Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Computer-Generated Text Rendering Of:
"Patrick Henry."
By William S. Hart.





"I want an American character, that the powers
of Europe may be convinced that we act for ourselves."

George Washington to Patrick Henry, October 9,
1795. Copied from the Los Angeles Examiner of
August 1, 1919.

The .above will give all Americans food for recollection.
It will be noticed in the foregoing that
George Washington said "The Powers of Europe."
He did not say England. The men who fought the
War of Independence for America were English

', men. Washington was an Englishman, a Captain
in the English army. True, they fought against
brother Englishmen, but their main opponents
were Hessians, and those Hessians were in the pay
and under the immediate control of King George

IV. of England, a British King but a Hessian-a
German. In our late war history repeats itself. The
Germans were the enemy of our struggling Republic
m 1776 just as they were the enemy of the Allies
in 1918.
About the year 1774, on the James River at the
town of Jamestown, Virginia, there arrived from


Patrick Henry

overseas the good ship Helen, with some two hundred
passengers and some twenty slaves. The passengers
and slaves were of the same race and the
same color, only the passengers. were more or less
rich in worldly possessions, coming to the. new
world with hearts beating high in the hopes of new
fortunes, but the slaves were sent against their will.
Their offenses against society ranged from being
stage robbers along the King's Highways of England
to the criminal offense of owing money, owing
debts that had been contracted to obtain the means
whereby they lived, and not being able to pay them;
therefore, they were sent in bondage to the colonies
to be sold as slaves. The blacks were few and labor
was scarce in the Colonies, the Indians then, as now,
could never be used as hewers of wood and drawers
of water. They roamed the hills and forests of the
surrounding country in the full flush of American
freedom, which to this time they have steadfastly
adhered to in spirit if not in reality. The tobacco
fields were many and sadly in need of cultivation,
for history tells us our forefathers were much given
to brocades and lace and carefully dressed hair, and
that they did not lean very strongly toward gaining
their livelihood by the sweat of their brows.
True, there were exceptions, but were not the majority
of our forefathers all immediate descendants
of families of means who boasted their coronets and
their seals?

It was a gayly attired throng that attended the
sale of the slaves of the good ship Helen, as she
lay warped to her moorings. There were the Randolphs,
the Churchills, the Lees and many repre-

Patrick Henry

sentatives of other blue-blooded families of Virginia,
together with their ladies. Interspersed with
these honorable folk were the brutal traders-they
who bought to sell again-who were not only to
be picked out by their evil faces but who openly
carried short-stocked whips with long cruel lash,
which they did not hesitate to use as a constant
reminder to their hu'man property that their masters
were supreme and all powerful. On the out-:skirts
of this assemblage this balmy spring morning
that our story opens, stood, or rather leaned
against a rangy roan horse, a tall, thin man, clad
from cap to moccasins in the buckskin of the woodsman.
His face and neck and hands so bronzed by
the sun that had it not been for the style of his
straw-colored hair tied back by a faded scrap of ribbon,
one would have passed him by at a glance as a
half-breed Indian. His attitude as he leaned against
his horse seemed to express his whole character,
and it did. For Patrick Henry, ne'er do well that
he was, never sought to seem what he was not;
indolence was in, every movement of his pantherlike
body, levity and devilment shown in every
twinkle of his careless and care-free blue eyes. He
was there not on a mission; he had none. His mission
lay with the game in the forests, with the fish
in the streams; beyond that, those who noted him
at all, noted him as a failure. Had he not been one?
Had not his father, an eminent lawyer and jurist,
set his brother, William, and him up in stock ( a
store)? Had not William proved by his close application
to business his worthiness and had not
Patrick by his indolence and his giving credit to
everyone, busted the whole venture? Patrick made


