Press Release

28 Features Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown

August 28, 2013

“Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!”

Hear Patrick Henry’s fiery speech live in Richmond


You are probably familiar with the famous words of Patrick Henry that ignited the American Revolution, “Give me Liberty, or give me death!” from your grade school textbook. But there’s a big difference between reading about something and seeing it in action yourself. During the summer from June 2 through September 1 you can see history in action with a reenactment of Patrick Henry’s famous speech at historic St. John’s Church in Richmond, Va. This is where he actually spoke those stirring words in 1775 that were a source of inspiration for Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Reenactments take place each Sunday throughout the summer from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There is no admission fee for the reenactment and to visit the church, but a donation of $5 is recommended.

While you are in the Richmond area, be sure to check out Scotchtown, Patrick Henry’s home during the years of turmoil leading up to the American Revolution. He lived at Scotchtown from about 1771 to 1777 until he moved to the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg after he was elected the Governor of Virginia in 1776.

Scotchtown was originally built by Charles Chiswell around 1720, and remained in the Chiswell family until around 1770 whereupon it was sold to Patrick Henry at that time, or to an intermediate buyer and then to Patrick Henry in 1771. The exact history of the transactions for buying and selling Scotchtown are unknown. In 1958, Scotchtown was sold to Virginia Preservation and has been restored to an appearance similar to what it looked like in the late 18th century when Patrick Henry lived there.

Each month Scotchtown hosts “Hands on Second Saturday” where you can learn crafts and customs of the 18th century like chair caning, hearth cooking and how to make floor cloths. Other events at Scotchtown include Grandparent’s Day on September 8 and “Haunted History” on October 26.

General admission to Scotchtown is $8 per person, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, and $7 for AAA members. Hours of operation are March 1 – November 30, Friday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., or by appointment.

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Press Contact

Jennifer Hurst-Wender- Associate Director of Museum Operations and Education