Richmond’s St. John’s Church gained fame as the location of patriot Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech at the Second Virginia Convention in March of 1775. But equally important to a rich understanding of family and social history is what its burial grounds reveal about life in early Virginia.

At GRIVA’s May 2010 meeting, Kay C. Peninger will present a talk entitled Exploring Richmond History Through Burials of St. John’s Church. Many who played key roles in history rest in St. John’s burial grounds. Even the graves of ordinary citizens can reveal far more than the names and dates preserved on their gravestones. Join us as we discover how cemeteries taken as a whole can teach us far more about the context of our ancestors’ lives.

Today St. John’s Church is the oldest church in Richmond and site of its first public cemetery. It is an active congregation and a National Historic Landmark. Kay C. Peninger is the Executive Director of the St. John’s Church Foundation. Under her leadership, the foundation has developed programs for area schools and collaborative initiatives with area cultural institutions. Ms. Peninger directed the PBS documentary Liberty or Death and authored Liberty or Death: St. John’s Church and the American Revolution.

Join us on May 25, 2010 at 7:45 p.m. at the Bon Air Presbyterian Church, 9201 West Huguenot Road, Richmond, Virginia. There will be a short GRIVA meeting before the program with refreshments and social time afterwards. Our meetings are free to the public and visitors are welcome.

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