St. John's Episcopal Church, Richmond VA
"Give Me liberty...or give me death!"
Historic St. John’s Church is the first church built in the city of Richmond. It was the parish church of Henrico Parish, and was established in 1611 at Dutch Gap. In 1741 the church and burial ground were established on the present site. For decades the church was known, variously, as the Henrico Parish Church, the New Church, the Old Church, the Richmond Church and the Church on the Hill. The earliest reference to St. John’s Church dates to 1829.
As tensions grew between the colonies and Great Britain in the 1770s, Virginia held a series of meetings to organize its protests against the mother country. In March of 1775, the Second Virginia Convention was held here at Henrico Parish Church. Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph and other prominent Virginians were delegates to the convention. Here, Patrick Henry embodied the spirit of the Revolution on March 23, 1775, with his words, “Give me liberty…or give me death!”
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