Major Events in the History of the Foundation

Proclamation Urging Support for the Preservation of The Patrick Henry Red Hill National Memorial

On behalf of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, we urge the national attention to be drawn to the public-spirited efforts of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization, at the Patrick Henry Red HIll National Memorial, near Brookneal, Virginia.

The nation can take pride in this new National Memorial, which reflects a fresh approach to the administration and management of significant historic sites, for the Foundation is preserving this important property, the only National Memorial to Patrick Henry, entirely from non-Federal funds. This unique partnership between the National Park Service and the Foundation is a significant experiment that places reliance on citizen endeavor and support from the general public to an unprecedented extent.

We welcome the establishment of this National Memorial and congratulate its sponsors and supporters for undertaking this significant task. At the same time, we wish to encourage the public to consider the challenge that faces the Foundation in its efforts to preserve and enhance Red Hill. To carry out these efforts successfully, the Foundation will need to enlist support through donations, grants, and other private assistance.

It is particularly fitting to commend this endeavor by the Foundation on the eve of the Bicentennial of the Constitution and the Federal Government. Most people will recall that Patrick Henry's clarion voice electrified the movement for national independence, in phrases that echo even today from the mouths of schoolchildren. His decisive influence in the debate over ratification of the Federal Constitution, however, is equally worthy of remembrance. henry opposed the Constitution when it came to the States for ratification; it was his leadership in the Virginia convention, and that of like-minded individuals in his State and others, that led to the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

The Patrick Henry Red HIll National Memorial, unlike many national memorials, is not in the Nation's Capital, but in the Virginia countryside, southwest of Richmond. it is intimately related to Henry, for it includes the property that was the last home of the renowned patriot -- between 1794 and his death on June 6, 1799. Henry and his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge, are buried at Red Hill, where his last law office and his final home, the latter reconstructed on its original foundations, are also preserved. The visitor center at Red hill houses a large collection of books and literature pertaining to Henry's life. The Foundation's other programs include seminars, exhibits, and publications devoted to Henry's career.

The Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation's charge, "to honor for the benefit of present and future generations the entire life of Patrick Henry," has been endorsed by Congress in those words, drawn from the Act that established the National Memorial. We appeal for favorable consideration of the Foundation's efforts to preserve the Patrick Henry Red HIll National Memorial. The Memorial worthily commemorates a great patriot, whose formal recognition has been long belated.