The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

AUGUST  2013






The Tennessee Mockingbird

The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry
by Carris Kocher
Submitted by June Griffin

For this month's Mockingbird, I would like to submit the opening chapter of a wonderful publication on The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry.

Carris Kocher is the compiler and author.

The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry


The following remarks were included in the first edition of this work...

This historical survey of the influence of Christianity upon the political career of Patrick Henry was presented to and approved by the Faculty of the Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, Texas, July, 1960, as a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts.


Note - Because of the importance of the documentation in this thesis the President of the 1789 Club of Houston, Mrs. Willard O. Hedrick, obtained permission of Mr. Wells to publish his thesis for wide distribution. Readers will note that numbers for the footnotes were retained although in the interest of brevity the footnotes themselves were omitted. The master copy retains them so that any questions as to the authenticity of any quotation can be verified easily by writing to the 1789 Club, P.O. Box 13322, Houston 19, Texas.

Should enough requests be made to justify the printing of a supplemental list of the references it will be done.

The 1789 Club

The present editor has in her possession a letter from Mrs. Hedrick giving her hearty endorsement and permission, if necessary, to another printing of Mr. Wells' thesis, "The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry." However, to the editor's regret, all later efforts to contact Mrs. Hedrick in order to obtain the list of references for this work have been unsuccessful.

In an effort to make the work more readable minor changes were made in its presentation. The original work contained six chapters, arranged in the customary manner of a thesis. For this edition those chapters were designated "Part I, Part II, etc." with total chapter divisions numbering fifteen. However, please note that all of the text is Mr. Wells' own writing, given in the sequence with which he wrote it. All of the chapter titles, except the first, were his titles for the subdivisions under each heading.

It is hoped that these changes meet the approval of anyone acquainted with the original work.

"She dipped her pen in

June Griffin


The legacy which Patrick Henry bequeathed to all Americans is little known or recognized, but it is a treasure well worth searching out. The discovery of the rich and enduring inheritance given us by this great man will far outweigh the costs of time and effort.

Patrick Henry was foremost in the fight for the disestablishment of religion in the Virginia colony, pressing for the rights of all Christians to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

While others throughout the colonies prepared petitions stating their objections to the proposed Stamp Tax, it was Patrick Henry who first introduced resolutions boldly opposing the Stamp Act and the seeds of tyranny it contained.

Patrick Henry was the very first to rise and speak in the cause of national liberty at the First Continental Congress in September 1774.

Patrick Henry was the first to say, "I am an American!"

He was the first, with Samuel Adams, to realize that independence was necessary to the security of American liberties.

He was the first military officer to lead a group of armed Virginians against the royal governor, demanding the return of military supplies which had been seized under the governor's orders. On August 5, 1775, he was elected the first Commander-in-Chief of all the Virginia forces.

Before July 2, 1776, the date of the final vote in the Continental Congress on the question of independence, Virginia had already declared independence, framed her Constitution, drafted her Bill of Rights, and elected Patrick Henry her first governor. Thus he became the first elected governor of a free republic under a written constitution in the history of the world!

He is the one most singularly responsible for the Bill of Rights, those first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, which secured to us those liberties we hold dear. He held those rights, endowed to us by the Creator, to be worth more than life itself. "Give me liberty, or give me death!" he said.

His contemporaries recognized him as the one who had sounded forth the trumpet in Liberty's defense, and he never called retreat. Though his contributions as an orator were unsurpassed in the American Cause, his abilities in many other ways were also essential to its ultimate success. It is fair enough to say that without Patrick Henry, there may not have been a free America.

What enabled him to see so clearly the consequences of the policies of George III?

What emboldened him to withstand the King of England himself with such courage?

What strengthened him to the arduous task ahead?

What guided him in the councils of government?

What endeared him to the hearts of the entire nation?

Mr. James Wells provides the answer to these questions. In his work he describes the methods he used in its preparation:

Various books presenting the background of Patrick Henry's period were examined, along with the writings    and speeches of contemporary American leaders. All available biographies of Patrick Henry were also  examined. Seeming incongruities in Patrick Henry's career were discussed with historians and theologians at the University of Houston and Rice Institute. Primary recourse, however, was in an intensive study of the personal correspondence and speeches of Patrick Henry himself.

Thank you, Mr. Wells, for a job well done. May we profit by Henry's example.

To read Part One Chapter One, please follow this link