Patrick Henry, Maker of the famous 'give me liberty or give me death' speech

Essay by Austinarita99Junior High, 7th gradeA+, March 2006

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John and Sarah Winston Henry gave birth to a child on 29th of May, 1736 in Hanover County, Virginia, producing Patrick Henry. He became a 'lawyer, patriot, orator, and willing participant in virtually every aspect of the founding of America.' He married twice, to Sarah Shelton, and to Dorothea Dandridge. John Henry taught him to read Latin, but eventually Patrick studied law by himself. In 1760, he took an attorney's examination in Williamsburg, before Robert Carter Nicholas, Edmund Pendleton, John and Peyton Randolph, and George Wythe. Eventually, from that point on, Patrick found his way in 1763, arguing the famed Parson's Cause in Hanover County, which was about 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."' Later Henry began a revolutionary role immediately after the Stamp Act.

Because of his widely-heard speeches, Henry almost overnight became one of the most prominent figures in Virginia. Going back to Virginia, In March 1775, Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to arm in self-defense, closing his appeal (uttered at St. John's Church in Richmond, where the legislature was meeting) and delivered one of his most famous speeches ever, including the line "...I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Although in earlier years, he had been fully prepared to face the British, he was not ready for a complete separation and opposed independence in the Second Constitutional Congress, to which he was a delegate. At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, he was overwhelmingly elected first governor. He remained a governor until 1788. After the long fight over...