Patrick Henry

friends and debts fast enough, but Patrick could not
make a living. Patrick could not run a store. , So
William went back to his father's law court and
Patrick went back to his roan horse and to his
forests. And it is doubtful if the society of Jamestown
would ever have looked upon Patrick again
if it had not been for the same reason that Adam
was enmeshed-a woman. The woman in this case
was a young girl-Doxey. Doxey, the tavern keeper's
daughter. Doxey, the barmaid, a young miss
scarcely 20 years of age, whose roguish eyes had
ensnared all the dandies of Jamestown and the surrounding
country. But there was and will be no
denying, good reader, where the affections of Doxey
lay. The dandies with their canes and jeweled snuff
boxes and their fine equipage meant nothing to
Doxey. Doxey loved Patrick and Patrick loved
Doxey. But there was Patrick's'er' do well nature
and there was Doxey's father, an obdurate and
hard headed old Tory, a misguided Englishman,
playing, as many other good Englishmen did, into
the hands of King George. And did he not, where
Patrick was concerned, have full justice on his side?
He loved his motherless daughter, Doxey, as he had
a right to do. And was not Patrick Henry a proven
no account fisherman lout?

The auction block had been occupied and vacated
many times and the slaves who were sold were in
the hands of their masters ; some were hard visaged
characters with rebellion stamped all over them,
some meek and ashamed, but all of them sturdy
and strong. The old world knew what kind of material
to send to the new world. There was a more

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than usual buzz of interest and attention as a young
Lancashire lass was placed upon the block. She
was the highest type of slavery requirements, her
movements denoting health and strength, and besides
she was undeniably attractive, even pretty.
She was one of those unfortunates who had done
no wrong, save to come within the scope of that
barbarous law of the' day, that yoke from which
the civilized world had not as yet freed itself. The
bidding took on a new zest, it became more spirited.
A young miss, being no less a personage than the
Governor's daughter, was constantly pinching the
arm of her escort as he rose in the price of his bids
and they became higher and higher. It finally settled
down to two bidders, the young Miss and Lige
Wethersby, a huge bulk of a man, all animal, all
brute, who, as he defiantly snapped out his bids,
gripped the stock of his whip. He was getting near
the topmost mark to which he could go and again
sell at a profit, for Lige Wethersby trafficked in
human souls. Still higher and higher the price became.
The young slave girl looked appealingly at
the young Miss. The young Miss again pressed the
arm of her escort. She had played all she had and
all she could raise. The figure was away above
normal, but Lige W ethersby was no longer bidding
to buy and sell, at least, not to sell at once, not to
sell until he had broken the spirit of this slave girl
devil, whose eyes defied him, not to sell until he
had first broken her in mind and body, for the slave
laws were lax and much winked at in those days
when our forefathers were working at the civilization
of the human race.

Patrick Henry

Lige bid a sum that was prohibitive and a half
sob of pity escaped the young Miss as the auctioneer
tolled off in stentorian tones, "Going, going, going
and sold to Lige W ethersby," at so many pounds
in English money or its weight of tobacco (tobacco
at that time being almost, if not, a legal tender).
The slave girl stepped down off the block but further
she would not move, and there was a cry of
pain from her lips as Lige W ethersby sunk his
powerful fingers into her arm. Then all the pent up
feelings of the girl, all the wrong she had suffered
came to the surface. There was a yell of rage from
Lige; the girl had fastened her teeth in the back of
the hand that so cruelly gripped her arm and hung
on as a terrier would. Lige fairly roared his rage,
and when. finally he tore his hand away, the blood
spurted from the wound and covered the face of the
girl. Everyone stood aside, though some, to their
credit be it said, with clenched fists, for Lige was
within the law. The girl was his property and Lige
was a man known for his deeds of strength even
among powerful men. His nature was known to
be that of a killer when in a rage and the rage of
Lige at this moment knew no bounds-. His eyes
blazed with a rage. that was fiendish, his face was
contorted as that of a madman. His curses were
foul and loud. He threw the slave girl to her knees
with a force that seemed nearly to force the planking
of the. 'dock. A long, cruel whiplash. cut through
the air like the hiss of a snake, as it fell upon the
shoulders, the neck and the head of his victim.
When suddenly the crowd was catapulted aside,
something seemed to hurtle through the air. It was
propelled so fast that not until it reached its goal

