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Transcript of Patrick Henry
When he died and was born
Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736. Sadly he died
on June 6, 1799. He was 63 years old when he died.
He had two wives and the first one was Sarah Shelton
who was born in 1754,and developed a mental illness after her
last child. She died in February 1775. His second wife,
Dorothea Dandridge, was born on September 25, 1757
and died February 14, 1831.
Picture of Sarah Shelton
Picture of Dorothea Dandridge
Patrick Henry's early years
Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia
into the hands of John and Sarah Winston Henry. His
father taught him Latin and Patrick studied the law on
his own. Patrick had seven sisters and two brothers!
He was considered a patriot before and after the
Revolutionary War. Also he became a lawyer, orator,
and at the age of 18 he married Sarah Shelton. While
Patrick was married to Sarah they had 6 children together. Her dowry was a 600-acre tobacco farm. He failed at farming and a fire destroyed the house. He also opened a business that closed and he had to move to the Hanover Tavern to help his father-in-law with his business.
Patrick Henry's later years
Patrick Henry was married to Dorothea Dandridge at the age of 40 and they had 11 children together. He was a willing participant in almost every aspect of the founding of America. In 1775 he said, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." He said these words to his fellow Virginians in the House of Burgesses, to urge them to arm themselves against the British, at St. John's Church in Richmond. He served as Governor of Virginia. Was offered Secretary of State by George Washington but declined. He served as Representative to the Virginia Convention in 1788 that ratified the U. S. Constitution. In 1798 President John Adams offered him a special emissary to France but he declined due to poor health.
Contributions to the Founding of America
Patrick was a self learned lawyer and he was voted into the House of Burgesses from Louisa County, Virginia in 1765. Only nine days after being sworn in he introduced the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions, with wording that was considered almost treasonous. This was the most anti-British action taken by the colonies that contributed to the American Revolution. In 1775 he served as a colonel of the 1st Virginia Regiment that fought with the British over disputed gunpowder. He served as the first post-colonial Governor of Virginia and after the Revolution was the formal Governor from 1784 to 1786. He and James Madison were founding trustees of Hampden-Sydney College which opened in November 1775. He remained a trustee until his death.