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wmturht eulogium on the benevolence of the clergy. And now came on the first trial of Patrick Henry's strength. No one had ever heard him "peak, and curiosity was on tiptoe. He rose very awkwardly, and faltered much in his exordium. The people hung their heads at so unpromising a commencement; the clergy were observed to exchange sly looks with each other; and hi-* father is described as having tLmosi sunk with confusion from his seat. But these feelings were of short duration, and soon gave place to others of a very different character. For now were those wonderful faculties which he possessed for the first time developed; and now was first witnessed that mysterious and almost supernatural transformation of appearance, which the .lire of his own eloquence never failed to work in him. For as his mind rolled along, and began to glow from its own action, all the exuvia of the clown seemed to shed themselves spontaneously. His attitude by degrees became erect and lofty. The spirit of his genius awakened all his features. His countenance shone with a nobleness and grandeur which it had never s exhibited. There was a lightning in his eyes which seemed to rivet the spectator. His action e graceful, bold, and commanding; and in the tones of his voice, but more especially in his cm. there was a peculiar charm, a magic, of which any one who ever heard him will speak as soon as he is named, bnt of which no one can give any adequate description. They can only say that it struck upon the ear And upon the heart, in a manner which languagt cannot tell. Add to all the^e, his wonder-working fancy, and the peculiar phraseology in which he clothed its images; for he painted to the heart with a force that almost petrified it. In the language of those who heard him on this occasion. •' he made their blood run cold, and their hair to rise on end."
It will not be difficult for any one who ever heard this most extraordinary man, to believe the whole account of this transaction which is given by his surviving hearers; and from their account, the courtB of Hanover county must have exhibited, on this occasion, a scene as picturesque as has been ever sssed in real life. They say that the people, whose countenances had fallen as he arose, had 1 but a very few sentences before they l>egan to look up; then to look at each other with surprise, as if doubting the evidence of their own senses; then, attracted by some strong gesture, struck by some majestic attitude, fascinated by the spell of his eye, the charm of his emphasis, and the varied and commanding expression of his countenance, they could look away no more. In less than twenty minutes they might be seen, in every part of the house, on every bench, in every window, stooping forward from their stands, in death-like silence; their features fixed in amazement and awe, all their senses listening ud riveted upon the speaker, as if to catch the last strain of some heavenly visitant. The mockery of the clergy was soon turned into alarm, their triumph into confusion and despair, and at one burst of his rapid and overwhelming Invective* they tied from the bench in precipitation and terror. As for the father, such was his surprise, such his amazement, such his rapture, that, forgetting where he was, and the character which ne was filling, tears of ecstasy streamed down his cheeks, without the power or inclination to repress them
The jury seem to have been so completely bewildered, that they lost sight not only of tho act of 1748, bat that of 1758 also; for, thoughtless even of the admitted right of the plaintiff, they had scarcely left the bar when they returned with a verdict of on* penny damages. A motion was made for a new trial; but the court, too, had now lost the equipoise of their judgment, and overruled the motion by a unanimous vote. The verdict, and judgment overruling the motion, were followed by redoubled acclamation, from within and without the house. The people, who had with difficulty kept their hands off their champion from the moment of closing his harangue, no sooner saw the fate of the cause finally sealed than they seized him at the bar, and, in spite of his own exertions and the continued cry of "order," from the sherifFi and the court, they bore him out of the court-house, and raising him on their shoulders, carried him about the yard in a kind of electioneering triumph.
From this time Mr. Henry's star was in the ascendant, and he at once rose to the head of his profession in that section. In the autumn of 1764, having removed to Roundabout, in Louisa county, he was employed to argue a case before a committee on elections of the House of Burgesses. He distinguished himself by a brilliant display on the right of suffrage. Such a burst of eloquence from a man of so humble an appearance, struck the committee with amazement, and not a sound but from his lips broke the deep silence of the room.
