“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mechanicsville in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Pine Slash

Welcome to Pine Slash and the Honeymoon Cottage

Pine Slash Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, September 1, 2011
1. Pine Slash Marker
Inscription.  Upon Patrick Henry’s marriage to Sarah Shelton in 1754, he received for her dowry a 300-acre tract of land and six slaves. Like many Virginians with small farms, Henry labored in the fields with his slaves. Much of the soil at Pine Slash had been exhausted by years of cultivation and along with drought, resulted in poor crops. In 1757 Henry marketed one hogshead of tobacco worth little more than £10. Soon the house at Pine Slash burned, destroying most of their possessions. Patrick and Sarah Henry and their two young children were forced to move into a small cabin on the property, now known as the Honeymoon Cottage.

The Honeymoon Cottage at Pine Slash is a rectangular 20-by-60-foot one-story building with three rooms, an attic, and a half cellar under the north end. The older part of the house, comprising the two northern-most rooms, dates to the mid 18th century. The third room was added to the structure about 1800. According to Shelton family tradition, the Henrys lived in the cottage at Pine Slash about six months before moving to Hanover Tavern, owned by Sarah’s father.

Henry opened a mercantile store in 1758, but
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it was unsuccessful. He closed the store in 1760, soon after obtaining his license as an attorney. While practicing law, Henry continued to farm the land at Pine Slash until he sold the property in 1764.

According to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Pine Slash represents a singular piece of this nation’s architectural history. It is the earliest and best vertical plank-walled construction building in the region. The construction was to be permanent and of relatively high quality with finishes to create genteel spaces in a more economical manner. The planks were weather boarded outside and finished inside with moldings to make them resemble more costly paneling. Pine Slash survives as a unique and valuable historic building.

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,
The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
September 1, 2011
2. 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)
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 the Second Virginia Convention in a speech to fellow delegates George Washington and Thomas Jefferson at St. John’s 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,” 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 2011 by The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraPatriots & Patriotism
A Timeline of Patrick Henry’s Life image. Click for full size.
3. 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
. 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, 1976.
Location. 37° 39.468′ N, 77° 20.048′ W. Marker is in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker is at the intersection of Rural Point Road (Virginia Route 643) and Pine Slash Road, on the right when traveling north on Rural Point Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Fighting at the Totopotomoy (approx. 0.6 miles away); Totopotomoy Creek (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rural Plains (approx. 0.7 miles away); Attacking the High Ground (approx. 0.7 miles away); Damaged but not Destroyed (approx. 0.7 miles away); Totopotomoi (approx. ¾ mile away); Digging In Under Fire (approx. ¾ mile away); Lives on the Line (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mechanicsville.
More about this marker. In the center is a photo of the cottage. Photograph courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resources Archive
Also see . . .  Pine Slash (pdf file). National Register
Rural Point Rd & Pine Slash Rd image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, September 1, 2011
4. Rural Point Rd & Pine Slash Rd
of Historic Places (Submitted on September 2, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
Pine Slash, Hanover County image. Click for full size.
National Register of Historic Places
5. Pine Slash, Hanover County
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2017. It was originally submitted on September 2, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,901 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   3. submitted on August 28, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on September 2, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Feb. 23, 2024