Patrick Henry Essay

4849 words - 20 pages

Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736, in Hanover County, Virginia. He was the son of John Henry, a highly educated Scotsman who served in the colony as a surveyor, colonel, and justice of the Hanover County Court. While John Henry had the utmost respect for education, Patrick had a hard time in school and stopped attending when he was just 10 years old. The remainder of his education took place at home from his father and in many subjects he was self-taught.When Patrick was 15 years old, he and his brother started a general store. They tried to make it successful, but the boys couldn't resist the outdoors. When the weather was nice they would put a "closed" sign on the door and go hunting. ...view middle of the document...

In the first three years of his practice Patrick Henry took on 1,185 cases.In a few years Patrick had become a well-known attorney. In 1765 he became a member of the colonial legislature of Virginia, the House of Burgesses. Realizing the mounting problems with England's rule, he introduced seven resolutions against the Stamp Act. A small majority passed five of the resolutions.He was reelected to the House of Burgesses in 1769. A strong movement was forming which supported independence from England. He was also a member of the first Virginia Committee of Correspondence, which aided inter-colonial cooperation and he was also a delegate to the Continental Congresses of 1774 and 1775. The House of Burgesses was dissolved in 1774 and Henry became a member of the newly formed Revolutionary Convention of Virginia. He realized that war with Great Britain was inevitable and on March 23, 1775, he urged the convention to establish and equip a Virginia militia to defend and fight against the British. The great speech he gave that day will be remembered as the one that made him famous.The resolution passed and Patrick Henry was appointed the commander of the Virginia forces to prepare a defense against British invasion.In 1775 Patrick faced a difficult time in his personal life. His beloved wife Sarah died leaving Patrick heartbroken and their children without a mother. In a few years he met and married Dorothea Dandbridge.In 1776 Henry was elected as the governor of Virginia. He was elected to the position a total of five times, serving from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Between his terms of service as governor, he was recalled to public service as a leading member of the state legislature from 1780 to 1784 and then again from 1787 to 1790. He was also a delegate to the Virginia convention for the ratification of the Constitution. Largely through his efforts there, the Bill of Rights was adopted and became the first ten amendments.In 1799 he finally consented to run again for state legislature because he wanted to oppose the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions, which stated that states could determine the constitutionality of federal laws. It was during his campaign to be elected that he made his final public speech, a plea for American unity. He won the election, but died at his home in Red Hill, Virginia, before he was to have taken the seat.Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736, in Hanover County, Virginia. He was the son of John Henry, a highly educated Scotsman who served in the colony as a surveyor, colonel, and justice of the Hanover County Court. While John Henry had the utmost respect for education, Patrick had a hard time in school and stopped attending when he was just 10 years old. The remainder of his education took place at home from his father and in many subjects he was self-taught.When Patrick was 15 years old, he and his brother started a general store. They tried to make it successful, but the boys couldn't resist the outdoors. When...

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