Scotchtown Beaverdam Reviews
Scotchtown, the Home of Patrick Henry Sep 04, 2009
Patrick Henry lived at Scotchtown Plantation from 1771 to 1778. His residence here was comparatively brief, but Scotchtown is the house most often associated with him. Patrick Henry was living at Scotchtown when he was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and when he went to Richmond in 1775 and delivered his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech to the House of Burgesses. In 1778 he and his family left Scotchtown to move to Williamsburg when he became the first post-colonial Governor of Virginia.
Admission includes a full tour of the interior of the house. The house was occupied into the mid-20th century and was modified in the 19th, but modern plumbing and electricity had never been added. The house was restored to its appearance during the Henry family's time after the Association for the Preservation of Virgina Antiquities acquired it.
The main living spaces (eight rooms divided by a central corridor) are all on a single floor. The interior is plain and spare compared with contemporary plantation houses such as Mount Vernon and Montpelier. Little is known about the actual content and decoration, but it is known what most of the rooms were used for and that Patrick Henry lived simply, so there would not have been an abundance of furniture or decoration. A few pieces of furniture from descendants suggest uses for the different rooms.
The full basement is equally interesting. Half was used for storage and half for quarters for the domestic slaves. Also in the basement is a display of the room where Henry's first wife, Sarah, was confined after she was considered mentally ill. (That's a story in itself. She died in 1775 and is thought to be buried on the property.) Reconstructed outbuildings include the kitchen, the icehouse, and Patrick Henry's country law office (used as the gift shop).
Part of the Daytripping around Virginia travel blog
Part of the list Historic Houses
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