Skip to comments."Liberty or death" oration from Patrick Henry. Rev up your Fourth, let your children listen.
Posted on 07/04/2004 10:00:43 AM PDT by Seth Monroe
Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736, to John and Sarah Winston Henry. A symbol of America's struggle for liberty and self-government, Patrick Henry was a lawyer, patriot, orator, and willing participant in virtually every aspect of the founding of America. He was twice married, to Sarah Shelton, and to Dorothea Dandridge.
John Henry educated young Patrick at home, including teaching him to read Latin, but Patrick studied law on his own. In 1760, he appeared in Williamsburg to take his attorney's examination before Robert Carter Nicholas, Edmund Pendleton, John and Peyton Randolph, and George Wythe, and from that day forward, Patrick Henry's story is inseparable from the stream of Virginia history.
Powerful words resonated
In 1763, arguing the famed Parson's Cause in Hanover County, Patrick Henry proclaimed that a king who would veto a good and necessary law made by a locally elected representative body was not a father to his people but "a tyrant who forfeits the allegiance of his subjects." Henry amplified his idea to the point of treason in defending his resolutions against the Stamp Act in the House of Burgesses May 30, 1765.
Carried away by the fervor of his own argument, the plainly dressed burgess from Louisa County exclaimed that "Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third..." At this point, cries of treason rose from all sides, but with hardly a pause, Henry neatly "baffled the charge vociferated" and won the burgesses for his cause. Five of his resolutions approved, the new leader in Virginia politics saddled his lean horse and took the westward road out of Williamsburg. (After his departure, one of the resolutions was overturned.) Henceforth, Patrick Henry was a leader in every protest against British tyranny and in every movement for colonial rights....
(Excerpt) Read more at history.org ...
By the way, isn't it sad that the majority of Americans think the Fourth is "fireworks day?"
A day for celebrating fireworks....
Sometimes I think our Patriots wasted their time. All that heroism and hard work and we end up with a nation of fat idiots who are to selfish to even think about the sacrifices made for their lavish lifestyle.
Least the Freepers are still around. We'll never forget.
Bump to read.
My apologies for the mistake on the date. I KNOW I put 1775 but it is showing 1715.
Any way I can edit that fellow Freepers?
"Well, I don't know. Those burkhas don't look too bad. And, you know, the World Trade Center was a symbol of greed. Let's not forget The Crusades, either......"
Good post Seth Monroe. Thanks. E.C.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; 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! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--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!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
I remember back in middle school I had to memorize one of Patrick Henry's addresses and deliver it at a state speech competition. Talk about a hard one to deliver. I just couldn't live up to this man's legend and passion. The things you are taught as a child really do stick with you into adulthood.
No I was not a product of public education. God forbid they would ever have a student thoroughly study Patrick Henry.
I just gotta bump this thread.
Great posting. As time goes by and people become more and more polarized, strident, and ignorant I've retreated more and more to the source: The Constituton, the writing and speaches of our founding fathers. I read oppinions of the Supreme Court and watch c-span. The rest is bull-hockey.
So thanks again.
I second that sir! ! !
I was never taught this speech in my public school. I did learn how great unions were, however.
The more I learn of our founders the more I appreciate them.
We were so fortunate that God gave us men such as these.
George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, et al.
We are indebted for their actions and their eloquent words which inspire us to this day.
I prefer to believe, and hope I'm not putting my head in the sand, that we are raising generations of strong, faithful, Godly men and women, who will vote, who will take a strong interest in not just politics but the defense of our Country.
Countless thousands who are being home-schooled are reading history that isn't taught in our NEA schools. They learn speeches by our Founding Fathers, read the Federalist Papers and in general are far more well versed in our history than I am, but that makes me proud of them.
I firmly believe that there is turnaround happening.
That after years of white-liver-bellied idiots such as Michael Moore who is, I fervently hope, the last in that long line, we are seeing the development of young'uns who are interested in politics, who want to be able to vote (how exciting and rad is that?) and who will step into the voting booth far better educated than 9/10ths of the Socialists and liberals in this Country.
I want to encourage all who read my words, to pray for the next generation. Pray for their hearts, minds and souls, to be sensitive to our principles of government, and dedicated to the preservation of our democracy.
If every one of us prayed each night for the youngest generation, I believe it would make a difference.
Will you join with me in this Covenant prayer?
BTTT for later! Thanks so much for the ping!
bump for America
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