Right Hooks

Liberty or Death

On this day in history...

Mark Alexander · Mar. 23, 2016

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.”

He continued:

“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.”

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