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Patrick Henry and Freedom of Religion — Colonial Treason in a Courthouse

Spent a wonderful afternoon at Huguenot Society of Virginia’s annual meeting Saturday.  This year’s event was held in historic Walkerton Tavern in Glen Allen, outside of Richmond.  Talked about the origin of the First Amendment through the “Parson’s Cause” case that started the dis-establishment of the Church of England as the official colony-supported church.  Cast of characters in this historic proceeding in the Hanover County courthouse, a little more than 15 miles from where we met included the Reverend James Maury, two of his students — Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, uncle of the president and first Episcopal bishop in the United States, as well as his namesake nephew, and a young Patrick Henry. Henry was so dramatic in his rhetoric that cries of “Treason” echoed through the small but filled to the walls courtroom and out onto the crowded veranda.

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