - NOVEMBER, 1763 (C). - Price vs. Allison.--Deposition of Patrick Henry, Jr., aged 27 years, who, being first sworn, deposeth and saith: That sometime about the 20th day of November, in the year 1758, the defendant came to the store then kept by this deponent in Hanover County, and did take up upon credit sundry goods amounting to 31 shillings, and about the same time did obtain an order from'this deponent to one, Charles Crenshaw, on which order the said defendant took up, as this deponent believes, goods amounting to 29 shillings 17 1/2 pence, inasmuch as this deponent paid the said last mentioned sum to the said Crenshaw for the said defendant, etc. P. Henry, Jr. Sworn to before, 22d October, 1763. John Henry. (Note: the term "Jr." was sometimes used to differentiate between generations, not necessarily to indicate that the father was also of the same name. In this case, Patrick Henry could have been given the "Jr." to differentiate him from his uncle, Patrick Henry, brother of his father, John Henry).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Patrick Henry, in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Secondary quality.
[Last accessed 15 Oct 2012]
HENRY, Patrick, (grandfather of William Henry Roane, cousin of Isaac Coles, and great-great-great-grandfather of Robert Lee Henry), a Delegate from Virginia; born in Studley, Hanover County, Va., May 29, 1736; pursued classical studies; engaged in mercantile pursuits; studied law; plantation owner; was admitted to the bar in 1760; lawyer, private practice; moved to Louisa County in 1764; served as a member of the colonial house of burgesses in 1765; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1775; colonel of militia, 1775-1776; delegate in the Williamsburg (Va.) convention of May 1776; Governor of Virginia 1776-1779 and 1784-1786; member of the State convention which ratified the Constitution in 1788; declined invitation to attend Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787; declined the appointment of delegate to Continental Congress, 1779; member, State house of delegates, 1780-1790; declined the appointment of United States Senator in 1794, the Cabinet portfolio of Secretary of State in 1795, the appointment of Chief Justice of the United States tendered by President Washington, and of Minister to France offered by President Adams; elected to the State senate in 1799, but did not take the seat; died in Red Hill, Va., June 6, 1799; interment on “Red Hill” estate near Brookneal, Va.
Mayer, Henry. A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic. New York: Grove Press, 2001; Tyler, Moses Coit. Patrick Henry. 1898. Reprint Edition. New York: Chelsea House, 1980.
- Biography of Patrick Henry, in Patrick Henry Voice of the American Revolution, Secondary quality.
- Patrick Henry, in People of Williamsburg at history.org, Secondary quality.
[Last accessed 15 Oct 2012]
Patrick Henry (Born 1736, died 1799)
BIRTH DATE: May 29, 1736
BIRTHPLACE: Hanover County, Virginia
DEATH DATE: June 6, 1799
PLACE OF DEATH: Red Hill Plantation, Virginia
PARENTS: John and Sara Winston Henry
EDUCATION: Educated by his father (including reading Latin). Studied law on his own
OCCUPATION: Lawyer. Set up private practice in Hanover Courthouse, Virginia, in 1760
OFFICES HELD: Delegate, Virginia House of Burgesses, 1765-1775; Member, Virginia Committee of Correspondence, 1773; Delegate, Continental Congress, 1774-1775; Delegate, Virginia Convention, 1776; Governor of Virginia, 1776-1779, 1784-1786; Delegate, Virginia Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Red Hill Plantation
SPOUSE: First wife--Sarah Shelton; second wife--Dorothea Dandridge
MISCELLANEOUS: Patrick Henry was one of the most outspoken opponents of the Stamp Act. On May 29, 1765, he introduced seven radical resolutions in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Five of the seven resolutions were adopted on May 30, though one was reconsidered the next day (after Henry's departure) and removed. In May 1774, a message from the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence informed Virginians of the closing of the port of Boston. The Virginia House of Burgesses set aside June 1, 1774, as a day of "Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer" in support of the citizens of Boston. Governor Dunmore dissolved the assembly, but 89 of the Burgesses gathered at the Raleigh Tavern and, under Henry's leadership, proposed that all the colonies meet in a Continental congress. In April 1775, shortly after news reached Virginia that American colonists had clashed with British troops in Lexington, Massachusetts, Henry learned that Governor Dunmore had seized gunpowder from the Magazine in Williamsburg. Henry collected the militia of Hanover County and marched toward Williamsburg. He sent a message to the governor demanding that the gunpowder be returned to representatives of the colony. Governor Dunmore paid the Virginians money equal to the value of the powder, then issued a proclamation outlawing "a certain Patrick Henry" for disturbing the peace of the colony.
- Deposition of Patrick Henry, Jr, in Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish settlement in Virginia: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800. (Rosslyn, Virginia: The Commonwealth Printing Company, 1912-1913 in Three Volumes), Vol 1/[page needed].
- Patrick Henry, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).