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Patrick Henry: A Brief Biography
Transcript of Patrick Henry: A Brief Biography
Don't forget to bring your notes for our next class session!
Profitable Law Career
Henry was born in Virginia to a prosperous landowner. His father, who had attended the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, gave him a classical education at home.
On his own from the age of 15, Henry couldn't find success as a storekeeper or tobacco planter.
After marrying and starting a family, he became a self-taught lawyer.
His eloquence, quick wit, and rhetorical gifts served him well, and his law practice grew increasingly profitable.
Popular Virginia Politician
Henry is best known for his "Speech in the Virginia Convention."
This speech convinced the assembled leadership to prepare for war with Britain.
He organized a Virginia militia that became part of the new Continental Army after independence was declared.
He helped write the new state constitution and the Virginia Declaration of rights, which was a major influence on the Bill of Rights added to the U.S. Constitution.
Henry made a name for himself with his speeches supporting American democracy.
He was one of the earliest opponents of British rule in the American Colonies.
Though he was accused of treason, Henry became a tireless and influential leader both before and after the Revolution.
Take detailed notes that will help you take part in an informed, substantive discussion about the topic. Your notes will help you answer the questions:
What did you learn about Patrick Henry? How do you think he was influenced by the political events, beliefs, and values of his time?