Our Organization

Board of Directors

Henry County Historical Group, Inc.
Board of Directors for 2012
 
Mac Davis, President
T. Larry Smith, Vice President
Gayle Thomas, Secretary/Treasurer
Sylvia Clark
Derek Peterson
Jimmy Rane
Betty Smith
Judy Tye

History of HCHG

History


The Henry County Historical Group, Inc. was incorporated and the Board of Directors held their first meeting in September 2003. The purposes of the group are to: Conduct research into the History of Henry County, to preserve historic sites, documents and other things that have significance to the History of Henry County.

Our Members live from California to Maryland. People who have ties to the History and families of Henry County have learned about us from family, other HCHG members and the internet.

Patrick Henry Orator


The Patrick Henry Orator is a magazine published by the Henry County Historical Group Inc. quarterly. The magazine is mailed to members of the Henry County Historical Group, Inc. The Orator is filled with articles and information about the history of Henry County written by members. Every member is encouraged to write about their family lineage, stories about families, events, to share the History of Henry County. To receive membership and the Patrick Henry Orator send the membership form to The Henry County Historical Group, Inc., P.O. Box 125, Newville, Alabama, 36353or e-mail henrycohistory@aol.com.

Charter Members

Lifetime/ Charter Memberships

 

Steve W. Floyd

Headland, AL

Derek Peterson

Abbeville, AL

James W. Rane

Abbeville, AL

Thomas Larry Smith

Tumbleton, AL

Roberta Whiddon Childs

Dothan, AL


Charter Members

 

Valerie J. Adams

League City, TX

James Daniel Allen

Missouri, TX

Johnnie Mae Anderson

Montgomery, AL

Elizabeth A. Bedsole

Abbeville, AL

Hershel F. Bedsole

Abbeville, AL

Leslie D. Blondell

DeLand, FL

Kathleen M. Capps

Abbeville, AL

C. Michael Cody

Dothan, AL

James W. Commander

Abbeville, AL

John G. Davis

Dothan, AL

Mac S. Davis, Jr.

Headland, AL

Mildred Dyer

Abbeville, AL *

Bennie L. Edwards

Mesa, AZ

J. Steven Elliott

Northport, AL

Mark Espy

Headland, AL

Regina Espy

Headland, AL

Ellen Floyd

Tumbleton, AL

Virginia P. Freeman

Abbeville, AL

Dwight Gamble

Headland, AL

Marget Goodwin

Headland, AL *

J. David Griffin

Carrollton, GA

Linda Harrison

Montgomery, AL

Steve A. Hughes

Pearland, TX

T. Michael Jones

Sherman, TX

Lester H. Killebrew

Abbeville, AL

Jere W. Lawrence

Dothan, AL

Don McClendon

Headland, AL

Ronald S. Messer

Montgomery, AL

Michael F. Murray

Tumbleton, AL

Charlotte W. Poulsen

San Anselmo, CA

Jonathon T. Powell

Ft. Gains, GA

Doug Preston

Abbeville, AL

Sheila M. Preston

Abbeville, AL

Larry Register

Dothan, AL

Virginia D. Rountree

Milwaukie, OR *

Jack Ryals

Clopton, AL

Sharon Simpson

Abbeville, AL

Gary L. Smith

Headland, AL

Kathleen J. Stickney

Ormond Beach, FL

Gayle Thomas

Abbeville, AL

Ronald L. Thomas

Abbeville, AL

Julia W. Tye

Screamer, AL

Shirley Watford

Abbeville, AL

Patrick Henry Biography

Patrick Henry 1736—1799
Virginia House of Burgesses
Born: May 29, 1736 Where: Hanover County, Virginia.
Education: (Lawyer, Politician)
Work: Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses, 1765; Admitted to the Bar of the General Court in Virginia, 1769; Elected to the Continental Congress, 1774; Virginia Militia Leader, 1775; Governor of Virginia, 1776-1778, 1784.
Died: June 6, 1799.

"Radical," is a title that few men can wear with ease. The name Patrick Henry, during the revolution and for some time after, was synonymous with that word in the minds of colonists and Empire alike. Henry's reputation as a passionate and fiery orator exceeded even that of Samuel Adams. His Stamp Act Resolutions were, arguably, the first shot fired in the Revolutionary War.

henryhenry Patrick Henry's personality was a curious antidote to the stern honor of Washington, the refined logic of Jefferson, and the well-tempered industry of Franklin. Young Henry was an idler and by many accounts a derelict; though everyone knew he was bright, he simply would not lift a finger except to his own pleasure. By the age of 10, his family knew that he would not be a farmer, and tried instead to train him toward academe. He would not apply himself to studies either. At age 21 his father set him up in a business that he bankrupted shortly thereafter. Finally the general public disgust in Hanover and pressure from his young family (he had married at the age of eighteen) caused him to study for six weeks and take the bar exam, which he passed, and begin work as a lawyer.

In 1764 he moved to Louisa county, Virginia, where, as a lawyer, he argued in defense of broad voting rights (suffrage) before the House of Burgesses. The following year he was elected to the House and soon became its leading radical member. It was that year that he proposed the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions. Few members of the Burgesses, as aristocratic a group of legislators as existed in the colonies, would argue openly for defiance of Gr. Britain. Henry argued with remarkable eloquence and fervor in favor of the five acts, which by most accounts amounted to a treason against the mother country. In 1774 he represented Virginia in the First Continental Congress where he continued in the role of firebrand. At the outbreak of the revolution, he returned to his native state and lead militia in defense of Virginia's gunpowder store, when the royal Governor spirited it aboard a British ship. Henry forced the Governor Lord Dunmore to pay for the powder at fair price.

In 1776, Henry was elected Governor of Virginia. He was re-elected for three terms and then succeeded by Thomas Jefferson. He was again elected to the office in 1784. Patrick Henry was a strong critic of the constitution proposed in 1787. He was in favor of the strongest possible government for the individual states, and a weak federal government. He was also very critical of the fact that the convention was conducted in secret.

President Washington appointed him Secretary of State in 1795, but Henry declined the office. In 1799, President Adams appointed him envoy to France, but failing health required him to decline this office too. He died on June 6, 1799 at age of 63.

Reference: www.ushistory.org

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death


Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

 

henryhenry No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. 

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. 

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! 

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. 

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!