In 1765, he was elected a member of the House of Burgesses, when he introduced his celebrated resolutions on the Stamp Act. Among his papers there was found, after his decease, one sealed and thus endorsed:
"Enclosed are the resolutions of the Virginia Assembly, in 1765, concerning the Stamp Act. J>t my executors open this piper." On tho h->ck of the paper containing the resolutions was the following endorsement: "The within passed the House of Burgesses in May, 17G5. They formed the first opposition to the Stamp Ast, and the scheme of taxing America by the British parliament. All the colonies, either through fear, or the want of opportunity to form an opposition, or from Influence of some kind or other, had remained silent. I had been for the first time elected a burgess a few days before, was young, inexperienced, unacquainted with the forms of the house and the mi'iiibers who cmiipoMMl it. Finding the men of weight averse to opposition, and the commencement of the t^ix at hand, and that no person was likely to step forth, I determined to venture; and alone, unaided and unassisted, on the blank leaf of an old law-book, wrote the within. Upon olfering them to the house, violent debate* ensued. Many threats were uttered, and much abu*c cast on me by the parties for submission. After a long and warm contest, the resolutions p-issed hy a very armill majority, perhaps one or two only. The alarm spread throughout America with astonishing quickness, and the ministerial party were ovrrwhelim-d. Ine grent point of resistance to British tuition wis univumlly estibluhed in the colonics. This onrnghi on the war, which finally separated the two countries, and gave Independence to ours. Whether this win prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a Prions God hath be* lowed on us. if they Hre wise, they will he great and happy. Ifiheyareofa contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader, whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere, practise virtue thyself, and encourage It In others.
It was in the midst of the above-mentioned debate that he exclaimed, in tones of thunder, " Caesar had his Brutus—Charles the First his Cromwell—and George the Third—(' Treason !' cried the speaker—' Treason! treason!' echoed from every part of the house. Henry faltered not for a moment; taking a loftier attitude, and fixing on the speaker an eye of fire, he finished his sentence with the firmest emphasis)—" may profit Ay their example. If thi» be treason, make the most of it." Henceforth Mx.
S*he Hanover Court-House Is over a century old. and is built of imported brick. It Is the building In ch Patrick Henry made his celebrated speech in " The Parsont' Cait««."]
Henry was the idol of the people of Virginia, and his influence as one of the great champions of liberty, extended throughout America. In 1769 he was admitted to the bar of the general court. Without that legal learning which study alone can supply, he was deficient as a mere lawyer. But before a jury, in criminal cases particularly, his genius displayed itself most brilliantly. His deep knowledge of the springs of human action, his power of reading in the flitting expressions of the countenance what was passing in the hearts of his hearers, has rarely been possessed by any one in so great a degree. In 1767 or '68, Mr. Henry removed back to Hanover, and continued a member of the House of Burgesses until the close of the revolution, acting upon its most important committees, and infusing a spirit of bold opposition in its members to the pretensions of Britain.' He was a delegate to the first Colonial Congress, which assembled Sept. 4, 1774, at Philadelphia.
Upon Lord Dunmore's seizing the gunpowder at Williamsburg, in the night after the battle of Lexington, Henry summoned volunteers to meet him ; and marching down towards the Capitol, compelled the agent of Dunmore to give a pecuniary compensation for it. This was the first military movement in Virginia. The colonial convention of 1775 elected him the colonel of the first regiment, and the commander of " all the forces raised and to be raised for the defence of the colony." Soon resigning his command, he was elected a delegate to the convention, and not long after, in 1776, thefirst governor of the commonwealth, an office he held by successive re-elections until 1779, when, without an intermission, he was no longer constitutionally eligible. WThile holding that office he was signally serviceable in sustaining public spirit during the gloomiest period of the revolution, providing recruits, and crushing the intrigues of the tories.
On leaving the office of governor, he Berved, until the end of the war, in the legislature, when he was again elected governor, until the state of his affairs caused him to resign in the autumn of 1786. Until 1794 he regularly attended the courts, where his great reputation obtained for him a lucrative business. 14 In 1788 be was a member of the convention of Virginia which so ably and eloquently discussed the constitution of the United States. He employed his masterly eloquence, day after day, in opposition to the proposed constitution. His hostility 'o it proceeded entirely from an apprehension that the federal government would swallow the sovereignty of the states; and that ultimately the liberty of the people would be destroyed, or crushed, by an overgrown and ponderous consolidation of political power. The constitution having been adopted, the government organized, and Washington elected President, his repugnance measurably abated. The chapter of amendments considerably neutralized his objections: but, nevertheless, it is believed that his acquiescence resulted more from the consideration of I citizen's duty, confidence in the chief magistrate, and a hopeful reliance on the wisdom and virtue of the people, rather than from any material change in his opinions."
In 1794 Mr. Henry retired from the bar. In 1796 the post of governor was once more tendered to him, and refused. In 1798 the strong and animated resolutions of the Virginia Assembly, in opposition to the alien and sedition laws, which laws he was in favor of, " conjured up the most frightful visions of civil war, disunion, blood, and anarchy; and under the impulse of these phantoms, to make what he considered a virtuous effort for his country, he presented himself in Charlotte county as a candidate for the House of Delegates, at the spring election of 1799," although he had retired to private life three years previously.
