Red Hill is Patrick Henry’s last home and burial place. Visitors can view an introductory fifteen-minute video on Patrick Henry’s career and his life at Red Hill before visiting the Red Hill Museum.
There follows a tour of Red Hill’s seven historic buildings, the Patrick Henry grave site, and the grounds overlooking the Staunton River Valley, which appears much as it did in Henry’s time.
Some of Red Hill’s special programs include an annual 4th of July celebration which features Revolutionary War-era re-enactors and concludes with an evening fireworks display, and a Living History Day for local school children. Group tours (10 or more persons) of Red Hill are available by appointment.
“Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses”
Red Hill houses the largest collection of Patrick Henry memorabilia in the world. This painting, by Peter Frederick Rothermel, is the best-known piece in the Red Hill Museum and one of America’s most famous historical paintings. In the painting, Patrick Henry delivers his famous “If this be treason, make the most of it!” speech, declaring his opposition to King George III’s Stamp Act of 1765. A decade later, as revolutionary sentiments surged in America, Henry declared “Give me liberty or give me death!” to the Virginia Convention gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.
Osage Orange Tree
Both a National Champion and a member of the American Forestry Hall of Fame, this Osage orange tree has an astonishing eighty-five foot span and stands sixty feet high. It is a striking feature of the grounds at Red Hill, which Patrick Henry referred to as “one of the garden spots of Virginia.”
Mr. Henry’s Reconstructed Home
Patrick Henry’s home at Red Hill has been reconstructed on its original site. The home is a simple one and one-half story structure that dates from the 1770s. With its three rooms downstairs and two upstairs–a children’s loft–this was home for the Henry family (at one point, as many as twenty family members lived under this roof!). The furnishings on display in the house and other buildings include genuine eighteenth-century period pieces.
When Patrick Henry moved to Red Hill in 1794, he was in semi-retirement from his law practice. Having served as Governor of Virginia for five terms, and in failing health, Henry saw some clients here but used the office chiefly to instruct his sons, nephews, and a grandson in the law. The building may also have been occasionally used to house guests of the Henry family.
Patrick Henry died on June 6, 1799, at the age of 63 and is buried in the family cemetery at Red Hill. On his gravestone are carved the words, “His fame his best epitaph.” Beside Patrick Henry is buried his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry. Other family members are interred in the cemetery in graves both marked and unmarked. Follow the link to read more about the Dorothea Henry Chapter of the DAR.