Jefferson and Henry
- 2010 Shaping the World: Conversations on Democracy
- Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry Converse
- Presented by Poplar Forest, Blue Ridge PBS, Virginia Department of Education
- Project made possible with funding from The Greater Lynchburg Community Trust and The Lynchburg Retail Merchants Foundation, Inc.
Seven years his junior and still a student of law in Williamsburg, Thomas Jefferson witnessed Patrick Henry’s defiant stand in opposition to Great Britain’s Stamp Act during the May 1765 session in the House of Burgesses. Jefferson later wrote that he “heard the splendid display of Mr. Henry’s talents as a popular orator. They were great, indeed: such as I have never heard from any other man. He appeared to me to speak as Homer wrote.”
Both men championed the colonists’ rights as English citizens, Henry - vocally in fiery and passionate language and Jefferson - on paper, writing with elegance, succinctness, and essence. Both served in public office: Henry 30 years and Jefferson 40 years. They held the office of Governor of Virginia, elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, served as delegates to the Continental Congress (Henry 1774-1775, Jefferson 1775-1776) and each were national symbols of the American fight for liberty against British tyranny.
They began as friends and close collaborators, together drafting the “Proclamation for a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer” in 1774, and to draw together a consensus of their fellow Burgesses. After the beginning of the war for independence Jefferson and Henry began to differ in opinions relative to a central government versus states rights (especially of Virginia), relationships between church and state, and what generally became known as the conflict in Federalist versus Anti-Federalist politics.
Lesson Plan Pages
Segment IV Coming Soon
In 1773, Thomas Jefferson and his wife, Martha, inherited approximately 4,800 acres from the estate of John Wayles, Martha’s father. Jefferson designed an octagonal villa and in 1806 traveled to Bedford County to oversee the laying of the foundation. Poplar Forest served as a retreat for Jefferson and his grandchildren as well as a working plantation, generating cash income. During Jefferson’s residency, 1806 to 1823, the enslaved community ranged from 60 to 100 people. The house and land was inherited by Jefferson’s grandson, Francis Eppes and later sold to William Cobbs. Over the years, its acreage dwindled and the house underwent many structural changes. In December 1983, the Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest was formed to rescue this landmark for the educational and cultural benefit of the public. Today, Poplar Forest is a National and Virginia landmark. Restoration and archaeology are on-going.
Blue Ridge PBS:
Since 1967, Blue Ridge PBS has provided instructional television for western Virginia, and today broadcasts SOL-correlated programs to 41 school divisions with 200,000 students. Blue Ridge PBS works on-site with all communities of learners, including teachers, pre-schoolers, and adult learners. Blue Ridge PBS sponsors the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest and the McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Virginia Department of Education and Virtual Virginia:
Programs that support the Virginia Standards of Learning for students, teachers, and administrators are delivered via Virginia on iTunes U. The Department of Education is pleased to make Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest program available via streaming through iTunes U to students across the Commonwealth and nation. http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/virginia-department-education/id3...