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Hanover in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hanover Tavern

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

 

—Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775 —

 
Hanover Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 4, 2010
1. Hanover Tavern Marker
Inscription. Hanover Tavern was an essential part of the county courthouse complex during the 18th and 19th centuries, serving as the center of social life. For people living on large farms and plantations, whose closest neighbors could live miles away, taverns served as public meeting places for dining, discourse, and rest. Many of the ideological foundations of the American Revolution grew out of the everyday exchanges among the American people.

On court days, usually held only a few days per month, the courthouse complex would be alive with the commercial exchange of goods and services. Residents would also enjoy leisure activities such as performances by traveling circus troupes or gambling on cockfights and horse races. Young lawyers like Patrick Henry would discuss, argue, and sell their expertise in law.

Patrick Henry had very strong ties to Hanover Tavern because of his interest in the courthouse, and his marriage to Sarah Shelton. After failing at tobacco farming, Patrick and Sarah moved in with the Shelton’s at Hanover Tavern. John Shelton was the keeper of Hanover Tavern at the time and called it the Shelton Inn. Patrick helped John care for guests of the Tavern, many of them lawyers and clients doing business across the street. Patrick’s great interest in Colonial law led him through successful examinations by prominent
Hanover Tavern in the late 19th century image. Click for full size.
July 4, 2010
2. Hanover Tavern in the late 19th century
lawyers in Williamsburg and to a license to practice law in Virginia. By April of 1760 he opened a small law office out of Hanover Tavern and in his first year he represented 60 clients in 176 cases.


 
Erected 2010 by The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 5.)
 
Location. 37° 45.739′ N, 77° 22.042′ W. Marker is in Hanover, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Hanover Courthouse Road (U.S. 301) and Library Drive. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13185 Hanover Courthouse Road, Hanover VA 23069, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Hanover Tavern (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Hanover Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Hanover Court House (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Washington-Rochambeau Route (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Hanover Confederate Soldiers Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hanover Courthouse
Hanover Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 4, 2010
3. Hanover Tavern Marker
(about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Hanover Courthouse (about 300 feet away); Patrick Henry (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Hanover.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a sketch of "Hanover Tavern in the late 19th century", and on the right is a photo of "Hanover Tavern today".
 
Also see . . .
1. The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. The Hanover Tavern Foundation. (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraPatriots & Patriotism
 
Hanover Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 4, 2010
4. Hanover Tavern
A Timeline of Patrick Henry's Life image. Click for full size.
5. A Timeline of Patrick Henry's Life
1736 Henry was born at Studley Plantation
1748 Henry worshiped at Polegreen Church during Great Awakening period and was influenced by the oratory of the Rev. Samuel Davies until 1759
1754 Henry and Sarah Shelton were married at Rural Plains and moved into Pine Slash
1760 Henry passed bar examination in Williamsburg; opened law office at Hanover Tavern
1763 Henry argued Parsons’ Cause at Hanover Courthouse
1765 Henry elected to House of Burgesses and proposed Virginia’s bold Stamp Act Resolutions
1771 Henry made his home at Scotchtown
1774 Henry elected to First Continental Congress
1775 Henry delivered his “Liberty or Death” speech at St. Johns Church
1775 Henry elected to Second Continental Congress
1775 Henry, along with James Madison, elected as a founding trustee of Hampden-Sydney College
1776 Henry attended Fifth Revolutionary Convention and helped draft Virginia Constitution and Declaration of Rights
1776 Henry elected first governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, served three one-year terms
1784 Henry re-elected governor, served two one-year terms
1787 Henry declined election to Philadelphia Constitutional Convention
1788 Virginia ratified U.S. Constitution by 89 to 79 vote, Henry’s opposition fueled movement for a Bill of Rights, which was ratified three years later
1794 Henry made his home at Red Hill, Charlotte County
1794 through 1796 Henry declined sixth term as governor of Virginia and appointments as U.S. senator, chief justice, secretary of state, and ambassador to Spain and France
1799 Henry elected to House of Burgesses but died at Red Hill before taking office
The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
July 4, 2010
6. The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail
The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail links the historic sites and institutions in Virginia that interpret the life and legacy of Patrick Henry. Locations on the statewide trail are shown on the map.
1. Studley (Studley)
2. Historic Polegreen Church (Mechanicsville)
3. Rural Plains (Mechanicsville)
4. Pine Slash (Mechanicsville)
5. Hanover Tavern (Hanover)
6. Hanover County Courthouse (Hanover)
7. Scotchtown (Beaverdam)
8. St. John’s Church (Richmond)
9. Hampden-Sydney College (Hampden-Sydney)
10. Red Hill Plantation (Brookneal)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,283 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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