Monday, May 21, 2012

St. John's Episcopal Church

Saint John's church is right in the heart of Richmond and still has services every Sunday.

In a park-like setting with a graveyard all around it, the little white church is steeped in history.

This very nice gentleman is named Charlie Brown (really!)  and he enthusiastically welcomed  me in for a tour.

It has the feel of history in the creak of the floors and the worn shine on the pews.

Immediately I spotted this stained glass window and remembered the same sign from the graveyard in New Bern.  

This is the same altar as it looked on the day Patrick Henry made his speech.

Washington and Jefferson were both sitting in these very pews on that day.  Voices were shouting; farmers and millers and blacksmiths and shopkeepers were being urged to take up arms against the most formidable professional army in the world at that time.

This was the meeting place of the town folk as they argued heatedly about rebelling against British rule.  They all knew the pros and cons and if their rebellion did not succeed they would hang for treason.
On that one day Patrick Henry's voice carried throughout the room and even to the balcony where the slaves were sitting. He stood up and faced the room and in a most dramatic fashion he more than earned the title, The voice of the Revolution....

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet,
To be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it! Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; But as for me,
Give me Liberty or Give me Death!"

And as we all know..the rest is history.

Some of those that were there that day are buried in the cemetery.

First Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The lady is Mary Cook.  We met that day for just a brief time but I learned she was brand new to the Richmond area, a transplant from Austin, Tx, had lost her dear cat just a few weeks before and when she found this grave she pointed it out to me....

Mary also shared the wonderful video on the cat and the porpoises that I posted on the blog a week or so ago.  Good luck in Richmond, Mary. 
 Elizabeth Arnold Poe, actress and mother of Edgar Allan Poe.

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