Patrick Henry

was it discernible. It was Patrick Henry; Patrick
Henry, the fisherman; Patrick Henry, the lout.
There were enraged snarls as the two wild animals
of the woods had crashed together. There were two
roiling, twisting bodies, unmatched in size, but equal
in strength, their faces were fairly bloated by their
efforts, their necks assumed the size of the struggling
Gladiators of oid. So terrific was the battle
that to this assemblage, so inured to the primitiveness
of the age, it caused a hushed spell to sweep
over them, while with strained attitudes and wide
stretched eyes they watched the combat over the
slave girl, who, with blood-covered face and trembling
limbs, cowered in fear. It was plain that the
lithe man was no match for the burly brute in size.
Yet his strength seemed God-given. The combat
was so wild, so terrific, that something had to give
and it was the larger man. His. knees were seen
to sag, a look of terror came into his eyes. His
bones were fairly breaking, and then the lighter
man slowly drew one of his arms, the right arm,
free. It came by fractions of an inch at first and
then gained speed, but when it finally was free it
moved so fast the eye could not follow. There was
a sickening thud of bone meeting bone and flesh
meeting flesh, and the huge bulk of a man crashed
to the floor. The panther-like figure was upon him
with the rapidity of the animal of that name and
as the blood spurted from the nose and mouth of
the fallen man he lifted him high above his head
and hurled him with one mighty heave into the sea.
Only for one instant's time did he stand and then
he turned away. As he walked past his roan horse
the horse turned and followed him and they both

Patrick Henry

headed straight for the forest, where they would
mingle with those of their kind.

The huge, bleeding and half drowned man was
drawn from the sea, and the escort of the young
Miss said to him, "Lige Wethersby, I'm paying
you the price you paid and a fair profit for this slave
girl. If you wish to contest such action the courts
of the Colonies may decide." So the young slave
girl became the property of the young Miss, the
daughter of the Governor of Virginia.

A few days later Doxey was seen just ~ithin the
edge of the forests. She called and Patrick and
his roan horse came to her. Much had transpired
and Doxey must tell Patrick. But Doxey was a girl,
despite her love for Patrick, and like I a girl must
abuse poor Patrick a bit. And besides Doxey wanted
Patrick to reform. How could they marry else?
All the cruel remarks of her father were repeated,
but tempered with the love of Doxey's heart. Henry
said, "Doxey, the last time I was in Jamestown for
three days and not a drop of wine passed my lips."
"Patrick, I tell you not a drop did pass your lips."
The laughter of Patrick was his only answer. Patrick
could fib to Doxey, but Patrick could not lie
to Doxey, especially when he was caught. And
then when they were snuggled close together, when
their hands were clasped in mutual love and affection,
Doxey pleaded with Patrick to try once more.
"True>Patrick, when you and William were at the
store, you tried so hard for a time. You studied
law at nights and passed your examination without
the help of anyone." "Yes, but, Doxey, what good

Patrick Henry

did it all do me? Didn't Sir John Randolph, in
presenting me with my license, point to his shelves
of learning and say 'Young man, what you don't
know about law is in those books.' True, Doxey,
he gave me a license because I was me father's son.
Now, that is a fine benediction for a budding and
ambitious young attorney. No, Doxey, the fish in
the stream, the animals of the forests understand
me and the roan. We are not much and they don't
expect much, so we get along fine." "But, Patrick,
dear, oh, I must tell you. You force me to tell youfather
is pressing me. Father is pressing me hard
to marry Lord Lester. And, true, Patrick, it is a
great honor for a tavernkeeper's daughter to be honorably
married to a Lord. Lord Lester came to
father yesterday and asked him for my hand.
Father called me in and told me in his presence.
Oh, Patrick dear, but it was an awful scene. I told
Lord Lester plainly I loved another. Then dear
old father, oh, Patrick, he flew into an awful rage
and said he knew who the other was, and, oh, Patrick,
he said such harsh things about you. And,

Patrick dear, don't you know you are breaking my
heart? Don't you know that these things are nearly

all true?"

But little did Doxey know of what her Patrick
was being accused at that very moment. It was
far more than his devil-may-care ways. For at this
very moment in the private tap room of the tavern
were some dozen men, all influential men of the
times, all Tories, loyal subjects of King George IV
and some of his Hessian agents. They were there
to discuss the unmistakable tide of rebellion that

Patrick Henry

was creeping over the Colonies, and the names of
George Washington and young Tom Jefferson were
mentioned. Young Tom Jefferson, who so far forgot
his station in life as to consort with characters
beneath his standing, characters such as that lout,
Patrick Henry.

