Red Hill - Patrick Henry National Memorial
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Henry's Early Life and Times (and other life events)

Full Biography | Early Life and Times | Family Timeline | Career Timeline

  • May 29, 1736 Patrick Henry born at Studley in Hanover County

  • 1748 Henry witnesses preaching of evangelist Samuel Davies during Great Awakening

  • 1760 Henry passes bar examination in Williamsburg

  • 1760-1768 Henry's county court practice exceeds 3,200 cases

  • December 1, 1763 Henry argues Parsons' Cause at Hanover Court House

  • May 1765 Henry's first election to House of Burgesses

  • May 29-30, 1765 Resolutions against Stamp Act and "Caesar-Brutus Speech"

  • 1769 Henry admitted to the bar of the General Court

  • 1770-1771 Henry defends persecuted Baptist ministers Jeremiah Walker, John Waller, and John Williams

  • 1773 Henry helps create Virginia Committee of Correspondence

  • August 1774 Henry elected to First Continental Congress

  • March 23, 1775 "Liberty or Death" speech at St. John's Church in Richmond

  • March 25, 1775 Henry elected to Second Continental Congress

  • April 19, 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord

  • May 6, 1775 Governor Dunmore issues edict against Henry

  • August 5, 1775 Henry elected commander-in-chief of Virginia's military forces

  • February 28, 1776 Henry resigns military command

  • May-July 1776 Henry attends Fifth Revolutionary Convention; helps write Virginia Constitution and Declaration of Rights

  • June 29, 1776 Henry elected first governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • May 29, 1777 Henry re-elected to second term as governor

  • January 2, 1778 Henry sends George Rogers Clark to defend the west

  • May 29, 1778 Henry re-elected to third term as governor of Virginia

  • June 1, 1779 Jefferson elected governor; Henry returns to House of Delegates

  • November 17, 1784 Henry elected to fourth term as governor

  • 1784 Legislature defeats Henry's Bill for Support of Teachers of the Christian Religion

  • November 25, 1785 Henry re-elected to fifth term as governor

  • November 30, 1786 Henry declines re-election as governor; resumes law practice

  • 1787 Henry declines election to Philadelphia Constitutional Convention

  • September 17, 1787 Convention publishes proposed Constitution

  • March 1788 Henry elected to Virginia Convention of 1788

  • June 2, 1788 Convention begins debate over Constitution

  • June 25, 1788 Virginia ratifies Constitution by 89 to 79 vote, Henry's opposition fuels movement for a Bill of Rights

  • September 25, 1789 Congress sends twelve constitutional amendments to the states

  • November 12, 1791 Henry retires from the House of Delegates

  • December 15, 1791 Ten amendments ratified as federal Bill of Rights

  • April 1793 Henry defends Richard Randolph against charge of infanticide

  • May 1793 Henry argues British Debts Case

  • 1794-1796 Henry declines sixth term as governor of Virginia and appointments as U. S. Senator, Chief Justice, Secretary of State, and ambassador to Spain and France

  • March 4, 1799 Henry' final speech at Charlotte Courthouse

  • June 6, 1799 Death of Patrick Henry at Red Hill