Press Release

Jul
10

Preservation Virginia Acquires Additional Property at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown

For immediate release

For more information, contact:
Will Glasco, wglasco@preservationvirginia.org
(804) 338-1357

Agricultural land in Hanover County was purchased to preserve the viewshed in front of the home of Patrick Henry.

Beaverdam, Va. (July 10, 2024) – The preservation of Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown continues through a land conservation victory in Hanover County. Preservation Virginia, stewards of Scotchtown since 1958, purchased a 35-acre parcel directly across the street from the historic site with the goal of preserving the viewshed and maintaining the historic nature of this section of Scotchtown Road. The property recently went up for sale and may have been subdivided and developed.

Research indicates this property was part of the original land grant made to Charles Chiswell by Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1717. For a sum of 50 pounds, Chiswell obtained 9,900 acres. The house changed hands before being purchased by Patrick Henry in 1771. It was at Scotchtown that Henry wrote his famous “Give Me Liberty” speech, delivered at St. John’s Church in Richmond in March 1775.

“Preserving the historic character of cultural landscapes at unique sites like Scotchtown is a priority,” said Elizabeth S. Kostelny, CEO of Preservation Virginia. “With the approach of the 250th of the American Revolution in 2026, our board of trustees recognized the rare opportunity to ensure the viewshed of Scotchtown and took the bold step to purchase this property”

Sarah Shelton, first wife of Henry, passed away while living at Scotchtown in 1775. Hundreds of men, women and children were enslaved there. Ongoing research is revealing more about their experiences and the influences that formed Henry’s perspectives on liberty and independence. As part of sharing these stories, a new exhibit at Scotchtown will open inside the house next year.

Preservation Virginia’s Board of Trustees are considering next steps for the newly-acquired property. In the meantime, the viewshed from Patrick Henry’s home during the outbreak of the American Revolution has been preserved.

About Preservation Virginia

Preservation Virginia is a private, nonprofit organization seeking to inspire and engage the public in fostering, supporting and sustaining Virginia’s historic places through leadership in advocacy, education, revitalization and stewardship. Learn more at www.preservationvirginia.org.

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