Patrick Henry needed tobacco. Now, the clergy
were paid their salaries as ministers of the Gospel
in tobacco. What more natural than that Patrick
should go to the house of a clergyman with game
and fish to exchange for tobacco. The young Rey.
Dr. MacFarland had a large and growing family of
small children, hence he needed food for his large
family and Patrick became more or less of a steady
tobacco customer. The . Rev. Dr. MacFarland was
much wrought up. The clergy had a claim against
the government for salaries, which were regulated
by law. The case had been decided against them
and the Rev. Dr. MacFarland was poring over
the papers, arguments and decisions in the case,
and what more natural than that the Rev. Dr. MacFarland
should seek comfort from even the backwoods
fisherman and go over his troubles with him?
Patrick was at first amused, then interested. The
giant brain ability of the almost outcast was beginning
to work. "Minister," said Patrick, "I'm no
lawyer, though they gave me a license. But I could
win that case." The Rev. Dr. MacFarland, like all
his clergy, was grasping at straws. Their learned
counsel .had decided not to appeal. The time to
make the appeal to a higher court had nearly
elapsed. The Rev. Dr. MacFarland knew he and
his brother clergymen could pay Henry his fees with

Patrick Henry

a few pounds of tobacco. And the instinct of the
gambler was in the breast of the Rev. Dr. MacFarland,
just as it is in we'uns of today, and besides
the clergy had nothing to lose. The Rev. Dr. Mac

Farland took the chance.

When the gaunt backwoodsman served his notice
of appeal, acting as attorney for the clergy, a smile
of derision greeted him on all sides, but their humor
was confined to that day in his presence, for they
saw him no more until the day of the trial. Nor
even if the roan horse had the power of reason and
ability, could he have told aught of Patrick preparing
'his case. He fished, and he roamed the forests
as he always did, only at times there would come
a steadfast and fixed look in his merry blue eyes and
his face would become set an9 stern, the giant brain
was working.

The day of the trial came, the courtroom was
crowded to suffocation. The clergymen had many
sympathizers among their parishoners, who felt it
their bounden duty to be present. The opponents
of the act to pay larger sums of money to the clergy
were there, disgusted at the loss of time over a case
that had already been decided. Still they were
there-there to jeer with the idlers who knew of
Patrick Henry. One there was whose calling compelled
him to be there, though he would have given
worlds to be elsewhere, and that was the father of
Patrick Henry, an associate judge on the bench.
The trial was simple, the facts had all been gone
over before; 'they were merely repeated in a slipshod
manner by the new attorney, which caused the ad

Patrick Henry

herents of the clergy to squirm in their seats, and
then the attorney for the defense addressed the
jury. He was an excellent lawyer. Point after
point he met and piled up such a mass of evidence
in favor of his case that it seemed preposterous that
an appeal should ever have been taken. There was
a hearty burst of applause as the learned and bepowdered
gentleman took his seat, which was
quickly silenced by the rap, tap, tap of the judge's
gavel. And then came the real silence, a silence that
was an oppression, a silence which precedes a painful
deed which must be gone through. Slowly the
tall figure of Patrick Henry rose. He had in honor.
of the court changed his clothes. In his usual buckskin,
his bronzed skin blended with _his habiliments.
In his simple homespun square-cut and his cotton
shirt, open at the neck, it but accentuated their ill
fitting and made him look even ungainly. There
was one face in that courtroom that showed sorrow
and sympathy. It was the face of the father, who,
like Brutus of Tarquin, was there to see the death
of his son. Slowly Henry advanced to the front
of the jury. Slowly and in a low voice Henry began
to speak. What was it? What was it? . What
was he saying? What was it that was compelling
their attention? Those who came to jeer were listening,
listening and they knew not why. Nor could
they define what it was that was holding them. The
same quiet voice continued, he was talking, just
talking. God, it seemed like witchcraft. What was
it? What was it? And then suddenly the object
of their gaze straightened up to his full height, he
seemed to tower above all the world. His voice
that had been low and soft rang out like Christmas

Patrick Henry

chimes. God, what was it? What was this transformation?
And now his figure swayed, his mighty
arms became as graceful as though they were of
classic mould, his clenched h~nds accentuated his
words. And it was then and thus that the little
crowded courtroom of Jamestown, Virginia, heard
for the first time the greatest orator the world has
ever known.

