Patrick Henry sets Virginia's House on fire . . .
In seven years Patrick Henry failed twice as a storekeeper and once as a farmer during which time he married and doubled his responsibilities. This spurred him on to study law in which he soon displayed remarkable skill, especially in criminal cases. His quick wit, intelligence, eloquence and insight into human nature made him a superb lawyer and a natural for politics. He was in the House of Burgess for 10 years before he made the fiery speech in 1775 that ignited Virginians to the cause of the revolution:
"Our brethren are already in the field.
Why stand we here idle?
. . . Is life so dear,
or peace so sweet,
as to be bought 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."
Trivia Question: What is the actual date of Cornwallis's surrender to Washington in the Battle of Yorktown? And what is the historic significance of this battle? (Answer at bottom of this page).
Name Origin: English. (named after Elizabeth I, the virgin Queen)
Area: 40,767 square miles
Statehood: June 25, 1788 (10th state)
Nickname: The Old Dominion
Motto: "Thus always to tyrants"
Famous For: Blue Ridge Mountains, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, Skyline Drive, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Virginia Beach, Yorktown, Booker T. Washington National Monument, Appomattox Court House, Chesapeake Bay, Rock of Ages Natural Bridge, Shenandoah National Park
Answer to Trivia Question: Saturday October 19, 2002 marked the 221st anniversary of Cornwallis's official surrender to Washington at the Battle of Yorktown. The papers were signed October 19, 1781. The Battle of Yorktown was the last major battle for America's fight for independence, marking the end of the Revolutionary War.