st. johns episcopal church was built by colonel richard randolph in 1741. st. johns is the oldest church in richmond. in 1775 st. johns church was the site of the second virginia convention were patrick henry gave his famous quote "give me liberty, or give me death". for those interested in american history st. johns church should not be missed on a visit to richmond.
george wythe (1726-1806) was a lawyer, judge, and prominent law professor at the college of william and mary. future president thomas jefferson was one of george wythe's law students. wythe was one of the signers of the declaration of independence. it is believed that george wythe was murdered by his grand nephew george wythe sweeney. george wythe's grave is one of a number of graves of prominent virginians in st. johns church cemetery.
pictured is the grave stone of elizabeth arnold poe the mother of the famous american novelist and poet edgar allan poe. elizabeth arnold poe was born in 1787 and died in 1811 of tuberculosis. her grave is one of several famous people buried in st. johns church cemetery.
Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech during the Second Virginia Convention held in 1775 at St. John's Church. Each year on the Sunday closest to the March 23 anniversary date, a re-enactment is held by costumed actors in the historic church which still stands today in the Church Hill area of Richmond. The re-enactment is also held each Sunday beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through Labor Day weekend. Doors open at 1:00pm with the re-enactment going off at 2:00pm. The church only holds 400 so it is wise to get there early as there are no reserved seats.
Admission is free although they do solicit for voluntary donations to help pay for expenses. This is really a great experience and fun for the kids as well, especially those who have had some Revolutionary War history in school.
Did I mention that it's free?
St. John's Church is the oldest church with an active congregation in Richmond. It hosted the Second Virginia Convention in 1775 where Patrick Henry gave his Give me liberty or give me death speech. There are reenactments of this event every Sunday between Memorial Day and Labour Day. Some famous people are buried here like George Wythe (first signer of the Declaration of Independence from Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's law professor) and Elizabeth Arnold Poe (Edgar Allen Poe's mama).
Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston but soom moved to Richmond. His mother died (1811) shortly after arriving here and she was buried in the graveyard in St. John's Church. Her's is one of the nicer headstones in the graveyard.
St. John's Church is the oldest church in Richmond having been built in 1741. The parish, Henrico, was actually established in 1611. Situated on the top of the historic Church Hill district, the church as undergone a couple of renovations and additions. The church is most famous for serving as the venue for the Second Virginia Convention (1775) where the main topic was whether or not to cut ties with King George of England. The first convention had been held in Williamsbug, then the capital of Virginia, but a crack down on revolutionary thought. It was during that Second Virginia Convention that Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech which produced the majority needed to begin the establishment of a militia. During the summer months on Sundays there is a reenactment of the Second Virginia Convention with a focus on Henry's speech. The actors are quite good. Plus, it's free. Get the details here.
St. John's continues to be an operational church with services each Sunday.
This interesting, stone facade church building on my picture was completed in 1928 as a result of the conversion of the former President's house (1900) of the University of Richmond. The church community (protestant) was established in 1843 by German residents who wanted to worship in their native language.
There's at least one signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in the St. John's Church graveyard. That would be Geroge Wythe. He has a rather nice headstone.