When Henry finished speaking, he took his seat.
A cheer went up, a cheer that shook the rafters. At
that moment the crowded courtroom had gone mad.
They knew not why, but they had been moved as
never before. There was a movement among the
jurists, and then the foreman informed the court
that they had agreed upon a verdict without leaving
their seats, and the verdict was for the clergy. Again
a mighty cheer. What was it? What was it? The
very air of that stuffy courtroom seemed charged
with magnetism. Two there were who did not
cheer, their emotions were too great-one an aged
associate judge, whose head was bowed with tearfilled
eyes, and the other a tavernkeeper's daughter,
away at the back of the courtroom, whose tears
came down like drops of rain, as the shaft of sunlight
from the window shone upon her bonny head.

Again we go to the private tap room of the tavern.
The rebellious spirit that was sweeping over the
Colonies was commencing to become more noticeable,
and as the Tory subj_ects of King George
talked it became apparent that it would go hard
with those who were embroiled in any action of
treason. Patrick Henry was not now discussed as

Patrick Henry

a lout fisherman, not fit for Tom Jefferson to associate
with, but as a dartgerous element in himself,
against the King. A man with such power as Patrick
Henry had demonstrated was an undeniable
power for either good or evil, and must be reckoned

Now, more than ever, was Doxey's father determined
that his daughter should marry Lord Lester.
In ordinary times and under ordinary circumstances
Doxey's father would have demurred at such a marriage,
for Doxey's father, hard-headed old Tory th~t
he was, was a man of sense, and, like all publicans
of his time, had a true reverence for class, and was

. not this young gallant a lord? But, under stress of
present circumstances, he hailed with joy the event
that would save his daughter from a marriage with
a good-for-nothing lout, a man that would surely
be hanged for treason and his family and all connections
be forever disgraced, if, indeed, they did
not share his fate with him. The young gallant was
much in love and agreed to hasten the marriage.
The day was set, the hour 10 o'clock on the Sabbath
morning. The little church was simply and
tastefully decorated, for it was to be the wedding
of a lord. But when the bridesmaids went to assist
Doxey in her wedding attire, they found the dresses
but they did not find Doxey. Doxey was gone.
For Doxey had met Patrick at their forest retreat,
and Patrick knew all. Whatever Patrick's shortcomings
were in many respects, Patrick was no laggard
where affairs of the heart were concerned.
Patrick had gone to the Reverend Dr. MacFarland
and pleaded his case to him, who, besides being a_

Patrick Henry

true man of God, was still under the spell of tha~
giant of the courtroom. Had there been watchers
ten hours before Doxey was to become a lady at
the little church, they would have seen Doxey descending
a ladder in the moonlight; they would
have seen her clasped in the arms of the backwoodsman,
and shortly afterward in a little dearing lighted
by the rays of the
moon, they would have seen
Doxey united in holy wedlock to the man of her
choice by the Rev. Dr. MacFarland, their one witness
being a rangy, roan horse.

Nor was this the only moonlight meeting that
was held beneath the branches of those forests.
Near by was the cabin that Patrick built for his
Doxey with his own hands. And around this cabin
shadowy figures were often seen to congregate, and
stern-visaged men did often in secret session confer,
and among them George Washington, Tom
Jefferson and the lout, Patrick Henry, with the fire
of the patriot in his eyes. And while Patrick's station
in life had not changed, Patrick was held in a
far different view by his fellow countrymen. His
power of speech was on all sides recognized and
among the Tories he was the most feared man in
the Colonies, such had been the rise of Patrick Henry
in those troublesome times when America was
battling for her independence. The tap room of the
tavern had long since been abandoned. There was
no need of further secret meetings. It was almost
open war between the Tory subjects and the freedom-
loving British-Americans. The Tories now
held meetings at the Governor's house, where the
term treason against the King was openly applied

