Patrick Henry, born 29 May 1736 at Studley, died at "Red Hill" on 6 June 1799, age 63, and buried at “Red Hill,” Charlotte Co., VA; married 1st Sarah Shelton 1754, born at “Rural Plains,” died at "Scotchtown" in Hanover Co., VA in 1775, buried in Hanover Co., VA.
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
"The Bible ... is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."
--Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, p. 402.
American Patriot. He is best remembered for his stirring phrase "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death."
1736: Born in Hanover County, Virginia, he attended public school for only a short time, and was taught by his father, who had attended the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. He began a career as a shopkeeper, but was a poor businessman and soon deeply in debt.
1754: Married Sarah Shelton. t age eighteen, not yet having found his profession, Henry married sixteen-year-old Sarah Shelton, whose dowry was a 600-acre farm called Pine Slash, a house, and six slaves. Henry’s first attempt as a planter ended when fire destroyed his house in 1757. After a second attempt at storekeeping proved unsuccessful, Henry helped his father-in-law at Hanover Tavern, across the road from the county courthouse, and began reading law.
1760;He then studied law and received his attorney's license in 1760, which helped his oratory skills when he had to argue cases in court.
1764: Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where he soon became a leader of the frontier people against the old, established plantation aristocracy.
1765:His speech in the House of Burgesses in 1765 against the Stamp Act is considered one of his greatest orations. In it he argued,
"Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it."
1774: He was elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress, and the following year, to the Second Continental Congress. He left the Congress before the resolution for independence was put to a vote, to become Commander-in-Chief of Virginia's militia.
1775: His wife, Sarah Shelton dies
February 1776: He resigned the post of Commander-in-Chief when he realized his limitations and lack of military experience. A few months later, he became a member of the committee to write the Virginia Constitution. As soon as Virginia eliminated their royal governor and set up a constitution government, Patrick Henry was elected as its first Governor, and moved into the palace in Williamsburg, where the English royal governors had lived. A hard working administrator, Henry worked to solve the many problems caused by the American Revolution. He recruited the state's quota of 6,000 men for the Continental Army, as well as 5,000 men for the Virginia Militia. He obtained and supplied the Continental Army with clothing, shoes, and cattle, as well as lead and gunpowder for ammunition.
March 23, 1775: "Liberty or Death" speech at St. John's Church in Richmond
June 29, 1776: Henry elected first governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
May 29, 1777: Henry re-elected to second term as governor. During his second term as Virginia Governor, he supplied the George Rogers Clark Expedition, which conquered the Northwest Territory from the British.
1777:" Patrick Henry married 2nd Dorothea Dandridge 25 Oct 1777, born 25 Sept 1755 (or 1757) at “Chelsea”, died 14 Feb 1831 at age 73 at “Seven Islands”, Halifax Co., VA; because of inclement weather, she was initially buried at “Seven Islands” and subsequently reinterred at “Red Hill” beside Patrick Henry. Dorothea married 2nd Judge Edmund Winston, Henry’s executor and first cousin, who died in 1818. They lived at “Huntingtour” in Nelson Co., VA.
May 29, 1778: Henry re-elected to third term as governor of Virginia.
June 1, 1779 Jefferson elected governor; Henry returns to House of Delegates, Henry served in the Virginia delegation to ratify the US Constitution. Although he was initially against ratification of the US Constitution because he believed it lessened the rights of the states, after its ratification, he joined the Federalist Party and supported the document. He was largely responsible for the adoption of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which we call the Bill of Rights.
November 17, 1784: Henry elected to fourth term as governor
November 25, 1785: Henry re-elected to fifth term as governor
1788: As public service had left Henry in debt, he returned to his law practice and soon became a successful criminal lawyer.
1794-1796: Henry declines sixth term as governor of Virginia and appointments as U. S. Senator, Chief Justice, Secretary of State, and ambassador to Spain and France
1794: He retired to his estate near Appomattox, Virginia. In his remaining five years, Henry was offered many public offices, including US Senator, Minister to Spain, Minister to France, Secretary of State in President Washington's cabinet, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, all positions which he refused.
1796: He was elected Virginia Governor for a sixth time, but refused to take office. Finally, his close friend George Washington convinced him to run for representative in the Virginia State Legislature, and after winning the election, he died before he could take office.
1799: He died at Redhill Plantation. The Virginia Gazette announced the death of Patrick Henry. “As long as our rivers flow, or mountains stand,” said the Gazette, “ Virginia . . . will say to rising generations, imitate my Henry.”
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Patrick by comparing test results with other
carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Patrick:
Patrick Henry's mom is featured in today's Extreme Monday Makeover. In putting together the information for that announcement, I noticed that Patrick's profile could use some TLC. Unless y'all object, I'll feature him in Wednesday's Primp this Profile. Let me know by Tuesday night (U.S. Eastern Time) of any objections or caveats. Thanks!