Press Release


Preservation Virginia and Randolph-Macon College to host panel discussion on women who influenced Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown

HANOVER – Preservation Virginia and the Randolph-Macon College History Department are hosting, “Sir, We Are Not Weak,” a panel discussion that will explore the remarkable stories of the women in Patrick Henry’s life during his residence at Scotchtown in Hanover County. The event, being held on the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give Me Liberty” speech and in honor of Women’s History Month, will take place March 23 in the SunTrust Theater at Randolph-Macon College from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at

The panel discussion will feature:

  • Mark Couvillon, who has spent over 30 years studying the life of Patrick Henry. He is the author of “Patrick Henry’s Virginia” and “The Demosthenes of His Age.” Couvillon is currently writing a book on the women in Henry’s life.
  • Jon Kukla, an American historian, former director of Red Hill Patrick Henry National Memorial and author of “Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty.”
  • Gretchen Pendleton, curator of the newly furnished bedchamber at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown. Pendleton previously served as a curator at Stratford Hall and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

After the discussion concludes, a meet and greet will be held with the panelists. Couvillon and Kukla will be available to sign copies of their books brought by guests or purchased on-site through Preservation Virginia, benefiting Scotchtown.

The panel discussion coincides with the unveiling of a newly furnished bedchamber at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown. When Henry and his wife Sarah moved into Scotchtown, it was thought that she would take on the responsibilities of managing the plantation. Unfortunately, after the birth of their last child together, Sarah became increasingly ill.

During her illness, many Henry women stepped up to manage the home. Henry’s mother and eldest daughter and his infant grandchild moved in. After Sarah’s passing, Henry’s sister came to manage the household. Throughout it all, the enslaved housekeepers kept the estate running.

“These women did far more than manage Scotchtown,” said Jennifer Hurst-Wender, Preservation Virginia’s director of museum operations and education. “They each have incredible stories. The newly furnished bedchamber at Scotchtown reflects their roles and responsibilities during the tumultuous time that Patrick Henry lived in the home.”

Following the panel discussion and meet and greet, Pendleton will host a special curator tour of the newly furnished bedchamber at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown at 1:00 p.m.

Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown is located at 16120 Chiswell Lane, Beaverdam, Virginia 23015.


About Preservation Virginia
Preservation Virginia is a private, non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 that is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and serving as an advocate for Virginia’s cultural and architectural history. Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown was acquired by Preservation Virginia in 1958 and restored to its appearance during Henry’s life.

About Randolph-Macon College
Founded in 1830 in Boydton, Virginia, R-MC moved to historic Ashland in 1868. This co-educational, nationally-ranked liberal arts college has an enrollment of nearly 1,500 with a mission of developing the minds and character of its students.

Media Contact
Brittney Jubert
804-648-1889, ext. 304