On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry, delegate to the Second Virginia Convention, gave an impassioned speech related to colonial independence, where he concluded with the challenge, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
[btw, the convention was held in St. John’s Church in Richmond – a nod to those confused by separation of church and state]
He was 38 at the time.
His audience of 120 included George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
In the Continental Congress prior, he was known to have said, “The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian; I am an American.”
On March 23, he put forward a resolution proposing that Virginia’s counties raise militiamen “to secure our inestimable rights and liberties, from those further violations with which they are threatened.”
“Our petitions have been slighted,” Henry said, “our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne…we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!”
Within a month, the active revolution began.
What we have today, is in large part, because of patriots like Patrick Henry and his forthright courage. I imagine his voice seemed like treason and insanity to the dominating culture.
How about today’s news?
The distinctions of politics are handicapping us. We are Americans.
Are our rights and liberties secure?
We see violence and insult with contempt regularly.
God help us.