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Patrick Henry's Scotchtown

Collection Highlights

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Sculptural Model of Patrick Henry by F. Williams Sievers, Virginia, 1939

This sculptural model of Patrick Henry, now displayed in the central pasage at Scotchtown, was made by Richmond sculptor Frederick William Siewvers. The model was used to create the bust of Henry that now stands in the rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol building. In order to create the finished bronze sculpture, the artist first shaped the soft plaster into the correct shape.

In addition to his bust of Patrick Henry, Sievers was also commisioned to produce busts of Zachary Tyler and James Madision for the rotunda and Sam Houston for the old hall at the House of Delegates. His works is also visible on Richmond's Monument Avenue in the monuments to General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury, both of which were sculpted by Sievers.

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Tea Service, China, circa 1770

The small tea table in the east parlor is set with a porcelain tea service imported from China by English merchants. In the mid-eighteenth century tea was a fasionable social beverage and visitors to the house might have enjoyed a cup while they visited with Sarah Henry or her daughter Patsey.

This tea service consistes of a teapot, a jug for cream, a tea caddy for storing the unused tea, and several teacups. Like many eighteenth-centur teacups, they do not have handles. At one time this tea set probably also had a matching slop bowl for disposing of unused tea leaves and a set of deep, curved saucers to match the teacups.

 

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Corner Cupboard, North Carolina, circa 1790

This corner cupboard is typical of the kind of work produced in western North Carolina around the turn of the nineteenth century. It is whimsically decorated with inlaid crescents, hearts, flowerpots, pitchers candlesticks, and a swirling good luck symbol called a fylfot. The pediment is also marked with the inlaid intials "RW, " probably belonging to the cabinet's first owner.

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Portrait of George Washington by Charles Peale Polk, Baltimore, circa 1790-1799

This portrait of George Washington, painted by Charles Peale Polk, depicts Washington in his uniform as commander of the Continental army. The likeness, like most of Polk's portraits of Washington, was derived not from life, but from the more famous works of his uncle, celebrated portrait artist Charles Wilson Peale, with whom he lived and trained as a young man.

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Writing Table with Extendable Arms, Virginia, circa 1760

This unusual writing table is believed to have belonged to Patrick Henry. It was purchased at an estate sale held at Red Hill following Patrick Henry's death in 1799 and descended in the family of the original purchaser until well into the twentieth century.

The drawer of the table opens to reveal a green felt surface for writing. Extra paper and supplies could be stored in the cavity under the writing surface.

The table has four extendable arms, one at each corner. These were probably used to support large maps. Patrick Henry may have inherited the table from his father, John Henry, who was a surveyor in Hanover County.

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Piecework Quilt, Hanover County, Virginia, early nineteenth century

This pieced quilt was made by the daughters of John Mosby Sheppard. Sheppard, who purchased Scotchtown around 1801 and lived there for the rest of his life, had five daughters. This quilt was probably made by one of the three youngest, Anne, Elizabeth, and Nancy, all of whom were teenagers while the family lived at Scotchtown.

The quilt is a piece of fancy needlework that would have demonstrated the wealth of the family and the skill of the woman who made it. Its small patches and numerous seams required more fabric and more labor than a quilt top made up of larger squares or a single piece of material.

The small patches that make up the majority of the quilt are formed over individual paper hexagons cut precisely to fit back together. The hexagons, with their fabric covering, were then sewn together to form the quilt top. The quilt is edged with pieces of early nineteenth century block printed chintz that post-date the rest of fabric in the piece.

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"A Plat of Scotch Town and Hickory Bottom, Hanover Co," North or South Carolina, circa 1820

This map was produced by John Dudley George Brown to illustrate a survey of Scotchtown and its surroundings made by Benjamin and Fleming Bates around 1820. In addition to drawing the roads, rivers, and other landscape features surrounding the house, Brown also drew the house, outbuildings, and plantation in great detail. This image is extremely important because it is one of only a few documents that depict or describe how Scotchtown may have looked when Patrick Henry and his family lived here.