Near Brookneal in Charlotte County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
—Patrick Henry National Memorial —
Henry came here in 1794 and died at his beloved Red Hill in 1799. The property remained in his decendant’s hands until 1944 at which time the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation purchased Red Hill. Today, the Foundation maintains Henry’s law office, reconstructed story-and-half house, and plantation buildings. A visitor center houses rare family artifacts in the E. Stuart James Grant Museum. Prominent on the landscape overlooking the unspoiled Staunton River valley is the national champion Osage orange tree. The growing network of interpretive scenic trails affords visitors a glimpse into the pastoral life Henry enjoyed during the last decade of the 18th century, as the fields and forests surrounding his home remain virtually unchanged today.
Elected Virginia’s first governor, Patrick Henry never held a national office and yet his words and inspiration are remembered still today. By his oratorical prowess and his unfailing empathy with his constituents and their interests, Henry made the Revolution a more widely popular movement than it might otherwise
Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 - June 6, 1799) was the leading Virginia statesman in defending the rights of Colonial Americans.
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 the Second Virginia Convention in a speech to fellow delegates George
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.
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
1774 • Henry elected to First Continental Congress
1775 • Henry delivered his “Liberty or Death” speech at St. John's 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
Erected by The Road to Revolution
Location. 37° 2.858′ N, 78° 53.387′ W. Marker is near Brookneal, Virginia, in Charlotte County. Marker is at the intersection of Red Hill Road and Staunton Hill Road (County Route 619) on Red Hill Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brookneal VA 24528, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Patrick Henry’s Grave (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hat Creek Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Birthplace of General Pick (approx. 2.8 miles away); a different marker also named Patrick Henry’s Grave (approx. 2.9 miles away); a different marker also named Patrick Henry’s Grave (approx. 3 miles away); Campbell County / Halifax County (approx. 3.2 miles away); Halifax Church (approx. 8½ miles away); Rough Creek Church (approx. 8.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brookneal.
More about this marker. This interpretive panel has an aerial photograph of Red Hill on the left hand side captioned “Red Hill as seen from the southwest” and an image of Rothermel’s portrait in the center captioned “ ‘Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses’.
Regarding Red Hill. This quiet, serene plantation in a beautiful pastoral setting with its great lawn leading down to the river is far from the usual tourist attraction in Virginia and nowhere near an interstate highway. It is 1¾ hours east of Roanoke, 2 hours south of Charlottesville, 2 hours northeast from Greensboro, NC, 2¼ hours west from Richmond, and 3¾ miles from Washington, D.C. There is a small admission charge.
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 18, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 452 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 18, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on October 5, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.