Liberty or Death
On this day in history...
On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry spoke to the Second Virginia Convention, which was meeting in Richmond’s St. John’s Church due to British hostilities:
“I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. … 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 … to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves. … Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. … Let us not deceive ourselves, sir.”
“There is a just God who presides over the destines of nations … who will raise up friends to fight our battle for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. … 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.”