Patrick Henry

to all who did not espouse their cause. While Patrick
Henry in his cabin home fished on and loved
on with the light of the new born freedom in his

The troublesome times had nearly reached the
bre~king point; meetings of patriots were held openly.
They were charged upon by the adherents of
the King and their paid minions. Little handfuls
of patriots were scattered as agitators and rioters;
and in some 'cases dragged after horses along the
streets and lanes and through rivers, and never released
until they, in half dying condition, declared
allegiance to the King. Couriers had arrived from
Richmond. 'Richmond then, as it was some eightyfive
years later, being a hotbed of secessions. A
gigantic meeting was to be openly held at Richmond
in utter defiance of the King's orders. The
orders which arrived by courier were in the nature
of appeals to all loyal subjects to come to Richmond
for the meeting to stampede it with loyalty, and so
turn the tide of rebellion into a victory for the King.
Boston and Philadelphia, the other seats of the
revolution, could not come. They needed all of
their resources to stem the tide at home and one
match now applied to the torch of freedom that was
openly declared it was feared would kindle fires that
could not be quenched.

At Boston and Philadelphia traitors were even
gathering arms and drilling their men; something
gigantic must be done at once to stem the tide. And
if Richmond put down the rebellion, all would be
safe. Everything depended upon Richmond. The

Patrick Henry

Governor of the Colony of Virginia at once dispatched
messengers to all loyal citizens and a conference
was held. Jamestown was overwhelmingly
loyal. Did it not flog its disloyal subjects at the
whipping post? But they must gather these most
powerful subjects, these most powerful orators to
go to Richmond.

Now, there was one of the Governor's messengers
who was a one time helper at the tavern, who loved
Doxey, and he had been of great aid to Patrick in
his courtship. This boy went to Patrick and told
him what he really knew. Patrick and Tom J efferson
and Washington were at a loss to know what
action to take in lieu of their meager information.
What they thought would be their savior ,was
brought to them. Patrick was summoned to appear
at the meeting at the Governor's house, and for once
these three giants were deceived. They thought
that knowing the power of oratory possessed
by Patrick it was the object of the loyalists to seek
to win him over and to have him espouse their cause.
The Tories had no such thought. They had pondered
for hours over this very situation. They knew
that Patrick knew. Were they not at that very moment
having the boy flogged, whom their spies reported
as having been to see Patrick? But how
much did Patrick know? The boy would not talk,
and no amount of flogging at the whipping post
woulq. make him talk. He knew nothing of the
merits of King George or of the patriots. He simply
loved Patrick and Doxey, and he would not talk.
This body of loyalists, learned men, knew it would
be a positive danger toallow Patrick Henry (if he

Patrick Henry

knew) to go to Richmond. So they summoned him
to conference, and Patrick fell, and with him fell
two other of the greatest men the world has ever
known. Their requests of Patrick to join forces
with the King were brief and formal and merely to
seek to justify their treachery. They knew where
Patrick Henry's inclinations were and if they had
not, the scorn that flashed from Henry's eyes as he
spoke no word in answer would have plainly told
them. So they threw off their masks and called in'
their soldiers, and Patrick Henry, the patriot, was
securely bound with ropes and then, as a lesson to
those of his kind, knowing the impotency of the
prisoner to interfere with their acts, they told him
of their mission; how they were in half an hour
leaving by special stages for Richmond no less than
thirty of the bravest and most loyal men of the Colonies
and that until their return Patrick would be
confined in a room of the Governor's house under an
armed guard, and, further, that when they accomplished
their purpose and returned in victory the
whipping post, and mayhap his very life, would be
the forfeit. Whatever may have been the thoughts
of prisoners in confinement throughout the world,
none could have been more excruciating than those
of Patrick Henry. He was powerless, powerless
even to communicate with his fellow patriots, Washington
and Jefferson. The next morning after his
enforced confinement, a maid brought him food,
and that maid was the Lancashire lass whom he
had befriended. It was an easy matter when night
fell for this captivating girl to flirt with Henry's
guard; it was an easy matter for Henry to walk
out in the dark when the doors were unlocked; it

Patrick Henry

was an easy matter to find the roan, for hadn't Henry
left him untied close by? and the roan never
strayed away from his master. But now the easi-,
ness ended. The stage coach, splendidly equipped
with fine stock, was twenty faours in the lead. The
roan was fresh.. He had been eating grass and
drinking at tlie spring, but Patrick loved the roan
as he loved his life, ~nd Patrick knew the end.