His speech on this occasion, before the polls were opened, was the last effort of his eloquence. "The power of the noon-day sun was gone; but its setting splendors were not less beautiful and touching." Mr. Henry was elected by his usual commanding majority, and the most formidable preparations were made to oppose him in the Assembly. But " the disease which had^een preying upon him for two years now hastened to its crisis; and on the 6th of June, 1799, this friend of liberty and man was no more."
By his first wife he had six children, and by his last, six sons and three daughters. He left them a large landed property. He was temperate and frugal in his habits of living, and seldom drank any thing but water. He was nearly six feet in height, spare, and raw-boned, and with a slight stoop in his shoulders; his complexion dark and sallow; his countenance grave, thoughtful, and penetrating, and strongly marked with the lines of profound reflection, which with his earnest manner, and the habitual knitting and contracting of his brows, gave at times an expression of severity. "He was gifted with a strong and musical voice, and a most expressive countenance, and he acquired particular skill in the use of them.... He could be vehement, insinuating, humorous, and sarcastic, by turns, and always with the utmost effect. He was a natural orator of the highest order, combining imagination, acuteness, dexterity, and ingenuity, with the most forcible action, and extraordinary powers of face and utterance. As a statesman, his principal merits were sagacity and boldness. His name is brilliantly and lastingly connected with the history of "his country's emancipation."
"In private life, Mr. Henry was as amiable as he was brilliant in his public career. He was an exemplary Christian, and his illustrious life was greatly ornamented by the religion which he professed. In his will he left the following testimony respecting the Christian religion: 'I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they have that, and I had not given one shilling, they would be rich; and if they have not that, and I had given them the whole world, they would be poor.'"
Hardy was formed in 1786, from Hampshire, and named from Samuel Hardy, a member of Congress from 1783 to 1785. He was a young man of promising talents, who died suddenly. Its mean length is 42, breadth 17 miles. The surface of the county is traversed, in a Ne. direction, by the South Branch and other tributaries of the Potomac; with lateral chains of mountains intervening, and extending in the same direction with the rivers. The surface is much broken, and, for the most part, very rocky and sterile; but tracts of excellent land lie on the streams, and in the mountain-valleys. There are some valuable banks of iron ore in the county. Pop., whites 6,100, slaves 1,131, free colored 391; total, 7,622.
Trout Run, or Wardensville, is a small village on Trout Run, in the eastern section of the county, 26 miles from the county-seat. It was laid off in 1827. In the place and vicinity are several flour mills and iron works. Moorefield, the county-seat, is 178 miles Nw. of Richmond, and 50 miles southwesterly from Winchester. This village is situated on the South Branch of the Potomac, at the junction of the south fork, in a valley of surpassing fertility, and contains a population of about 400. It was established by law, in 1777, on land belonging to Conrad Moore, from whom it derived its name. The act appointed, as trustees to lay out the town, Garret Vanmeter, Abel Randall, Moses Hutton, Jacob Read, Jonathan Heath, Daniel M'Neil, and Geo. Rennock. Petersburg is a small village on the South Branch of the Potomac.
On the Wappatoraaka have been found numerous Indian relics, among which was a highly finished pipe, representing a snake coiled around the bowl. There was also discovered the under jaw-bone of a human being (says Kercheval) of great size, which contained eight jaw-teeth in each side, of enormous size; and, what is more remarkable, the teeth stood transversely in the jaw-bone. It would pass over any man's face with entire ease.
The Fairfax Stone, the southern point of the western boundary between Maryland and Virginia, is on the westerly angle of this county. It was planted Oct. 17,1746
There are several natural curiosities in this county worthy of note. They are the Regurgitary Spring, the Lost River, and the Devil's Garden.
The Regurgitary Spring is on the summit of a high mountain, a few miles from Petersburg. It flows and ebbs every two hours. When rising, it emits a noise similar to the gurgling of liquor from the bung-hole of a barrel, which continues two hours, and sends out sand and pebbles. It then ebbs two hours, at the end of which time the water entirely disappears.
The Devil's Garden. A strip of ground between two lofty ranges of mountains, rises gradually for about three miles, when it abruptly terminates at its southern extremity by an isolated and perpendicular pile of granitic rocks, of about 500 feet in height. At this place there is a figure in solid rock, resembling, in its upper part, the bust of a man. It is on a piece of ground thickly strewn with rocks, which, from the dark frowning appearance of the image, standing as the presiding deity of this savage spot, has given rise to the name it bears. Near his " satanic majesty," a door opens into a cavern, containing about a dozen rooms. The Lost River is so called from having, in the aggregate, a subterranean passage of three miles under several mountains.
