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Patrick Henry
Birth: May 29, 1736
Hanover County
Virginia, USA
Death: Jun. 6, 1799
Brookneal
Campbell County
Virginia, USA

American Patriot. He is best remembered for his stirring phrase "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death." Born in Hanover County, Virginia, he attended public school for only a short time, and was taught by his father, who had a good education. He began a career as a shopkeeper, but was a poor businessman and soon deeply in debt. 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. In 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. 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." In 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, a position he resigned in February 1776 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. He was reelected in 1777, 1778, 1784 and 1785. During his second term as Virginia Governor, he supplied the George Rogers Clark Expedition, which conquered the Northwest Territory from the British. In 1788, 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. As public service had left Henry in debt, he returned to his law practice in 1788, and soon became a successful criminal lawyer. In 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. In 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. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Henry (1704 - 1773)
  Sarah Winston Henry (1710 - 1784)
 
 Spouses:
  Sarah Shelton Henry (1738 - 1775)
  Dorothea Spotswood Dandridge Henry (1757 - 1831)
 
 Children:
  Martha Henry Fontaine (1755 - 1818)*
  John Henry (1757 - 1791)*
  William Henry (1763 - 1798)*
  Anne Henry Roane (1767 - 1799)*
  Elizabeth Henry Aylett (1769 - 1842)*
  Edward Patrick Henry (1771 - 1794)*
  Dorothea Spotswood Henry Winston (1778 - 1854)*
  Sarah Butler Henry Campbell Scott (1780 - 1856)*
  Martha Catharina Henry Henry (1781 - 1801)*
  Patrick Henry (1783 - 1804)*
  Fayette Henry (1785 - 1813)*
  Alexander Spotswood Henry (1788 - 1854)*
  Nathaniel West Henry (1790 - 1851)*
  Richard Henry (1792 - 1793)*
  Edward Winston Henry (1794 - 1872)*
  John Henry (1796 - 1868)*
  Jane Robertson Henry (1798 - 1798)*
 
 Siblings:
  John Syme (1729 - 1775)**
  Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799)
  Anne Henry Christian (1738 - 1790)*
  Mary Jane Henry Meredith (1738 - 1819)*
  Susannah Henry Madison (1742 - 1831)*
  Elizabeth Henry Campbell Russell (1749 - 1825)*
  Agatha Agnes Henry Maxwell (1770 - 1851)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Henry Cemetery
Charlotte County
Virginia, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 472
Patrick Henry
Added by: Anonymous
 
Patrick Henry
Added by: Harley Dad
 
Patrick Henry
Added by: Harley Dad
 
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Thank you, Sir for your contributions to freedom and the founding of our country.
- Tom Carroll
 Added: Oct. 14, 2014

- Julie Foreman
 Added: Jul. 23, 2014
Mr. Henry, thank you for your contribution in making this country a free nation. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you.
- Jeffrey Maksymowski
 Added: Jun. 6, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.7 after 195 votes)
 

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