Tag Archives: Patrick Henry

Claytor Lake: what’s in a name?

As the colonial relationship with England disintegrated, in 1775 and 1776, William Christian supported the revolutionary policies that his brother-in-law, Patrick Henry, advocated. In January 1775, Christian was one of 15 men selected by the freeholders of Fincastle County, which had been created in 1772 from Botetourt County, to represent the county‘s interests.

This committee, of which Christian was elected chairman, drafted a written address to Virginia‘s delegates to the Continental Congress, which was adopted on January 20, 1775, and came to be known as the Fincastle Resolutions. Many of the signers of these resolutions, including Christian, had at least distant family ties to Patrick Henry and his influence on the document is evident.

Although not calling specifically for war, the Fincastle Resolutions clearly stated that the men ―by no means desire[d] to shake off our duty or allegiance to our lawful sovereign…but if no pacifick [sic] measures shall be proposed or adopted by Britain, and our enemies will attempt to dragoon us out of these inestimable privileges which we are entitled to…we are deliberately and resolutely determined never to surrender them to any power upon this earth, but at the expense of our lives ‖ (The Fincastle Resolutions, in Glanville 2010:102–103).

Christian‘s political activities continued in 1776, when he was part of the Convention that adopted the Constitution of Virginia and elected Patrick Henry as the first governor of the new Commonwealth.

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