Patrick Henry was an American attorney, planter, politician, and orator. He served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Henry is remembered for his oratory, and as an enthusiastic promoter of the fight for independence.
About Patrick Henry in brief
Patrick Henry was an American attorney, planter, politician, and orator. He served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Henry is remembered for his oratory, and as an enthusiastic promoter of the fight for independence. Henry shared his name with his uncle, an Anglican minister, and until the elder Patrick’s death in 1777 often went as Patrick Henry Jr. His father was John Henry, an immigrant from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, who had attended King’s College, University of Aberdeen, there before emigrating to Virginia in the 1720s. Henry remained a lifelong Anglican communicant, but his mother often took him to hear Presbyterian preachers. He was a slaveholder throughout his adult life, but had no plan for that beyond ending the importation of slaves. He criticized his state of Virginia for its lack of religious toleration. He wrote to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788: ‘That we owe religion to the state, or which we may unite as brethren in love may unite all different brethren’ He died in 1786, and was buried in Richmond, Virginia, where he was buried next to his wife, Sarah Winston Syme, a wealthy widow from a prominent local family of English ancestry. He is survived by his son, William Henry, and his grandson, Patrick Henry III, who was born on May 29, 1736, in Hanover County, Virginia. He died on May 26, 1801, in Richmond.
He had a son, Patrick, who died on June 6, 1805, at the age of 48. He also had a daughter, Mary Henry, who survived him by a few months. Henry was buried on June 14, 1807, in Charlottesville, Virginia; he died on July 4, 1808, at his son’s home in Charlottesville. Henry’s grandson was Patrick Henry IV, who served as governor from 1779 to 1784. Henry died on September 14, 1786; he is buried in Charlottesville; his grandson is Patrick Henry V, who also served as Governor from 1780 to 1783. Henry had a great love of hunting and was a keen hunter and fisherman. He would often go hunting with his brother, William, and son-in-law, John Syme Jr., with whom he had several children. Henry also had an unsuccessful venture running a store, and assisting his father- in-law at Hanover Tavern, Henry became a lawyer through self-study. He soon became prominent through his victory in the Parson’s Cause against the Anglican clergy. He quickly became notable for his inflammatory rhetoric against the Stamp Act of 1765. In 1774 and 1775, Henry served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, but did not prove particularly influential. Henry urged independence, and when the Fifth Virginia Convention endorsed this in 1776, served on the committee charged with drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the original Virginia Constitution.