Henry, Patrick

1st Governor of Virginia, major advocate of independence, opposed the Constitution as drafted without a Bill of Rights

Price: $1850.00

Description:
(1736-1799) Virginia lawyer, major orator during the movement for independence. He was the 1st & 6th post-colonial Governor of Virginia 1776-79 and 1784-86. Henry first gained local attention in a case over whether the price of tobacco paid to established clergy for their services should be set by the colonial government or by the Crown. Henry argued on behalf of Louisa County. He delivered an impassioned speech that denounced clerics who challenged Virginia's laws as "enemies of the community" and any king who annulled good laws as a "tyrant" who "forfeits all right to his subject's obedience". In 1765 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses; 9 days after being sworn in, he introduced the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions, possibly the most anti-British American political action to that point. He allegedly uttered: "Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third ....may he profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it!" His radical speech achieved mythic status even if his exact words are unknown. Responding to Massachusetts' pleas that colonies create committees of correspondence to coordinate activities related to the British, Henry took the lead in Virginia. In March 1773, with Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee, Henry led the House of Burgesses to adopt resolutions calling for a standing committee of correspondence that would lead to the First Continental Congress in 1774, to which Henry was elected. Henry is best known for the speech he made in the House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775. Henry argued in favor of mobilization against the British military, ending his speech with words since immortalized: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" In August 1775, he was commissioned colonel of the 1st Virginia Regt. In 1776 Henry was elected the 1st post-colonial Governor of Virginia, for a 1-year term, twice re-elected, serving to 1779. As governor, he presided over several Virginia militia expeditions against the Cherokees allied with the British. He served in the Virginia Assembly 1780-84, then elected again as governor serving to 1786. He declined to attend the 1787 Constitutional Convention saying he "smelt a rat in Philadelphia, tending toward the monarchy." He worried that the presidency could devolve into a monarchy and became a leading opponent of Madison's. He was a representative to the 1788 Virginia convention where he argued against ratifying the Constitution, which gave too much power to the federal government and did not include a Bill of Rights, especially an express guarantee of a right to trial by jury. As a result of Henry's criticisms, Madison promised a Bill of Rights, including the right to jury trials, would be added after ratification. In 1798 he denounced the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which called for the rights of a state to nullify a federal law it considered unconstitutional. Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Federalist but died 3 months prior to taking his seat. Partly-printed 12 3/4 x 14 3/4 vellum DS as Governor, (Richmond), May 25 1785, grant of 9,000 acres of land in Monongahela County (now, West Virginia) to Jacob Backer, assignee. Seal at lower left.

Condition: Very good, engrossing a tad light but readable, nice dark "P.Henry" signature at lower right; tiny hole at bottom right, slight toning at folds; sides uneven as issued; staining is magnified by photograph
Type:Document






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search