Biography of Patrick Henry
Celebrated American Biographies





PATRICK HENRY won his way to un dying fame in the annals of the early history of the United States by introducing into the house of burgesses his famous resolution against the Stamp Act, which he carried through, after a stormy debate, by a majority of one. At this time he exclaimed "Caeser had his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell and George III" (here he was interrupted by cries of ''treason") "may profit by their example. If this be treason make the most of it."

Patrick Henry was born at Studley, Hanover county, Virginia, May 29, 1736, and was a son of Colonel John Henry, a magistrate and school teacher of Aberdeen, Scotland, and a nephew of Robertson, the historian. He received his education from his father, and was married at the age of eighteen. He was twice bankrupted before he had reached his twenty fourth year, when after six weeks oi study he was admitted to the bar. He worked for three years without a case and finally was applauded for his plea for the people's rights and gained immense popularity. After his famous Stamp Act resolution he was the leader of the patriots in Virginia. In 1769 he was admitted to practice in the general courts and speedily won a fortune by his distinguished ability as a speaker. He was the first speaker of the General Congress at Philadelphia in 1774. He was for a time a colonel of militia in 1775. and from 1776 to 1779 and 1781 to 1786 he was governor of Virginia. For a number of years he retired from public life and was tendered and declined a number of important political offices, and in March, 1789, he was elected state senator but did not take his seat on account of his death which occurred at Red Hill, Charlotte county, Virginia, June 6, 1799.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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