Facts aboutOur namesake

Patrick Henry was an American attorney, planter, politician, and orator best known for his declaration to the Second Virginia Convention (1775): "Give me liberty, or give me death!" A Founding Father,

1.  His law career began in the early 1760's.  A defining moment in his career as a lawyer occurred when he fought against the Two penny Act and won.  This trial made him a celebrity in the world of lawyers

2.  He served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.

3.IIIn 17713, Patrick Henry worked with Thomas Jefferson to make a Committee of Correspondents within the House of Burgesses. The committee was made to focus on individual colonies rights and needs, as well as how the colonies worked with each other. Other colonies took a page from Patrick Henry’s book and made similar committees of their own. As the committee went on, Patrick Henry rose in ranks, becoming a delegate in 1774. In the same year, the House of Burgesses was disbanded.  

4.  Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, where 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 where he signed the Petition to the King, which he helped to draft. 

5.  He gained further popularity among the people of Virginia, both through his oratory at the convention and by marching troops towards the colonial capital of Williamsburg after the Gunpowder Incident until the munitions seized by the royal government were paid for.

6. Henry urged independence, and when the Fifth Virginia Convention endorsed this in 1776, he served on the committee charged with drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the original Virginia Constitution.

7. Henry was promptly elected governor under the new charter and served a total of five one-year terms. After leaving the governorship in 1779, y is remembered for his oratory and as an enthusiastic promoter of the fight for independence.

8.  Patrick Henry is known throughout the United States as a Founding Father of the country for his contributions to leaving England’s rule and putting his input into the constitution.

9.  Patrick Henry helped to set up Hampden-Sydney college in 1775. He was a trustee of the college until his death. High schools all over the United States have been named after this historical figure.


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