Virginia: St. Johns

Built by Richard Randolph in 1741, St. John's Episcopal Church is the oldest church in Richmond Virginia. Its Congregation which is even older ,can be traced back to the early 1600's.

St. John's would play a vital part in the rally call for arms, during the revolutionary war. For on this spot, Patrick Henry Gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech, which lit a fire in the hearts of patriots such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Harrison, who were all present at the Virginia Convention.

During the Revolutionary war, Benedict Arnold, a General for the British army at the time, quartered his solders in the church throughout the month of January 1781,while Richmond was occupied by the British. To this day, the church remains active, offering regular service. You can also catch reenactments of the historical Patrick Henry speech, as well as tours of the church and grounds, when you visit the quaint gift shop located behind the chapel.

Many well respected patriots and citizens are buried here, but of course, most notable to an Edger Allan Poe Fan like myself, would be the grave of his mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, who died in Richmond December 8th 1811.