Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 13:07

Scotchtown is a plantation located in Hanover County, Virginia, that from 1771–1778 was owned and used as a residence by Patrick Henry, his wife Sarah and their children. He was a revolutionary and elected in 1778 as the first Governor of Virginia. The house is located in Beaverdam, Virginia, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Ashland, Virginia on VA 685. The house, at 93 feet (28 m) by 35 feet (11 m), is one of the largest 18th-century homes to survive in the Americas. In its present configuration, it has eight substantial rooms on the first floor surrounding a central passage, with a full attic above and English basement with windows below. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

The Scotchtown property was given as a land grant to Charles Chiswell, a prominent planter and iron mine owner, in 1717. Chiswell built a small house on the property, probably in the 1720s. It was expanded to its present size around 1760. It was first given the name "Scotch Town" in a 1757 deed of sale. At this time the house also was used as a store that bought and sold local tobacco.

Patrick Henry purchased the house in 1771 and lived there with his wife, Sarah Shelton Henry, and their six children. This was his home during his most influential period, including his famous "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!" speech at St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. It was also his residence when he was elected Governor of Virginia in 1776. His wife Sarah, who suffered from mental illness, died at the site in 1775. He resided at Scotchtown until 1777. That year he married his second wife and in 1778 they relocated, after his election, to the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.

The house was purchased by the Wilson Miles Cary family after their original home had been taken over as a small-pox rest camp. They briefly resided there until attempting to sell it in December 1781. The house and land were transferred to Benjamin Forsythe in Hanover County's 1787 tax records, but Cary is charged once more in 1792. An ad in a 1794 Richmond paper announces, "Scotch-Town Grammar School will be conducted the present year by Peter and Thomas Nelson. Peter Nelson, Rector, St. Martin's, Hanover".

10 mi. NW of Ashland on VA 685, Ashland, Virginia
37°50′39.7″N 77°35′4.4″W
Patrick Henry
Aft. 1717
NRHP Ref Number