Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
St. Johnís Church
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
óPatrick Henry, March 23, 1775 ó
The colony of Virginia held five conventions to organize its protests against Great Britain. St. Johnís Church became famous as a memorial to American liberty when over 100 Virginia colonial leaders, including Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and Peyton Randolph, met in the church as elected delegates to the Second Virginia Convention. Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech in support of liberty on March 23, 1775 as he defended his resolution to put the colony into a state of defense. His oration sparked the fire of revolution in the colony. Henryís timely resolutions passed by a narrow margin and he became a visionary the following month when shots were fired at Lexington and Concord. Henryís speech had national implications, for Virginiaís support of independence prevented the American Revolution from becoming a regional conflict. Henryís impassioned plea, “Give me liberty
Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was the leading Virginia statesman in defending the rights of Colonial America.
Following Henry's death, John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson singing his praises: “In the Congress of 1774 there was not one member, except Patrick Henry, who appeared to me sensible of the Precipice or rather the Pinnacle on which he stood, and had the candour and courage enough to acknowledge it.”
Henry was the first elected governor of Virginia, a devoted father of 17 children, and the most famous orator of his day. Born in Hanover County, Henry made a name for himself as a young lawyer in the Parsonsí Cause at Hanover Courthouse in 1763. His 1765 resolutions against the Stamp Act articulated the basic principles of the American Revolution. Henry is perhaps best known for his immortal words “Give me liberty or give me death,” which he delivered during the Second Virginia Convention in a speech to fellow delegates George Washington and Thomas Jefferson at St. Johnís Church in 1775. His impassioned words helped move colonists toward American independence and they continue to inspire the cause of freedom around the world.
Known as the “Voice of the Revolution,”
Erected 2010 by The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 8.)
Location. 37° 31.913′ N, 77° 25.174′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Broad Street and North 24th Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 East Broad Street, Richmond VA 23223, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Historic St. Johnís Church (a few steps from this marker); Saint Johnís Episcopal Church (a few steps from this marker); British Invasion of Richmond, January 1781 (within shouting distance of this marker); George Wythe (within shouting distance of this marker); 2307 E. Broad Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Adams-Van Lew House (about 400 feet away); Gen'l Joseph E. Johnston (about 700 feet away); Confederate (Second) Alabama Hospital (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
More about this marker. On the left is a photo of "St. Johnís Church in Spring Courtesy of St. Johnís Church Foundation". In the center is a period photo of "St. Johnís Church in 1865 Courtesy of Library of Congress". On the right is a photo with the caption,"Actors portray George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry Courtesy of St. Johnís Church Foundation".
Also see . . .
1. The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail.
2. St. Johnís Church.
3. St. John's Episcopal Church (pdf files). National Register of Historic Places
Categories. • Churches, Etc. • Colonial Era • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,121 times since then. This page was the Marker of the Week March 20, 2011. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.