Patrick Henry

Cachet by Art Craft , Joplin Mo. ,October 1955
First Day Cover $1.00 issue by US Postal Service

        Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736, to John and Sarah Winston Henry. John Henry educated young Patrick at home, including teaching him to read Latin, but Patrick studied law on his own. He failed successively as a storekeeper and  farmer before finding his true calling as a Politician & Lawyer. Then in 1760, he appeared in Williamsburg to take his attorney's examination before Robert Carter Nicholas, Edmund Pendleton, John and Peyton Randolph, and George Wythe, and from that day forward, Patrick Henry's story is inseparable from the stream of Virginia history.  In 1763 In a case known as the Parsons Cause he scored a triumph for self Government. Two years later he entered Virginia's House of Burgesses. During one of his first speeches he threw down the gauntlet directly challenging the British Crown as he intoned "Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the first , his Cromwell; & George the third may profit by their example." There after he became one of the leaders in Virginia to the opposition of British rule.  He assisted in the formation of the first Continental Congress in 1774 and served in it and the Second congress In March of 1775, Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to arm in self-defense, closing his appeal (uttered at St. John's Church in Richmond, where the legislature was meeting) with the immortal words: "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." This was a month before the battle of Lexington & Concord which started the Revolutionary War. Elected governor of Virginia in 1776 to 1779 and again 1784 to 1786. As governor in 1778 he had George Rogers Clark lead a military campaign into Illinois and secure that territory as part of the United States.
     When the Revolution ended (1783) Henry  surprised his followers by changing his mind and advocating heavier import duties and attempting to strengthen the central government under the Articles of Confederation, in 1788 he opposed ratification of the US Constitution, denouncing it as a danger to state sovereignty. His opposition to the Constitution did much to ensure the passage of the Bill of Rights , the first 10 Constitutional Ammendments.
         Patrick Henry's last years were much embittered due to his feud with Thomas Jefferson, But in 1799 he ran for the state legislature s an opponent to the Jefferson backed Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions. He won the seat but died that year prior to taking office.

Fleetwood Cachet honoring Patrick Henry
January 11,1961, FDC from the American Credo Series

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