Point of Honor

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Point of Honor is a beautifully restored antebellum home in Lynchburg. It is open to the public and well worth a visit.

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The view from the porch toward the river. 

The federal style home was designed and built by Dr. George Cabell, and was completed in 1815.

An accomplished businessman and planter, Dr. Cabell was Patrick Henry’s physician. The following is from Moses Tyler’s 1888 biography of Patrick Henry:

On the 6th of June, all other remedies having failed, Dr. Cabell proceeded to administer to him a dose of liquid mercury. Taking the vial in his hand, and looking at it for a moment, the dying man said:

“I suppose, doctor, this is your last resort?”

The doctor replied: “I am sorry to say, governor, that it is. Acute inflammation of the intestine has already taken place; and unless it is removed, mortification will ensue, if it has not already commenced, which I fear.”

“What will be the effect of this medicine?” said the old man.

“It will give you immediate relief, or”—the kind-hearted doctor could not finish the sentence. His patient took up the word: “You mean, doctor, that it will give relief, or will prove fatal immediately?”

The doctor answered: “You can only live a very short time without it, and it may possibly relieve you.” Then Patrick Henry said, “Excuse me, doctor, for a few minutes;” and drawing down over his eyes a silken cap which he usually wore, and still holding the vial in his hand, he prayed, in clear words, a simple childlike prayer, for his family, for his country, and for his own soul then in the presence of death. Afterward, in perfect calmness, he swallowed the medicine.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cabell, who greatly loved him, went out upon the lawn, and in his grief threw himself down upon the earth under one of the trees, weeping bitterly. Soon, when he had sufficiently mastered himself, the doctor came back to his patient, whom he found calmly watching the congealing of the blood under his finger-nails, and speaking words of love and peace to his family, who were weeping around his chair.

Among other things, he told them that he was thankful for that goodness of God, which, having blessed him through all his life, was then permitting him to die without any pain. Finally, fixing his eyes with much tenderness on his dear friend, Dr. Cabell, with whom he had formerly held many arguments respecting the Christian religion, he asked the doctor to observe how great a reality and benefit that religion was to a man about to die. And after Patrick Henry had spoken to his beloved physician these few words in praise of something which, having never failed him in all his life before, did not then fail him in his very last need of it, he continued to breathe very softly for some moments; after which they who were looking upon him saw that his life had departed.

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