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Home Uncategorized Location: St. John’s Church

Location: St. John’s Church

Published on June 26, 2012 by

A nice place to spend a day, but do not visit during the Zombie Apocalypse.

The Henrico Parish Church was founded in 1611 in the Cittie of Henricus.  (1611 writing is just awesome.)  After converting, baptizing, and renaming Pocahontas the church and cittie eventually fell victim to the Indian Massacre of 1622.  In the first recorded instance of white flight in the Western Hemisphere the parish up and moved out of the cittie and to Varina.  In 1741 the congregation looked around, realized they were in Varina and decided to get out of there.  They promptly moved to Richmond, which then consisted of the area we now know as Church Hill.  (Have you figured out yet why it’s called Church Hill?)

You say you want a revolution? Well… you know…

Fast forward to 1775.  Britain has upped taxes, Boston threw some tea into the water and they are now being blockaded by the English, and Lord Dunmore has dissolved the Virginia House of Burgesses in Williamsburg.  St. John’s provided a perfect place to get away from the prying eyes of the British, having only 600 people at the time.  It was at this convention that Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech that convinced the group to vote to take arms against the Red Coats.  Patrick Henry was a bit of a radical, but the convention decided to raise the militia by a margin of only five votes.

Patrick Henry, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington all sat here.

The church managed to survive occupation by British troops under Benedict Arnold (traitor! pew! pun intended!), and the Civil War (War or Northern Aggression for my RVA friends) unscathed.  The middle section of the church is original, with a couple additions and a bell tower making it what it is today.

The door to the left is the original entrance to the original portion of the church.

Tours of the interior of the church run Saturdays and Sundays, with re-enactments on Sundays during the summer.  The church still has an active congregation and meets on Sundays, as most churches do.  You can find out more about tours at their website: http://www.historicstjohnschurch.org/.

The pulpit today…

The pulpit in 1901. Courtesy of the Detroit Photographic Company via Wikipedia.


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