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Patrick Henry
Founding Father from Virginia

Patrick Henry"Give me liberty or give me death!"
In March 1775, The Second Virginia Convention met at Henrico Parish Church, St. John's, in Richmond, far away from Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia, at home in the capital city of Williamsburg. Members met to consider the matters of the tyranny and oppression of the British. Though some favored continued conciliatory action, a thirty-nine-year-old delegate from Hanover County named Patrick Henry had a different view. He knew he faced "an irresolute body;" and that he would be opposed by the powerful Tory element among the members. He spoke of his passion on March 23, 1775. He stood, according to tradition, near the present eastern corner of the transept and the nave of St. John's Henrico Parish Church in Richmond.

Richard Schuman interprets the character of Patrick Henry for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He re-creates Patrick Henry's powerful speech.

Listen to the full speech* (audio clip 7:05)   Read the speech

Listen to closing remarks*
         leading to "Give me liberty or give me death." (audio clip 2:35)  Read the speech

* (c) Copyright 2005 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.


Grandsons of Liberty
On-Line Library of American Historical Documents
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