Hanover Tavern

Hanover Tavern (HMLTV)

Location: Hanover, VA 23069 Hanover County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 45.739', W 77° 22.042'

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"Give me liberty or give me death!"

— Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775 —

Hanover Tavern was an essential part of the county courthouse complex during the 18th and 19th centuries, serving as the center of social life. For people living on large farms and plantations, whose closest neighbors could live miles away, taverns served as public meeting places for dining, discourse, and rest. Many of the ideological foundations of the American Revolution grew out of the everyday exchanges among the American people.

On court days, usually held only a few days per month, the courthouse complex would be alive with the commercial exchange of goods and services. Residents would also enjoy leisure activities such as performances by traveling circus troupes or gambling on cockfights and horse races. Young lawyers like Patrick Henry would discuss, argue, and sell their expertise in law.

Patrick Henry had very strong ties to Hanover Tavern because of his interest in the courthouse, and his marriage to Sarah Shelton. After failing at tobacco farming, Patrick and Sarah moved in with the Shelton's at Hanover Tavern. John Shelton was the keeper of Hanover Tavern at the time and called it the Shelton Inn. Patrick helped John care for guests of the Tavern, many of them lawyers and clients doing business across the street. Patrick's great interest in Colonial law led him through successful examinations by prominent lawyers in Williamsburg and to a license to practice law in Virginia. By April of 1760 he opened a small law office out of Hanover Tavern and in his first year he represented 60 clients in 176 cases.

Marker Number5
Year Placed2010
Placed ByThe Road to Revolution Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 5:23am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 291467 N 4182083
Decimal Degrees37.76231667, -77.36736667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 45.739', W 77° 22.042'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 45' 44.34" N, 77° 22' 2.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd, Hanover VA 23069, US
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