This section of the country suffered severely in the Indian wars, previous to the revolution. Some incidents of bravery deserve a record:
Near Petersburg, a party of Indians attacked, just before daybreak, the dwelling of Samuel Bingham. Himself, wife, and parents, slept below, and a hired man in the loft above. A shot was first fired into the cabin, wounding his wife. Bingham sprang to his feet, bade the others to get under the bed, and requested the hired man to come down to his assistance, who, however, did not move. As the Indians rushed in at the door, he laid about him, with his rifle, with so much desperation that he finally cleared the room. Daylight appearing, he discovered that he had killed five, and the remaining two were seen retreating. He having broken his rifle in the m61ce, seized one which had been left by the Indians, and wounded one of the fugitives. Tradition relates that the other fled to the Indian camp, and reported that they had a fight with a devil, who had killed six of his companions, and that if they wont, he would kill them all.
There was a memorable battle fought with the Indians, called the battle of Trough Hill. The whites were surrounded, and greatly outnumbered, but they fought with Spartan-like bravery; and cutting their way through the savages, retreated to Fort Pleasant with the loss of many killed and wounded. In retreating, they were obliged to swim a river. Some, too badly wounded for this, loaded their rifles and deliberately awaited the approach of the savages from behind some cover, and dealt certain death to the first who approached, and then calmly yielded to the tomahawk.
When Cornwallis entered Virginia, a party of tones, at the head of whom was a Scotchman named Claypole, and his two sons, raised the British standard, and gained a large party on Lost River, and on the south fork of the Wappatomaka. It was their intention to join Cornwallis. It was, however, crushed in the bud by a force from Winchester, under General Daniel Morgan ; and several of the young men, ashamed of their conduct, volunteered and marched to aid in the capture of the British at Yorktown.
Harrison was created in 1784, from Monongalia, and named in honor of Benjamin Harrison, governor of Virginia from 1781 to 1784, and father of the late President of the U. States. The surface is much broken, and much of the soil on the streams fertile. The bounds have been reduced within a few years by the formation of Marion. Ritchie, Barbour, and Taylor counties. Pop. in 1840, whites 16,850, slaves 693, free colored 126; total, 17,699.
Bridgeport, 6 miles east of Clarksburg, contains 1 Methodist and 1 Baptist church, and 25 dwellings. Lewisport, Milford, and Shinnston, are small villages in the county.
Clarksburg, the county-seat, lies 253 miles northwesterly from Richmond, and 70 east of the Ohio River, at the junction of Elk creek with the west fork of the Monongahela. The village stands on a rolling table-land, surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills, while Elk creek, meandering through and around the town, imparts additional beauty to the scene. Clarksburg was established by law, Oct., 1785, and William Carpenter, John Myers, William Haymond, John M'Ally, and John Davisson, gentlemen, were appointed the trustees. It is now a flourishing town, and contains 7 mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing offices, 2 fine classical academies, 1 Methodist, and 1 Presbyterian church, and a population of about 1100. There are inexhaustible supplies of coal in the immediate neighborhood; and being in the midst of a fertile country, possessing great mineral wealth in its iron, salt, &c, it possesses the elements of prosperity. This immediate vicinity was settled a few years before the commencement of the revolutionary war. The early settlers in this region of country suffered greatly in the wars with the Indians, until Wayne's treaty in 1795. Withers' Chronicles of Border Warfare and History of Northwestern Virginia, published at Clarksburg in 1831, details many soul-harrowing cases of savage barbarity.
Jesse Hughes was one of the bold pioneers who acted a conspicuous part against the Indians. He was bred from infancy in the hotbed of Indian warfare, and resided J" Clarksburg. He was a light-built, spare man, and remarkably active on foot, and from his constant practice of hunting, became one of the best woodsmen and Indian "inters of his day. The annexed anecdotes we derive from the American Pioneer:
About the year 1790, the Indians one night came secretly upon the settlement at Clarksburg, and stole some horses. Next morning at daylight a party df about 25 men 'tarted in pursuit, and came upon the Indian trail, and judged from appearances there fere only 8 or 10 of them. The captain and a majority, in a hasty council, were for fining the trail. Hughs opposed it, and advised them to let him pilot them by a near