"Roanie, my horse, I love you, but I've got to kill
you. I've got to kill you. You've got to die for
your country."

And even as: Patrick spoke and vaulted into the
saddle the Heavens acknowledged the sacrifice and
said, "We'll help, we'll help; we'll do all we can to
hold them back.'' There was a crash as though
the end of the world had come;. the skies seemed
rent asunder, and then the wind. blew hurricanes
and the rain fell in torrents. God was helping His
children. And throughout the long night, the roan
fairly flew over the mire, in which the coaches,
twenty hours ahead, were floundering.

St. John's Church at Richmond,. Virginia, was
where America's freedom was. being born. For
hours. and hours its de.ns.ely packed mobs, had heen
swayed,. first toward the King and then toward liberty
and freedom. The Tories were holding out
for th.eir Governor, and the loyalists; for Jamestown.
Would they never come? WouM they never come?
The. cause was: almost lost. A bold Hessian adhe:rent
of the King had gone too far; he had last the
votes of many British by his unmistakable
pro-German address. Would'. the .tioyalists from

20 Patrick Henry

Jamestown never come? They did come, bedraggled
and unkempt and muddy, but they came, and
with them new impetus in that brain-tired throng.
They carried, they swept all before them. The
evil effects of the Hessian King's followers were
wiped out and they were all loyal Britons. And
then it was that freedom was ~orn.

A tiny speck out of the horizon, a rider and a
horse, the horse was matted in the sweat of death.
The rider bare-headed and in shirt and breeches,

' .

was scarcely recognizable as a human being, and
still on they came, this rider and this horse. And
when they reached the church the real maker of
.American independence fell, fell to rise no more.
Freedom had won and he had died. Never halting,
never stopping, straight into the church the staggering
rider lurched, and crowded and tore his way
through that fighting throng until he reached the
pulpit of St. John's Church at Richmond. He raised
his arms aloft and there was a silence. The very
appearance of this unkempt, mud-bespattered, haggard
individual demanded silence, and then he spoke.,
What folly it would be for any pen, no matter how
powerful, to describe this speech. Therefore, how
inadequate would oe the attempt of one, who apparently
loses his mind when he takes up a pen,
to describe it. Historians have recorded it as the
most effective oration that has ever been delivered
in the history of the world, and show me the man
who reads it in the seclusion of a library in these
calm times of peace and does not feel his soul swell
with high emotions that he is an American. Henry
electrified with his eloquence, Henry saved the day

Patrick Henry

for freedom, and at the finish of that God-given oration,
he stated in clarion tones and accepted the responsibility
as to where he stood, "But as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!" St. John's
Church became a place of joy and happiness. Into
the heart and into the soul of every man there came_
the holy joy of freedom; staid men embraced each


other, others nearly went mad with sheer joy.
Around the rope that swung the bell in the tower
a hundred pairs of hands were striving to help the.
bell ring out its peals of liberty and enfranchisement
to the world. While out by the roadside a forlorn
and mud-bespattered figure knelt on the ground
and in his lap was the head of a horse-"Roanie,
God bless you! God bless you! You died to save
your country!"






• Stage Career
• Hart Films
• Publicity Photos
• Hart as Author
• WWI War Bonds
• Hart Park/Museum
• Hart in Retirement
• Personal Life
• Hart in Artwork


The Takin' of Buck Weaver 1918

Intro to "Injun and Whitey" 1919


Travelin' On 1920


Patrick Henry 1920


Children of the South 1925


Writing Autobiography 11/1928


Intro to Luther Standing Bear's Autobiography 1928


Autobiography Inscribed to Amelia Earhart 1936

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