Patrick Henry


Patrick Henry was a strong proponent for the War of Independence and took the lead in organizing Virginia's first militia. Although he attended both the first and second Continental Congress he spoke out only at the first, and did not even attend the Constitutional Convention. Rather, he remained in Virginia where he the State's first elected governor, a position that he held for five terms.

He is probably best known for his March 23, 1775 speech presented at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, in which he questioned and answered:

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!