William Harvey Patterson was born free in New Kent County and served one term as a member of the House of Delegates (1871–1873). He married Mary Ann Dungey on November 22, 1832, and after her death married Lutilda Bailey on November 15, 1848. In 1866 Patterson was one of the founders of Second Liberty Baptist Church. The following year he received his license to preach. In the House of Delegates, Patterson served on the relatively inconsequential Committees on Public Property and on Resolutions. He successfully introduced a bill to prohibit cutting trees or other actions to obstruct the passage of boats or other vessels in the lower reaches of Sycamore Creek in New Kent County. He declined to run for a second term in 1873. William Harvey Patterson died at his home on May 24, 1895. He was buried in a family cemetery in New Kent County.