Introducing Sheila Phelps Inderbitzen, author of Patrick Henry’s Secret In The Cellar

“Everyone on the publishing team offered very professional and excellent service. My thanks to the entire team!”

Sheila Phelps Inderbitzen is a descendent of the Norfolk England Sheltons. I discovered some notes that my mother’s cousin Judge Houston Dale Shelton had written in 1943. These notes started my journey to find out more about a woman that history only referred to as “the wife of.”

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Book description…

Sarah Shelton Henry’s Life: Living in the Cellar, Struggling with Postpartum Psychosis. Preservation Virginia says Sarah Shelton Henry lived the last few years of her life in the cellar of her home. Sarah Henry showed strong signs of severe postpartum depression and psychosis. Patrick Henry’s private doctor not only found Sarah Henry living in the cellar but also found her wearing what we know today as a medical straitjacket. Mr. Henry’s doctor wanted to send Sarah Henry to the new hospital in Williamsburg but Patrick Henry did not think that was the best place for his loving wife. Sarah Henry died in the cellar in 1775.

3 thoughts on “Introducing Sheila Phelps Inderbitzen, author of Patrick Henry’s Secret In The Cellar

  1. I am a direct descendant of Sarah Shelton Henry, so I was looking forward to reading my distant cousin’s book on her. I must say that I am disappointed. The author clearly feels a connection to my 5th great grandmother, as do I, but that resulted in her either providing incorrect, unsubstantiated, or biased information about both Sarah and her husband, Patrick Henry, my 5th great grandfather. I would encourage people who are interested in this topic to look for an upcoming book on Sarah Henry by a professional historian, Mark Couvillon, and for people interested in a more accurate and historically accurate picture of Patrick Henry, I would recommend the book by John Ragosta (pub. in 2016) as an excellent, relatively briefer and very readable, overview, or the longer book by Jon Kukla (pub. 2017) as the definitive biography.

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