Near Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Reverend Samuel Davies and a young Patrick Henry
When Reverend Samuel Davies arrived to Polegreen in 1747, Patrick Henry was only eleven years old. Patrick’ mother, Sarah, and her father, Isaac Winston, were active dissenter members of the congregation. They regularly worshipped on this site for the twelve years of Davies’ ministry at Polegreen. Ironically, Patrick was named for his uncle who was the Rector of the Anglican parish known as St. Paul’s at Old Church in Hanover County, Virginia.
Though the force that drove Davies was religious, the impact of his life and ministry on the political climate was equally remarkable. Known as the best recruiter of volunteer militiamen during the Seven Years’ War of 1754-1759, his patriotic sermons left Davies with no peer as a pulpit orator in Virginia, or perhaps in all the colonies, during his lifetime. This gift of oratory
His sermons were so powerful that Sarah Henry required her young son to repeat them on their carriage ride home to Patrick Henry’s birthplace, Studley Plantation, which is approximately four miles from this site. Documented by his biographer William Wirt, shortly before his death, Henry credited Davies with teaching him what an orator should be.
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 Parsons’ 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
Known as the “Voice of the Revolution,” Henry’s political career included 26 years of service in the Virginia legislature and five terms as governor. He helped draft the Virginia Constitution of 1776 and its Declaration of Rights. A leading critic of the U.S. Constitution, Henry also strongly influenced the creation of the Bill of Rights. Following his death, Henry was buried at Red Hill Plantation, now the site of the Patrick Henry National Memorial.
Erected 2010 by The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 2.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #02 John Adams, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is June 6, 1899.
Location. 37° 38.705′ N, 77° 19.793′ W. Marker is near Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover CountyTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6411 Heatherwood Drive, Mechanicsville VA 23116, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Polegreen Story (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Historic Polegreen Church (a few steps from this marker); Site of Polegreen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Reading Room (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Polegreen Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Totopotomoy Creek (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mechanicsville.
More about this marker. On the left is a photo with the caption, "Living Historian portrays Davies at Polegreen". On the right is a portrait of "Reverend Samuel Davies".
Also see . . .
1. The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
2. Historic Polegreen Church Foundation. (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
3. Religion in Eighteenth-Century America. Religion and the Founding of the American Republic [Library of Congress] (Submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,591 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 25, 2018, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.