Pine Slash
The Henrys' First Home

Upon Patrick Henry's marriage to Sarah Shelton in 1754, he received for her dowry a 300-acre tract of land and six slaves. Like many Virginians with small farms, Henry labored in the fields with his slaves. Much of the soil at Pine Slash had been exhausted by years of cultivation and along with drought, resulted in poor crops. In 1757 Henry marketed one hogshead of tobacco worth little more than £10. Soon the house at Pine Slash burned, destroying most of their possessions. Patrick and Sarah Henry and their two young children were forced to move into a small cabin on the property, now known as the Honeymoon Cottage.

The Honeymoon Cottage at Pine Slash is a rectangular 20-by-60-foot one-story building with three rooms, an attic, and a half cellar under the north end. The older part of the house, comprising the two northern-most rooms, dates to the mid 18th century. The third room was added to the structure about 1800. According to Shelton family tradition, the Henrys lived in the cottage at Pine Slash about six months before moving to Hanover Tavern, owned by Sarah's father.

Henry opened a mercantile store in 1758, but it was unsuccessful. He closed the store in 1760, soon after obtaining his license as an attorney. While practicing law, Henry continued to farm the land at Pine Slash until he sold the property in 1764.

According to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Pine Slash represents a singular piece of this nation's architectural history. It is the earliest and best vertical plank-walled construction building in the region. The construction was to be permanent and of relatively high quality with finishes to create genteel spaces in a more economical manner. The planks were weather boarded outside and finished inside with moldings to make them resemble more costly paneling. Pine Slash survives as a unique and valuable historic building.

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6792 Rural Point Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
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