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Patrick Henry

From Wakipedia, a free encyclopedia

Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736—June 6, 1799) was an attorney, planter and politician in Virginia. He became known as a great public speaker during the time when the American Colonies were seeking independence from England in the 1770s. He is considered a Founding Father of the country. He served as the first Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779, and then again as the sixth Governor from 1784 to 1786.

Patrick Henry opposed the Stamp Act of 1765. This act was intended to raise money for England. He may best be remembered for his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech which he gave in Richmond, Virginia, in 1775. He was a strong and active promoter of the American Revolution and for America's independence from England. He served as a colonel in the 1st Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War.

After the American Revolution, Patrick Henry served as the first post-colonial Governor of Virginia. It's called post-colonial because the American states were no longer colonies of England. As Governor, he oversaw several military expeditions. Some of these included attacks against the Cherokee nation in the west. He often supported his friend, Joseph Martin, who was an explorer and landowner. Martinsville is named after Joseph Martin.

At the national level, Patrick Henry was a leader of the Anti-federalist movement. As a member of this group, he opposed the United States Constitution and the creation of the post of President. He feared the Constitution threatened the rights of the States. He also feared that it would limit the rights of individuals. Patrick Henry was concerned that a President might become similar to a King. However, he did help with the adoption of the Bill of Rights after the Constitution was passed in 1789. By 1798 his position had changed somewhat and he supported President John Adams and the Federalists. The Federalists were opposed by Thomas Jefferson.

Henry owned a lot of land in Virginia. He is reported to have co-owned a 10,000-acre plantation known as Leatherwood in Henry County, Virginia. He purchased up to 78 slaves. In 1794, he and his wife retired to Red Hill Plantation, which was a 520-acre tobacco plantation in Charlotte County, Virginia.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

1st & 6th Governor of Virginia

In office
July 5, 1776 – June 1, 1779

Preceded by: Edmund Pendleton (Acting)
Succeeded by: Thomas Jefferson

In office
December 1, 1784 – December 1, 1786

Preceded by: Benjamin Harrison V
Succeeded by: Edmund Randolph

Personal details

Born: May 29, 1736, Hanover County, Virginia
Died: June 6, 1799 (aged 63), Brookneal, Virginia
Political party: Anti-Federalist, Anti-Administration, Federalist
Spouse(s): Sarah Shelton; Dorothea Dandridge
Profession: Planter, Lawyer

Signature: Henry signature

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