Tuesday, July 28, 2015

John Henry of Vienna, Maryland: Maryland's First United States Senator

Francis Makemie pioneered the planting of Presbyterian churches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. Churches at Rehobeth (Maryland), Manokin (Princess Anne, Maryland), Snow Hill (Maryland), Rockawalkin (Salisbury,Maryland) Pocomoke (Maryland) (Virginia) and (Virginia) all claim their heritage from Francis Makemie. Reverend John Henry replaced Francis Makemie at Rehobeth, Maryland (the oldest Presbyterian church in the United States). Rev. John Henry and his wife had a son who became Colonel John Henry and lived on the Nanticoke River near Vienna, Maryland. They also had three other sons and five daughters. Colonel John Henry died in 1781.
John Henry III (born 1750) received his education by travelling up the Chesapeake Bay to Cecil County where he attended the famous Nottingham Academy. Being from the stock of Rev. John Henry, John Henry III attended and graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton University today) and studied under Rev. John Witherspoon. After graduating from Princeton, Henry studied at the Temple in London (as did Arthur Middleton and John Blair). Henry defended the American position while studying and received much opposition. During the American Revolution, John Henry III became a delegate in Continental Congress. IN 1787 Henry served on a committee which made the Northwest Ordinance. This committee could have followed the historical pattern of colonies being subservient to the mother country. This committee and ordinance gave the colonies and territories the freedom to self govern and eventually become equal states.
Article Three of the Northwest Ordinance states that "Religion and morality... shall forever be encouraged until 1962." Scratch that last phrase; it is what the anti-God Gestapo want you to believe. The real quote is "Religion and morality...shall forever be encouraged."
The same year that the Northwest Ordinance was passed (1787) was the same year that the United States Constitution was adopted. The Maryland Convention voted for John Henry to be the first Senator under the Constitution for Maryland. John Henry and the other Senators and Congressmen attended George Washington's Swearing In Ceremony where he took the Oath of Office by putting his hand on the Bible and said "So help me God." That group of Senators and Congressmen followed President Washington on a six block march to St. Paul's Chapel where the government leaders dedicated the new government to God. It is worthy to note that the same church where the government dedicated itself to following God was saved by the falling wreckage of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Imagine that a guy from Vienna Maryland attended the church service that dedicated the country's government to God. What have we done with what our Founding Fathers passed down to us?
Below are two quotations from John Henry while he served in Continental Congress. John Henry to Thomas Johnson (Apr. 20, 1778) IX, 454. “...I make no doubt you have heard of the insurrection in the Delaware State. By a Letter from a Mr. Patterson we are informed that a considerable Number of the disaffected have assembled at a place near the head of the Chester River. They are exerting themselves to add to their Numbers and those who will not join them, they deprive them of their Arms and Ammunition. It is said here they have British officers among them and expect to be reinforced from Philadelphia. This Matter is viewed as very serious by some. Mr. Carroll gives his Compliments to you and desires me to acquaint you that there is a considerable quantity of provision at Charles Town at the Head of our Bay which appears to be in a dangerous Situation. There’s also as I am informed by Mr. S. Stewart quantities of provisions at Princess Ann in Somerset, and other places in that neighbourhood.”
John Henry to Thomas Sim Lee (Aug. 8, 1780) XV, 562. “...The General and the Army have returned to this side of the N. River and it is a very happy and fortunate Event that his movements called back the Attention of the Enemy to N. York. If they had proceeded to attack Rhode Island the General informs us he should have attempted N. York. He is now busily engaged in some preparatory steps toward the accomplishment of the great object of the Campaign. God grant him success. My Expectations are slender.”

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