Known as “The Voice of the American Revolution,” Patrick Henry spent much of his life and career in Hanover County, Virginia, located outside of Richmond. Henry kept this storebook while a shopkeeper during the 1760’s.
In March of 1775, more than 100 men from Virginia’s colonial elite chose to meet in Richmond rather than Williamsburg, the colonial capital, in hopes of avoiding Royal Governor Lord Dunmore’s ire. Richmond, unlike Williamsburg, was still a modest town, and St. John’s Church was found to be the only structure suitable to host the group. The church thus became the site of Patrick Henry’s speech crying out to “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” Henry’s rallying words led to the narrow passing of the delegate’s resolutions to support open rebellion in the 13 colonies. The first shots of the American Revolution rang out in April 1775 hundreds of miles to the north of city in the towns of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.