Erected in 1729-32 as the Upper Church of Saint Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Slash Church's location next to swampy woods (a "slash" in 18th-century terms) gave it its name. The Reverend Patrick Henry, uncle of the famous patriot, served as rector from 1737 until 1777. Among its early worshipers the church claims Patrick Henry, Dolley Madison, and Henry Clay, all once residents of the area. During the Civil War, Slash Church was used as a hospital and gave a nearby battle its name. This white weatherboarded structure survives as the oldest and best-preserved frame colonial church in Virginia, and the only one to escape enlargement.