Last updated on: 5/20/2009 | Author:

Patrick Henry Biography

Founding Father of the United States
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Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-1797
  • Governor of Virginia, 1784–1786
  • Elected member of the U.S. Constitutional Convention, 1785
  • Elected member of the Virginia assembly, 1784
  • Represented the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. Congress, 1779-1783
  • Elected as a member of the Constitutional Convention of Virginia, participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution, 1776
  • Attended Williamsburg around 1760 and was admitted to the bar.
  • Educated by his father and uncle, an Anglican clergyman.
  • He opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution, believing that it endangered state sovereignty, and he worked successfully to have the first 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) added to the Constitution.
  • Following the Revolution, Patrick Henry supported proposals in the Virginia legislature that would have essentially established the Episcopal church in that state. The proposed measures would have ‘incorporated’ the Episcopal clergy, and would have provided financial support to the church through tax levies. These bills were ultimately defeated, due largely to the efforts of James Madison and some of his allies.
  • Born: 1736
  • Deceased: 1799